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Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: The field course effect: gains in cognitive learning in undergraduate biology students following a field course
Author(s): Easton, Eric
Gilburn, Andre
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Keywords: field work
cognitive gain
field studies
outdoor education
Issue Date: Mar-2012
Date Deposited: 19-Oct-2012
Citation: Easton E & Gilburn A (2012) The field course effect: gains in cognitive learning in undergraduate biology students following a field course. Journal of Biological Education, 46 (1), pp. 29-35.
Abstract: Field work and field courses within undergraduate biology degrees have been under threat in recent years for multiple reasons and while there has been widespread support from learned societies, academic staff and students for the retention of field study, there has been little research to support the perceived value of field teaching within this context. This paper reports on research that addresses this issue. Undergraduate attainment data from final-year biology undergraduates were compared with similar attainment data from their penultimate year of study. Those students who attended a 10-day residential field course in Portugal between their penultimate and final years of study were found to perform about a grade better on a 20-point scale compared with non-attending students in their final-year honours module. This research provides quantitative evidence that field courses can increase attainment and improve cognitive learning in undergraduate biology students.
DOI Link: 10.1080/00219266.2011.568063
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