ERIC Number: EJ835791
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 13
Student Learning Networks on Residential Field Courses: Does Size Matter?
Langan, A. Mark; Cullen, W. Rod; Shuker, David M.
Bioscience Education e-Journal, v11 Article 1 Jun 2008
This article describes learner and tutor reports of a learning network that formed during the completion of investigative projects on a residential field course. Staff and students recorded project-related interactions, who they were with and how long they lasted over four phases during the field course. An enquiry based learning format challenged individuals to complete investigative bioscience projects utilising peers (n = 20) and tutors (n = 14) as resources. The residential nature of the course ensured full participation of tutors and learners at all stages of the study. Overall, students interacted for "academic purposes" with about 40% of their peers and over 50% of the tutors in their potential network, although there were some differences between students and tutors in their perceptions of the interactions. In addition, patterns of networking activity differed between project stages. Tutors and learners were most interactive at the start of the course, although the data collection/analysis stages were also busy in terms of tutor support. Learners reported that they valued their interactions, but larger networks did not lead to higher marks as high attainment students were found to have worked in smaller networks. The findings provide insights into how individuals are used as resources in learning networks and the dynamics of learning networks during a residential case study. (Contains 3 tables and 1 figure.)
Descriptors: Biological Sciences, Foreign Countries, Science Education, Science Instruction, College Science, Science Projects, Science Teachers, Case Studies, Residential Programs, Environmental Education, Interaction, Teacher Student Relationship, Peer Relationship, Group Dynamics, Networks, Field Instruction
Centre for Bioscience, The Higher Education Academy. Room 9.15, Worsley Building, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT United Kingdom. Tel: +44-113-343-3001; Fax: +44-113-343-5894; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.bioscience.heacademy.ac.uk/journal
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Spain; United Kingdom