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Heinemann biology 1 vce sb eb 5e

16/12/2021 Client: muhammad11 Deadline: 2 Day

FIELDWORK AS A TEACHING METHOD –A CASE STUDY USING GPSAndreas Ulovec11Faculty of Mathematics, Universityof Vienna, Nordbergstrasse 15, 1090 Wien, Austria, andreas.ulovec@univie.ac.atAbstractIn this paper we want to demonstrate a case study showing how fieldwork can be used as a teaching method. We will provide a definition of this teaching method, explain its advantages and disadvantages, describe the background and the setting ofthe case study, and report about the evaluation results.Fieldwork is rarely used in several school systems, both for legal and practical reasons. Yet it can increase students’ motivation, particularly in mathematics, as students can experience first-hand “what can mathematics be used for?” We will present a teaching unit using GPS as a toolto construct or measure geometric figures in the field, i.e. outside the classroom. This gives students an opportunity to learn about geometric figures not only in an abstract setting, but as shapes used in the real world. The questionnaires and interviews that we conducted show that this teaching unit improved students’ motivation to find out more about real-life uses of mathematics, as well asthe possibility of increasingstudents’ attitudes towards learning mathematics by providing possible applications.KeywordsFieldwork. Real-life tasks. Electronic media as tools for learningDEFINITION AND INTRODUCTIONBy fieldwork we meanworkof students outside the classroom. It may involve work in the school grounds or further afield. It can vary in duration –part of a lesson, a half day, or longer. It involves live collection of primary data by means of observation, experiment or survey (Ulovec et al., 2007). In this way, students can experience familiar and unfamiliar phenomena beyond the normal confines of the classroom (Dillon et al., 2005).However, fieldwork is not frequently used in many classrooms. This might be because of practical reasons, because of legal hassles, or simply because of a lack of teaching materials with proper suggestions. As for the practical reasons, some tips and hintscan be found in Simperler (2012). As for the legal hassles, it might be true that using fieldwork requires some form-filling, parents to be contacted etc. But this is also true for other out-of-school activities, e.g. ski courses, swimming weeks, excursions etc., and so should not prevent one from using this method. As for the lack of teaching materials, this is the main reason for writing this paper. We developed a number of out-of-classroom activities in an EU-funded project called DynaMAT. One of the materials is presented here, together with an evaluation in the form of questionnaires and interviews, to serve as a case study about the usefulness of this teaching method.ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF FIELDWORKSeveral authors have already dealt with this issue, and a number of advantages and disadvantages have been listed in the literature. The following table presents a summary of this work (cf. Sauerborn and Brühne, 2009):Tab. 1Advantages and disadvantages of fieldwork as a teaching methodAdvantagesDisadvantagesAction-orientedDifficult with large number of studentsReality-relatedOrganisational effortPhysical activitiesRisks of injury
Self-responsible learningDifficult assessmentNew method for most studentsStudents not used to this activityAddresses several cognitive learning levelsHard for students to concentrateOften interdisciplinaryHard to place in curriculumIn a 1999-study of the University of Regensburg about out-of-classroom learning activities, the most frequently named disadvantage was “costs”(53.3%), closely followed by “time pressure by curriculum” (51.7%). In our own study (see below), costs were not an issue to teachers, as most activities took place either on the school grounds or in walking distance of the school. Time pressure by curriculum wasthe most frequently named reason (65.7%), followed by fearof disciplinary issues (37.1%), and organisational effort (28.6%).CASE STUDY: USING GPS IN FIELDWORKTeaching materialThis teaching unit (cf. Andersen, 2012) consists of two parts: In the first part, students are asked to use the tracking function of a GPS receiver to measure the geometric shape of a given outdoor feature. In the second part, the students are given a certain geometric figure and are asked to “walk along” this figure outdoors, i.e. to use the GPS receiver to navigate in such a way as to produce a track in the form of the given geometric figure.Part 1: Measuringa geometric figure in the fieldTask: Go to Heldenplatz in Vienna (or a park nearby the school) and stand on one corner of the rectangle that is shown in the map below(or another suitable rectangular figure in the park). Switch on the tracking function of your GPS receiver. Now walk along the edges of the rectangle until you are back at the original point. Then switch off the GPS receiver. Compare the resulting track with the original rectangle. Use the obtained data to calculate the side lengths of the rectangle and the length of the diagonal. Then go back to Heldenplatz (or the chosen park) and measure the length of the diagonal with the GPS receiver.Fig. 1Measurement of rectangle–ideal track

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