Video Kills the Lecturing Star: new technologies and the teaching of meteorology
GRAHAM SUMNER, St David's University College, Lampeter
The educational potential of time-lapse video sequences and weather data obtained using a conventional microcomputer are considered in the light of recent advances in both fields. Whilst microcomputer technology is now well-advanced, online weather data acquisition, with the micro central to the system as a means of display and analysis as well, is in its infancy. The full potential of video technology has still to be grasped by geographers. At present the technology is available, though expensive, to permit its use as a valuable teaching and research tool. An example of potential use of both technologies is given. The future of microelectronics and video in geography at all levels of education is considerable, given adequate investment in hardware, computer software development and man-hours.
Bridging the Gap between School and College: evidence from the University of Leicester 1978-82
ALAN STRACHAN, Department of Geography, University of Leicester
It has long been recognised that students enter higher education lacking some of the essential elements of geographical knowledge and understanding. In a systematic investigation of these factors, a survey of five years of Leicester University geography freshers shows them to have good factual knowledge, but alarmingly low levels of understanding. It further suggests that A level grade is a poor predictor of performance in higher education and confirms suspicions of grave deficiencies in the grasp of quantitative methods. The paper concludes by suggesting ways in which these problems might be tackled without resorting to undesirable repetition in first-year college and university courses.
A Teacher/Student Commentary on a Field Test of Manning's Roughness Coefficient
J. K. MAIZELS, Lecturer & M. HODGE, N. KELLY, I. H. MILTON,
G. MURRAY, I. ROBERTSON & D. SMART, Students, University of Aberdeen
This paper describes and appraises a two-day field project designed by a member of staff to be carried out by a group of students in a series of stream sections. The main aims of the project were (1) to help students develop a better understanding of stream-processes, but more importantly (2) to help students develop an awareness of how ideas evolve, (3) how to test their ideas using a sound procedural methodology and (4) how to assess the implications of their results. The paper outlines how the project developed in collaboration with six students, examines the varying contributions made by staff and students at each stage and discusses the problems that arose during its execution. The project itself involved determining the most accurate method of predicting mean flow velocity in a stream using three different methods of estimating Manning's roughness coefficient.
Demonstrating the Use of Spatial Optimising Techniques by Means of a Freight Distribution Game
ALAN C. McKlNNON, Department of Geography, University of Leicester
Spatial optimising techniques find wide practical application in the field of distribution planning. This paper describes an operational game which shows how three of these techniques can be used in the design of a simple distribution system.
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