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Article in Journal ()

The field course effect: gains in cognitive learning in undergraduate biology students following a field course

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.

Keywords
field work; cognitive gain; field studies; outdoor education

StatusPublished
AuthorsEaston Eric, Gilburn Andre
Publication date03/2012
PublisherTaylor & Francis (Routledge)
ISSN 0021-9266
LanguageEnglish

Journal
Journal of Biological Education: Volume 46, Issue 1 (MAR 2012)

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