Spatial Technologies and Fieldwork in 
Victorian Curriculum and VCE Geography

Level 7-8 Landforms and Landscapes Fieldwork

Overview

Students from Werribee Secondary College had studied coastal landscapes and associated landforms. Fieldwork is considered integral to this unit by the school and with this in mind Werribee’s proximity to a variety of coastal types is exploited.

Students visit Eastern Beach Geelong (urban, bayside beach), Barwon Heads East (estuarine) and Barwon Heads South (ocean beach) with the option to include Ocean Grove time permitting. In each location students identify features and collect data focussing on visible human effects/impacts on the coast. Hypothesis development is one aspect of this work. The collected data becomes the basis for post-fieldwork tasks for assessment.

For this fieldwork students work in small groups. At the different fieldwork locations they may be under indirect teacher supervision along stretches of coastline during data collection depending on supervising staff numbers. At Barwon Heads back beach students are under direct teacher supervision given the nature of the location.

Groups collecting data along the Baron River estuary.

Groups collecting data along the Baron River estuary.

Duration

The task requires 1 pre-fieldwork lesson, a full day in the field, and 3-4 post-fieldwork lessons (and homework) to complete tasks.

Curriculum linking

Completion of this fieldwork contributes towards students meeting these Victorian Curriculum Geography content descriptions:

Geographical Knowledge Strand (Level 8)

  • Different types of landscapes and their distinctive landform features (VCGGK116)
  • Geomorphic processes that produce landforms, including a case study of at least one landform (VCGGK117)
  • The differences in at least one landform in Australia compared to other places and the geomorphic processes involved (VCGGK118)
  • Human causes of landscape degradation, the effects on landscape quality and the implications for places (VCGGK119)

Geographical Concepts and Skills Strand (Levels 7-8)

Place, space and interconnection sub-strand

  • Identify, analyse and explain spatial distributions and patterns and identify and explain their implications (VCGGC100)
  • Identify, analyse and explain interconnections within places and between places and identify and explain changes resulting from these interconnections (VCGGC101)

Data and information sub-strand

  • Collect and record relevant geographical data and information from useful primary and secondary sources, using ethical protocols (VCGGC102)
  • Select and represent data and information in different forms, including by constructing appropriate maps at different scales that conform to cartographic conventions, using digital and spatial technologies as appropriate (VCGGC103)
  • Analyse maps and other geographical data and information using digital and spatial technologies as appropriate, to develop identifications, descriptions, explanations and conclusions that use geographical terminology (VCGGC104)

Methodology

Pre-fieldwork (at school)

  • Introduce the fieldwork in the context of the Landforms and Landscapes unit with a focus on coasts
  • Provide students with the fieldwork details and handouts placing the task in the context of using spatial technologies on their personal mobile devices
  • Assign students to working groups each responsible for a data collection area within the larger study area as the three different fieldwork locations
  • Students download and familiarise themselves with the required apps including time outside the classroom to try the apps.

Fieldwork

  • Travel to each of the fieldwork locations is by bus as a group
  • At each stop provide a brief location overview and identification of key features
  • Remind students of set tasks required time of return and the farthest extents of the area within which they will work
  • Students disperse in their data collection groups to their designated data collection areas
  • Student working groups collect data in their assigned areas
  • Teacher(s) move along the study area coastline to observe progress and assist as required
  • Return, head count and travel to the next stop.

Students at Eastern Beach collecting location-based data using their personal mobile devices.

Students at Eastern Beach collecting location-based data using their personal mobile devices.

Post-fieldwork (at school)

  • Upload and aggregate field data using Google Docs
  • Share and map the data
  • Undertake analysis of the group-collected data
  • Undertake the data response task
  • Complete the individual analysis tasks for submission.

Resources

The files here are the handouts for students. These are:

Fieldwork activities (PDF), which provides the resources and data recording sheets, and the post-fieldwork tasks (provided before the fieldwork)

Instructions for using the spatial technology apps (PDF) students installed on their personal mobile devices (provided before the fieldwork)

A data response task (PDF) undertaken in class following the aggregation of the data.

Students at Eastern Beach collecting location-based data using their personal mobile devices.

Students working on their fieldwork data at school in a computer lab.

Work samples

Included here are a .kmz file (which opens in Google Earth) of the data collected and aggregated by the class which was used as the basis for the data response task. There are four samples of individual student work responding to the tasks at the conclusion of fieldwork activities handout.

Level 8 Class Field Data (KMZ)

Level 8 Work Sample 1 (PDF)

Level 8 Work Sample 2 (PDF)

Level 8 Work Sample 3 (PDF)

Level 8 Work Sample 4 (PDF)

Videos

Interview with Devanshi, Chloe, Max and Jane, four students from Werribee Secondary College about their fieldwork experience using personal mobile devices with spatial technologies and follow-up activities in the classroom.

Interview with Mr Rob Campbell Werribee Secondary College Geography Teacher sharing his thoughts on the use of spatial technologies and student personal mobile devices for fieldwork.

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