GSA Connects 2021 in Portland, Oregon

Paper No. 154-5
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-1:00 PM


MIDTTUN, Nikolas and NIEMI, Nathan, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Michigan, 1100 N University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Accessibility and equity issues have generated conversations in the Geoscience community about offering alternative experiences to undergraduate capstone field courses. A frequent point of discussion in such conversations is what types of alternatives constitute an equivalent experience to that obtained during in-person field courses. However, a critical lack of empirical research that applies traditional pedagogical frameworks to field-learning makes it difficult to assess the pedagogical value of field courses in a systematic way, much less assess how the pedagogical value of field camp differs from that of other learning alternatives. This lack of data makes it both difficult to articulate the unique educational value of field camp outside of anecdotal experience, and stymies the process of developing and evaluating potential alternative experiences that address accessibility and equity.

Within education psychology, Self-Regulated Learning (SRL) has emerged as a powerful framework for explaining differences in learning outcomes, but the applicability of the SRL framework to Earth science field courses is unknown, as the framework was largely developed in traditional lecture based classroom contexts. To test if the SRL model could be useful for explaining differences in student performance within the unique context of an Earth science field course, we conducted a repeat survey study of students in three field classes taught during the summer of 2021 at the University of Michigan Camp Davis research station in Jackson, Wyoming. The surveys assess SRL using modified versions of two established inventories: the Metacognitive Awareness Inventory (MAI; Schraw and Dennison, 1994), and the Motivated Strategies Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ; Pintritch and De Groot, 1990). Upon completion of the data collection, individual SRL scores will be compared to student grades to gauge how well SRL predicts student performance in a field setting. In addition to this analysis, other survey questions will hopefully reveal whether students perceive significant differences in their own SRL behaviors during field courses compared to more traditional lecture-based courses, as well as how teaching interventions related to SRL processes and behaviors (e.g. metacognition) might be best applied in this unique setting.