Chapter 12: Field activities within an Environmental Sciences Program: a B-Learning Case Study
Chapter 12 Field activities within an Environmental Sciences Program: a B-Learning Case Study Carla Padrel Oliveira, Ana Paula Martinho, Sandra Caeiro, Filomena Amador, Fernando Caetano Abstract A reflection on the use of fieldwork in environmental science programmes is conducted in this paper. It is generally agreed that for fieldwork to be effective, it must serve a clear purpose in the curriculum. For a good curriculum design, a fieldwork course must complement, enhance or extend an existing part of the curriculum or fulfil some major objective of the curriculum as a whole. Thus a successful integration of fieldwork within an undergraduate degree programme is particularly important. For an environmental science course delivered through online methodology, it becomes evident that special attention should be devoted to the design and implementation of such a course. If we consider the more gen- eral definition where the field is seen as the location, outside the classroom set- ting, where learning takes place, then fieldwork is the set of activities that will facilitate students’ learning. It is generally agreed that a field course is much more difficult to integrate than a set of activities closely related to a specific subject. However, in a distance-learning university it is not plausible that students perform this type of activity very often. Therefore, the field courses are designed as a stand-alone module. The current work analyzes the design of the course entitled Fieldwork II which is integrated in the undergraduate degree in Envi- ronmental Sciences at Universidade Aberta. Many issues...
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