What can expeditions do for students … and for science? An investigation into the impact of University of Glasgow exploration society expeditions

Harper, L., Downie, J. R., Muir, M. and White, S. A. (2017) What can expeditions do for students … and for science? An investigation into the impact of University of Glasgow exploration society expeditions. Journal of Biological Education, 51(1), pp. 3-16. (doi: 10.1080/00219266.2016.1150871)

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Abstract

The benefits of field courses for biological science students are well established, but field courses also have limitations: they are generally too brief to allow significant research and they are staff-designed and led, limiting the development of student autonomy. In contrast, the value of student-organised field expeditions has been little researched. Here, as a case history, we analyse students’ attitudes to their experience of being selected for and taking part in University of Glasgow Exploration Society expeditions. Students regarded taking part in an expedition as one of the best things they had done in their life thus far. Expeditions were excellent value for money, provided opportunities to develop transferable skills (fund-raising, budgeting, report production, composing and delivering oral and written presentations, team-working and leadership, negotiation with stakeholders from different cultures) and provided scope for fieldwork skill development and substantial, publishable research. Participants also believed the expeditions provided real benefits to the communities visited. Participation in expeditions can contribute to each student’s Higher Education Achievement Report.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Downie, Professor J and White, Dr Stewart and Muir, Mr Martin
Authors: Harper, L., Downie, J. R., Muir, M., and White, S. A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Life Sciences
Journal Name:Journal of Biological Education
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0021-9266
ISSN (Online):2157-6009
Published Online:26 April 2016

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