Making Connections: the use of ethnographic fieldwork to facilitate a model of Integrative Learning [WITHDRAWN]

Finnerty, Michelle (2011) Making Connections: the use of ethnographic fieldwork to facilitate a model of Integrative Learning [WITHDRAWN]. [Conference Proceedings]


This presentation will outline an approach to curricular design that was created to facilitate the increasing needs of students in the context of music education studies at the School of Music, University College Cork. In a response to the increasing desire of students to engage in a learning environment that facilitated the development of skills that relate to their own interests in teaching in various formal and informal contexts, a flexible curriculum design with particular focus on the use of ethnographic fieldwork method within the assessment strategy was developed.Throughout the module, students were encouraged to investigate areas of interest in formal and informal music education settings. The research assessment encouraged students to try and utilise their experience and engage in a deeper learning experience in the area of interest. Through the use of continuous assessment research paper and facilitation of ethnographic fieldwork within this assessment strategy, students were able to develop multiple connections between new and previous experiences.This poster will outline how the use of ethnographic fieldwork method and continuous assessment promoted an integrative learning experience allowing interconnections between the course topics within the module and connections with learning and skills outside. The poster will reveal how ethnographic fieldwork emerged as an important method of facilitating students to develop connections between learning within the university and the outside world.Wednesday 10h 20 - Houston TheatreGuiding student learning using programmed research projectsAndrew Flaus , Oisín Keely, Michael Carty, and Iain MacLabhrainn, National University of Ireland, GalwayThe honours year project is the marquee feature of research-led teaching in the experimental sciences. Final year undergraduate students complete an individual research work in an active research group over several months to investigate a unique scientific question.This challenges students as they transition from structured teaching laboratory exercises to genuine open-ended research, which requires mastering a variety of techniques to draw a meaningful conclusion. The growth in 3rd level participation and 4 year courses makes traditional immersive projects overwhelming for increasing numbers of students. At the same time, supervisors and facilities under pressure for research outputs have less time for mentoring.To address this problem, we have been developing the concept of a 'programmed research project' derived from a topic of local expertise and interest which retains flexible, student-driven end-points. The techniques and steps in the project are clearly defined to facilitate efficient supervision using timetabled sessions with small workgroups.In the programmed project, students express and purify individually chosen mutants of jellyfish green fluorescent protein (GFP) predicted to have altered fluorescent properties by performing a range of contemporary molecular biology and protein biochemistry techniques. At the same time, they worked together to build an all-atom scale model of GFP starting from its sequence.The initial project cycle was highly successful for the students involved from a teaching and learning perspective, and led to insights into GFP properties for local researchers. The kinesthetic aspect of model building and direct visual impact of working with coloured proteins was an important feature of the learning opportunity.This initiative addresses the research-teaching interface, and demonstrates how a programmed approach can deliver efficient teaching without compromising on the fundamental discovery aspect of a research project.

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