Birmingham Bog outdoor laboratory: potentials and possibilities for embedding field-based teaching within the undergraduate classroom
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article
Colleges, School and Institutes
Providing cost-effective, hands-on field-based experiences to large cohorts of undergraduate students provides a core challenge for effective teaching and learning. This grand challenge is tackled through the construction of an exemplar outdoor learning environment within the Environmental Change Outdoor Laboratory (ECOLAB): Birmingham Bog (BB). Adjacent to the Geography building, the facility aims to produce a seamless, interconnected learning environment (in both space and time) that brings inaccessible fieldwork activities direct to the classroom at the time and frequency appropriate to the learning objectives. With the integration of this facility within a 3rd year undergraduate module, we explore through group interviews the ways in which BB adapted and influenced students’ engagement with lecture material, and the extent to which the approach can complement or replace current field based teaching activities. The group interviews identified how BB was considered an example of “effective learning” within the context of the wider degree programme. However, if confirmed, the value placed on residential field courses cannot be met by such campus experiences. Despite this, BB represents an increasingly fertile space for deeper stimulation and innovative ways of learning; diversifying pedagogical techniques and enabling students to re-engage with lecture content.
|Number of pages||18|
|Journal||Journal of Geography in Higher Education|
|Early online date||28 Mar 2018|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 28 Mar 2018|