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ERIC Number: EJ1021547
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0309-8265
Tuning the Field Trip: Audio-Guided Tours as a Replacement for 1-Day Excursions in Human Geography
Wissmann, Torsten
Journal of Geography in Higher Education, v37 n4 p595-610 2013
Educators are experiencing difficulties with 1-day field trips in human geography. Instead of teaching students how to apply theory in the field and learn to "sense" geography in everyday life, many excursions have degraded into tourist-like events where lecturers try to motivate rather passive students against a noisy urban backdrop. Although various (partly) student-led approaches have successfully addressed the issue, there are still a high number of tours that use a traditional, tutor-led model. The example of a series of three audio tours produced at Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Germany, shows how these conventional field trips can be transformed into audio tours that help students not only to better internalize human geographic learning content but also cultivate empirical research, creative thinking, and individuality. In this paper I provide a critical description of tutor-led field trips. Downsides are identified and contrasted with the audio-guided tours that an increasing number of museums create for their visitors. I then show, how learning from a narrator's voice instead of from a tour guide is also not only possible in the context of higher education but in many ways may be a superior learning tool. The concept of three interlinked audio tours is presented with regard to design, production, and distribution. The need of additional learning materials such as maps, posters, and workbooks to foster active learning through creative impulses and the independent use of empirical methods are discussed, before the successful implementation into the bachelor curriculum is described. I conclude by highlighting the importance of fieldwork and by recommending audio-guided tours as a productive method of active learning.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A