Neophyte outdoor education researchers' experiences during Covid-19 restrictions​

Prince, Heather ORCID logo ORCID: (2022) Neophyte outdoor education researchers' experiences during Covid-19 restrictions​. In: 9th International Outdoor Education Research Conference (IOERC9), 18-22 July 2022, Ambleside, UK. (Unpublished)

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The training and development of emerging researchers in outdoor education is an important remit for higher education (HE). This research analyses the scope, methods and magnitude of data collected for individual small-scale research projects by second year outdoor undergraduates in 2021 (n= 27), during a period of restricted movement in the UK, when fieldwork or in person contact was not permitted due to Covid-19. It sought to ascertain to what extent neophyte researchers curtailed, or were creative in, their approaches to research. The research compares these data and outcomes for the group with those of the previous year, when no restrictions were in place. It shows that although the number of methods was reduced in 2021 when students largely collected data online or in virtual environments, the magnitude of data collected particularly using bespoke social media platforms increased by 64% overall. However, students did not necessarily achieve higher marks with more data (rs=+0.363) as evidence suggests that some students were challenged in analysing the large datasets they had collected. Marks achieved overall showed a 4% uplift in 2021. This research supports the notion that neophyte researchers are able to take a reflective and reflexive approach to research (Prince, 2021) but that they also employ resilience and creativity using familiar technologies in becoming researchers themselves. If research projects need re-designing due to changing parameters, HE professionals should have the confidence to encourage their students to explore different ways of collecting data and assure them of the potential for successful outcomes.

Prince, H. (2021). Outdoor environmental education research and reflective practice. In, G. Thomas, J. Dyment & H. Prince (Eds). Outdoor environmental education in higher education: International perspectives (pp. 349- 361). Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing AG.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Departments: Institute of Science and Environment > Outdoor Studies
Depositing User: Heather Prince
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2022 11:36
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2024 13:45


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