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ERIC Number: EJ937516
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 20
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9266
Field Biology Experiences of Undergraduate Students: The Impact of Novelty Space
Cotton, Debby R. E.; Cotton, Peter A.
Journal of Biological Education, v43 n4 p169-174 2009
Fieldwork is generally considered an essential aspect of teaching and learning about biology, at both school and university level. However, previous research suggests that the novelty of being in an unfamiliar field environment can negatively, as well as positively, impact on the student experience and learning. This research uses the framework of novelty space to explore the student experience of an undergraduate biology field course to South Africa. It also evaluates the impact of enhanced pre-course preparation (using a CD resource) on the students' experiences in the field. The research uses questionnaires and student diaries (video, audio, and written) to investigate, first hand, the student experience of fieldwork. This paper explores the impact of four aspects of "novelty space" (geographical, cognitive, psychological and social) on the student experience, and considers what action tutors can take to reduce the impact of the novelty effect and enhance student learning in the field. It appears that novelty is an important mediating factor which may influence student learning in the field, and that prior preparation can help students adjust to the new environment. (Contains 3 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa