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ERIC Number: EJ856528
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 40
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0309-8265
Strengthening Teaching and Research Links: The Case of a Pollution Exposure Inquiry Project
Spronken-Smith, Rachel; Kingham, Simon
Journal of Geography in Higher Education, v33 n2 p241-253 May 2009
In recent years there has been a move towards the strengthening of teaching and research links in the undergraduate curriculum. Inquiry-based learning offers an opportunity for students to engage in research tasks and consequently students can develop valuable research skills, as well as working on projects aligned to staff research interests. This paper describes a third-year undergraduate geography inquiry project exploring the factors that impact on personal exposure to nitrogen dioxide. Students were required to wear passive pollution samplers over a two-week period, and to collect information about their daily regimes. The project involved analysing the air pollution exposure and relating the exposure to factors such as time spent in various environments, and meteorological influences. Standard course evaluations and focus-group data provided a means to evaluate the success of the project. Course evaluations have improved since the introduction of the project and students value the project because of the greater understanding that comes from being a research subject, learning about the research process and the development of analytical skills. However, students had not fully realized the range of research skills they had acquired through the project. In the future, the aims and outcomes of the project will be made more explicit and the reflective element will be expanded to ensure students reflect on their learning in the course. The teaching team must be cognizant of the fact that inquiry exercises can take geography students outside their comfort zone in terms of learning styles, and thus provide appropriate support. (Contains 2 notes, 1 table and 2 figures.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A