Geography Games and Simulations: learning through experience
REX WALFORD, University of Cambridge
Simulation is becoming increasingly popular in teaching in higher education. Dissatisfaction with traditional teaching techniques such as the lecture, the need to understand processes and to teach problem-solving skills are some of the reasons for this. The roots of simulation are in war-gaming, in management and business studies, and in psychologists' approaches to 'experiential learning'. Simulation in geography developed in the late 1960s. The example of the Caribbean Fishing Game is used to demonstrate flexibility of gaming. Three styles of simulation are outlined: role-play, operational games and individual exercises. To be most effective, simulations need to be carefully prepared and properly integrated into the course. Simulation's open-endedness makes evaluation difficult.
The Use of Four Selected Games in a Tertiary Geography Programme
GEOFF CONOLLY, Sydney Teachers College
For several years, geography lecturers at Sydney Teachers College have used and evaluated a number of games, and have refined their programme to make maximum use of four selected games, the Fishing Game, Lynwood, Pred & Kibel's Locational Matrix, and Starpower. The criteria for the selection of these games, the main ways in which they have been modified, and the method of their integration in the programme are described.
Teaching a Model-based Climatology Using Energy Balance Simulation
DAVID UNWIN, University of Leicester
The difficulties of teaching climatology in a university geography programme are reviewed and a possible approach is outlined. This involves the student's use of a surface energy balance simulation model to experiment with the effects of land use change on local climate.
A Simulation Exercise on Scientific Research for Use in Undergraduate Teaching
DEREK PEACOCK, University of Leicester
Commonly used teaching methods concentrate on developing an understanding and knowledge of subject-matter. Students therefore get little practice in developing important skills such as designing experiments, evaluating data, making decisions and solving complex real problems. Simulations allow students to develop these and other skills and at the same time to increase their understanding of subject matter. The simulation described is based upon real research topics which took many years to complete. It is structured so that students can appreciate most of the decision making involved in the various stages of research projects.
Two Modes of Peer Teaching in Introductory College Geography
A. DAVID HILL & NICHOLAS HELBURN, University of Colorado at Boulder
Two modes of using undergraduate students as peer teachers in introductory courses have been developed at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Peer teachers are small group leaders in a human geography course built around role playing simulations; in two physical geography courses they are tutors in a self-paced system. A separate course provides peer teacher guidance a course-within-a-course model. Socio-psychological, pedagogical, economic, and political implications of peer teaching are interpreted after ten years' experience with the programme.
The Use of Project Work in Undergraduate Geography Teaching
JOHN SILK & SOPHIA BOWLBY, University of Reading
The paper discusses the use of project work as a method of teaching and assessment in two third-year option courses in the Department of Geography at Reading University. We conclude that such work provides students with valuable training, both in the academic and non-academic worlds, as well as being rewarding and enjoyable in itself.
Cooperative Education versus Internships: a challenge for an applied geography programme
JOSEPH SPINELLI & BRUCE SMITH, Bowling Green State University, Ohio
A recent debate among academic geographers has focused on the role of applied geography in the discipline. In it, internships are often viewed as one cornerstone of courses in applied geography. This paper discusses the advantages and weaknesses of cooperative education compared with internships. In many respects cooperative education represents a refinement of the internship concept. The chief advantage in its approach lies in the closer relationship which it helps to develop between course objectives and the recruiting and training needs of organisations. Students benefit through better educational experiences and enhanced employment opportunities.
Teaching Geography on Weekends and at Shopping Malls
FREDERICK BEIN & JAMES R. EAST, Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis
Two courses, 'Weekend College' and 'Learn & Shop', introduced in 1976 and 1979 respectively at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis, extend the availability of higher education to a wider audience by being offered during weekends and at suburban shopping centres. The geography students who enrol in these programmes, in contrast with those in the traditional geography programme, generally are older, married, and female. Non-white students enrol in greater numbers in the 'Weekend College' than in the traditional programme. Introductory geography courses are more frequently offered. In comparison with the students in the traditional programme, the older students in the 'College' are highly motivated and receive higher grades. The declining student enrolment trends of American universities are offset at IUPUI by 'Weekend College' and 'Learn & Shop'.
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