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Expectation, motivation, engagement and ownership: using student reflections in the conative and affective domains to enhance residential field courses

Scott, Graham W.; Humphries, Stuart; Henri, Dominic C.


Residential field courses are important and should be designed and delivered to maximize their value to students, staff and institutions. In this context, we use a novel approach involving analysis of the daily affective and conative reflections of students immersed in the field course experience to better understand student engagement with fieldwork. We show that students base their field course choice on a range of factors (costs and benefits) and that these choices subsequently influence student expectations and motivation to engage with fieldwork. We also show that the motivation of students to engage with fieldwork-based learning varies from person to person and from day to day. Our findings suggest that having a more nuanced understanding of the decisions students make when deciding which field course to enrol upon would enhance our ability to design attractive, accessible and useful field courses; that having an awareness of the expectations of students around field courses would enable us to better prepare them to undertake them; and that students are more motivated when they are afforded an opportunity to work independently and perceive themselves to have ownership of their learning.

Journal Article Type Article
Journal Journal of Geography in Higher Education
Print ISSN 0309-8265
Electronic ISSN 1466-1845
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Pages 1-19
Keywords Geography, Planning and Development; Education
Publisher URL
Additional Information Peer Review Statement: The publishing and review policy for this title is described in its Aims & Scope.; Aim & Scope: http://www.tandfonline....ope&journalCode=cjgh20; Received: 2018-05-25; Accepted: 2019-04-13; Published: 2019-05-07