Key quote: “Although we were able to meet the learning outcomes, I would never choose to do it this way.”

Assessment Challenge: In transitioning to online learning, Jeff Lewis and Michele Patterson (Geography) found themselves asking: How do we take a two-week field course that includes intensive, hands-on work, and move it online in a rich and meaningful way? Furthermore, how do we ensure students meet the learning outcome of understanding the logistics involved in field work?

Solution: Have each student in the field course design, plan and articulate one day of the field study course.

Jeff Lewis and his colleague, Michele Patterson, created an assignment that had students design in a comprehensive way, one day of the field study course. Normally, students would engage in a variety of one-day field experiences, planned and delivered by instructors. For online learning, Jeff and Michele flipped this, handing over the design of one full day of the field study course to students, and provided structure and criteria to ensure that students would be deeply situated in this pursuit. Students had to decide where the day would take place, all the logistics involved in that field study day, and explain data collection and analysis techniques. Students had to do quite a bit of research, thinking, and articulating in order to demonstrate the depth of knowledge required in field study experiences.

Although students didn’t get a situated field experience, Jeff and Michele found that students produced remarkable, high-quality assignments full of creativity and detail. For example, one student planned a scuba diving field trip and researched various sites in the Nanaimo region unpacking data collection techniques in this underwater environment. Another student designed a day that involved collecting aerial data using drone technology