Self-guided field trips for students of environments
The Bachelor of Environments is one of the New Generation Degrees within the Melbourne Model at the University of Melbourne. It is intended to provide a platform of study for students in a number of disciplines and to provide a source of breadth study for students from other New Generation Degrees. Providing opportunities for students to undertake field trips while studying first year subjects in the Bachelor of Environments is one of the more challenging issues for subject designers. How can large cohorts of students gain practical exposure to various aspects of the environment? Although this is typically done using traditional site visits and fieldwork with a high staff/student ratio, our goal has been to design and develop resources to enable small groups (3 or 4) to make self-guided visits to sites close to campus. The students are guided by multimedia resources to examine and interpret aspects of the site that relate to their on-campus learning. One critical issue in the success of these activities has been a proper risk assessment and provision for immediate assistance if required. These self-guided field trips are an important way of ensuring an engaging learning experience, even for large classes.