What is the Enhancing Fieldwork Learning (EFL) project?

Fieldwork is an essential form of learning in many geoscience and bioscience subjects. It provides an interesting, active and exciting part of the overall student experience, as well as a range of subject specific and generic skills.

However, fieldwork can be an “expensive” and time-consuming activity, so it is important that maximum learning benefits are gained from activities in the field. The Enhancing Fieldwork Learning (EFL) project focus is on using affordable, ubiquitous technologies such as iPads, digital cameras and social networks and apps to enhance learning and engagement in the field, to ensure that students are well prepared for the field, and to make full use of the experience in the post-field phase. The project aims to link pedagogy with recent technological advances, and engagement and dissemination are important aspects of the project

PrintThis project was originally undertaken as part of the National Teaching Fellowship Scheme managed by the Higher Education Academy between 2010 and 2013. The project is now supported by the British Ecological Society.

Our Book

bookEnhancing Fieldwork Learning Using Mobile Technologies (2015) Springer Briefs, is now available in Paperback and Kindle. It brings together a number of the case studies produced by the EFL project.

“This book shows how tablets (and smartphones) using a variety of selected ‘apps’, can enhance fieldwork and other out-of-classroom activities. The authors review imaginative uses of tablets from their own project and as well as examples from other colleagues. To help readers keep abreast of new technology and innovative ways to use it, the book is supported by a web site and a social media community.”



Stay up to date with news and updates about the project and news about fieldwork learning through the EFL twitter feed – https://twitter.com/fieldwork_ntf

Who are we?

The project team

Derek_FranceProfessor Derek France (d.france@chester.ac.uk)

Derek is a physical geographer, with specialist interests in the field of quaternary environmental reconstruction. He teaches across a range of undergraduate modules and is at his happiest when he is out of the lecture theatre, on fieldwork with students. In recent years his research interests have widened to include a more pedagogic focus, investigating the student learning experience with particular attention on the use and application of e-learning technologies to enhance teaching and learning. He has published widely on the themes of e-learning and fieldwork.

Julian-picProfessor Julian Park (j.r.park@reading.ac.uk)

Julian is an experienced teacher and researcher with interests in many aspects of biologically oriented education. He was one of the founding members of the Bioscience Horizons National Undergraduate Journal, has developed a range of educational websites such as engage in research, engage in feedback, environmental challenges in farm management websites and has led a range of pedagogic projects, for instance in relation to using video for feedback. He has been a long-time advocate of the benefits of learning in the field and has lead a wide-range of fieldwork both in the Reading locality and further afield. He is currently Faculty Director of Teaching and Learning for Life Sciences at Reading but remains a keen advocate of learning in the field, taking every opportunity to escape the desk and endless committees to head for the great outdoors!

brian_whalleyProfessor Brian Whalley (b.whalley@sheffield.ac.uk)

Brian is a retired academic originally at the Queens University of Belfast and is now based at the University of Sheffield.

Katharine_WelshDr Katharine Welsh (k.welsh@chester.ac.uk)

Katharine is the postdoctoral researcher for the project and has a background in physical geography with an emphasis on hydro-geomorphic modelling of fluvial systems and sedimentary archives of environmental change. You can view her FLICKR photostream of useful fieldwork and landscape photographs. All photographs are licensed through a Creative Commons license so can be freely used for educational purposes if accredited.

Alice-picDr Alice Mauchline (a.l.mauchline@reading.ac.uk)

Alice is a Research Fellow at the University of Reading and has research interests in agro-ecology and fieldwork pedagogy. She has published on a range of fieldwork and active learning topics and recently led a staff-student partnership project at Reading to develop KiteSite, a smartphone app for campus biodiversity recording. This has led to a research interest in establishing ways to integrate citizen science approaches into Teaching & Learning curricula in Higher Education



Dr Victoria Powell

Vicky is an assistant on the project based at the University of Chester