Geography Fieldwork Goes Virtual | Epsom College
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Geography Fieldwork Goes Virtual

In the absence of hands-on fieldwork, Head of Geography, Ms Marisa Bosa, had to think outside the box, to develop a virtual experience to develop pupils’ data analysis skills from the safety of their own homes. Here she explains how she replicated the process.


“In May, 105 Upper Fourth Geographers were due to go to the Olympic Park in Stratford London to investigate environmental quality and land use.

“Recognising that it is unlikely we would be able to reschedule this trip in the New Year, the department wanted to ensure students were able to access the content of the trip, even if they couldn’t physically collect the data themselves. Therefore I developed a virtual field trip to the area that included videos of the area, links to street view in google maps, and online data collection.

“It was a whole department initiative – I created the booklet and videos, and Ms Jonson and Mrs Cowlin helped me work out the questions and theory parts of the booklet. Mr Tidmarsh came up with the idea to include the Google Street View as a way of helping students become interactive with the learning experience. Mr Nuthall did a final look through the booklet to ensure everything was in the right order and ready for the students to use.

“We had to adapt our previous resources to make it easier to follow along at home, without the teachers’ input. To do this I made explanation videos for each section of the pack to help guide students through the trickier areas of the course. In addition to the explanation videos, I went to Stratford and filmed (my partner as the cameraman) each site that students had to collect data from. This gave them a real-life view of the area as well as the sounds and traffic. Additionally, they could see how the area developed over time and compare the videos to the street view.

“Students have reinforced their data analysis skills, have successfully completed the spearman rank correlation coefficient (on their own which is impressive) and were able to evaluate their progress. These are skills they will regularly use in many of their lessons – not just Geography.

“The students have done so well to interact with this material online. Tutors have said that students are praising it for being straight forward and interesting. It appears to be a resounding success.”