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Virtual fieldwork, real-world communities - interview and survey data

posted on 2022-07-06, 13:53 authored by Ann GrandAnn Grand, Trevor CollinsTrevor Collins, Sarah Davies, Eileen Scanlon

This project addressed three research questions:

1. To what extent can an alternative fieldtrip be a shared experience?

2. What is the role of fieldwork in building learning communities?

3. What is the role of different technologies in shaping analogues of traditional fieldwork?

To explore the research questions from the perspective of lecturers, students and other stakeholders, we conducted three strands of research:

1. evaluation of two fieldwork experiences selected to represent different learning community experiences:

i. an environmental science ‘fieldcast’, as experienced in a dispersed community of OU students:

a. observation of the fieldcast

b. online survey of randomly-selected student participants

c. semi-structured interviews with staff involved in the fieldcasts

ii. observation of a Fieldwork Live course run by the Field Studies Council as experienced by a home-based participant

2. semi-structured interviews with eight stakeholders

3. a literature review relating to fieldwork and analogous fieldwork experiences

This dataset includes the results of the online survey (MS Excel) and transcripts of the interviews with stakeholders (MS Word).


Open University Research and Enterprise Services pump-priming scheme November 2020


Research Group

  • Astrobiology

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    Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)