Student experience of real time management of peer working groups during field trips

Dawn Morley, Anita Diaz, Deborah Blake, Grace Burger, Tom Dando, Kate Rickard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Published conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


A field trip is a signature pedagogy (Shulman 2005) of disciplines such as geography and ecology. It presents opportunities not only for application of knowledge and technical competencies but for deep socio constructivist learning (Wenger 1998) seen as highly relevant to employability readiness (Arrowsmith et al. 2011). During June 2015, these principles were further tested by the Student Environment Research Teams (SERTs) model of partnership work between students, academic staff and practitioners whereby five undergraduate ecology students undertook the roles of peer group leaders on a ten-day field trip organised collaboratively between a consortium of four UK universities, the National Trust and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). The chapter draws on this field trip as an example of peer collaborative learning and one that presented the five student team leaders with the authentic experience of real- time fieldwork management.

The similarity of the characteristics of the fieldwork teams to Wenger’s definition of ‘communities of the practice’ (1998) provided an evaluative lens for the trip. Student team leaders were interviewed, and also submitted reflective statements six months following the completion of the fieldtrip. The nature of their learning and progression during the trip, and their perceptions of their ‘learning gain’ (BIS 2016) going forward into employment and lifelong learning, are explored.
The student group leaders are all co-authors of this chapter.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnhancing employability in higher education through work based learning
EditorsDawn Morley
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Ltd.
Pages133 - 150
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-75166-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-75165-8
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2018


Dive into the research topics of 'Student experience of real time management of peer working groups during field trips'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this