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ERIC Number: EJ810504
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Sep
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 27
ISSN: ISSN-0309-8265
Undertaking a Dissertation from Start to Finish: The Process and Product
Harrison, Margaret E.; Whalley, W. Brian
Journal of Geography in Higher Education, v32 n3 p401-418 Sep 2008
The dissertation is still seen as the pinnacle of studies for an undergraduate program of studies in most geography, earth and environmental sciences (GEES) departments in the UK, yet how do we prepare students to undertake the work and what do students think of the experience? This paper examines the student perspective of the dissertation experience via the analysis of questionnaires issued to former students in two UK institutions. As an extension to this analysis, 32 departmental dissertation handbooks from a range of UK institutions are reviewed. Evidence from the handbooks and questionnaires reveals some of the key issues of putting theory into practice. For example, studying the right topic, student enjoyment of independent fieldwork, and establishing a good student-staff supervisory relationship are important. However, students have difficulty with time management and knowing what is expected. Based on the issues identified, a series of questions is made by way of conclusion. These questions could be used as prompts for GEES departments should they wish to review the management and assessment of the dissertation. Finally, various practical suggestions are provided as to how the student experience of independent learning might be enhanced with specific reference to the student dissertation handbook. (Contains 5 figures, 4 notes and 3 tables.)
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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: United Kingdom