Field-based Learning in Higher Education: Exploring the Benefits and Possibilities

Session Time and Location

Thu, 7 Jun 2018
11:15am to 12:45pm
Room: Room:
Oakwood A
Session Track
Session Format

Field-based learning in higher education is lacking both in practice at colleges and in research within the academic literature. This study aims to address these deficits by exploring the benefits of, and suggesting strategies for, executing field study in higher education. We surveyed college students enrolled in classes that had a field study component versus no field study component. We found that students in courses with a field study component reported higher levels of motivation than students with no field study component. We suggest nine different field study typologies that could be employed in higher education.


  • Session References +

    Basten, M., Meyer-Ahrens, I., Fries, S., & Wilde, M. (2014). The effects of autonomy-supportive vs. controlling guidance on learners' motivational and cognitive achievement in a structured field trip. Science Education98(6), 1033-1053. doi:10.1002/sce.21125

    Cwikla, J., Lasalle, M., & Wilner, S. (2009). My two boots … a walk through the wetlands. An annual outing for 700 middle school students. The American Biology Teacher, 71(5), 274–279. doi:10.1662/005.071.0506

    DiConti, V. D. (2004). Experiential education in a knowledge-based economy: Is it time to reexamine the liberal arts? The Journal of General Education, 53(3), 167–183. doi:10.1353/jge.2005.0003

    Kolb, D.A. (2014). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. New Jersey: Pearson.

    Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2017). Self-determination theory: Basic psychological needs in motivation, development, and wellness. New York: Guilford.