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Collected Essays on Learning and Teaching, v5 p167-171 2012

A field-based course in an applied science program can have numerous learning outcomes. These are typically addressed through demonstration, active participation by the students, communication between students and instructor and amongst students, and independent work by students individually or in small groups. Such courses are also opportunities for students to develop their critical thinking. The author's experience is that teaching techniques used to deliver field courses are generally inherent and based on the experience of the instructor and the teaching culture within the academic unit. These techniques are typically not drawn from the pedagogical literature, although they do have similarities to such established concepts such as scaffolds. Recognition of teaching concepts drawn from the pedagogical literature and their application to the design and teaching of field-based courses may improve the delivery of course material and provide a better student experience. Thinking and teaching in terms of the support that scaffolds represent may also smooth the transition from classroom to outdoors back to classroom. Supported learning based on established teaching methods will improve a student's opportunity for Discovery, Integration, Communication and Engagement.

Descriptors: Field Instruction, Scaffolding (Teaching Technique), Undergraduate Students, Environmental Education, Courses, Course Organization, College Instruction

Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. 1280 Main Street West, Mills Library Room 504, Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4L6, Canada. Tel: 905-525-9140; Web site:

Autor: Yates, Thomas


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