Fieldwork and School-based activities in Science Education

MQF Level: 7

ECTS Value: 4 ECTS

Self Study Hours: 48

Contact Hours: 20

Assessment Hours: 32


Overall Objectives and Outcomes

In this unit students will explore, evaluate and design teaching and learning school-based activities in science education with a special focus on fieldwork, site-visits, project-based learning (PBL) and design tasks as part of teaching, leaning and assessment process. Students will also design assessment criteria and grading rubric. Students will also develop skills to plan, implement and critically evaluate the type of activities referenced above. This study unit will also explore the role of independent and group study in fostering positive science understanding and attitudes.

By the end of this programme, participants should be able to:


a. Organise fieldwork and site visits that complement and extend learning in the classroom;

b. Facilitate science PBL activities that challenge students’ current learning and aim to develop creativity and non-linear thinking skills;

c. Develop formative and summative assessment strategies that are relevant and contextualised for one’s students, including the use of assessment rubrics;

d. Manage group dynamics and ensure a productive learning environment.

e. Identifying and addressing challenges that may arise during field visits, PBL or Design Tasks activities.

f. Leading and guiding students effectively during PBL, including facilitating group discussions, and decision-making processes.

g. Supporting students during design tasks to analyse situations, problems and data critically.


a. Critically analyse different approaches and content organisation in science fieldwork, subject specific assessment and value development within projects;

b. Critically analyse the characteristics of an effective PBL, fieldwork, site visit and design task activities both as learning and assessment strategies;

c. Demonstrate an understanding of the theoretical framework, underpinning the use of such activities as effective strategies in science education;

d. Understand learning theories and how they apply to experiential and inquiry-based learning methods such as PBL and design tasks;

e. Acquire knowledge of how to integrate technology to enhance teaching and learning, through the learning activities discussed in this module.

f. Acquire knowledge of how to incorporate and schedule such activities effectively within schemes of work.

g. Familiarise themselves with diverse learning styles and strategies to meet the needs of all students.

h. Demonstrate a general understanding of the field of science assessment as applied to fieldwork, site visits, PBL and design tasks, including the importance of rubrics.


a. Acquire scientific skills, including the use of scientific instruments in the field and how to make them accessible to all students;

b. Engage students with the dynamic nature of science and its scientific method, through PBL and design tasks;

c. Use a variety of assessment instruments and criteria to maximise student understanding;

d. Support students in interpreting and building understanding and skill in science;

e. Infer results from an assessment rubric.

f. Adapt to changing situations, unexpected challenges or shifts in students’ needs during fieldwork and site visits.

g. Manage time effectively, to ensure that learning objectives are met within allotted timeframes of such activities.

Assessment Methods

This module will be assessed through: Assignment; Resources.

Suggested Readings

Core Reading List
  1. Booker L., and Kop K. (2013). The 5Es of Inquiry-Based Science, Shell Education, CA.
  2. Almarode J., (2018). Visible Learning for Science; What Works Best to Optimize Student Learning, Sage Publications.
  3. Harlen, W. (2013). Assessment & Inquiry-Based Science Education: Issues in Policy and Practice. Global Network of Science Academies (IAP) Science Education Programme (SEP).
  4. Jonassen, D. (2011). Supporting problem solving in PBL. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning, 5(2), 95-119.
  5. Patton, A & Robin. J. (2012) Work that matters: A teacher’s guide to Project Based Learning: Paul Hamlyn Foundation.
Supplementary Reading List:
  1. Ireson G & Twidle J (2006) Reflective Reader: Secondary Science Exeter: Learning Matters
  2. Hart, S. et al (2004) Learning without limits Open University Press
  3. Monk, K. and Osborne, J. (ed.) (2000) Good Practice in Science Teaching. What research has to say Open University Press
  4. Mortimer, E. F. and Scott, P. H. (2003) Meaning Making in Secondary Science Classrooms
  5. Hillier J. & Banner I., (ed.) (2018) ASE Guide to Secondary Science Education (4th edition). London: ASE
  6. Osborne, J. & Dillon J. (ed.) (2010) Good Practice in Science Teaching. What research has to say. McGraw Hill, Open University Press
  7. Krajcik, J. S., & Blumenfeld, P. C. (2006). Project-based learning (pp. 317-34). na.
  8. Larmer, J., & Mergendoller, J. R. (2010). Seven essentials for project-based learning. Educational leadership, 68(1), 34-37.
  9. Solomon, G. (2003). Project-based learning: A primer. Technology and Learning-Dayton-, 23(6), 20-20.
  10. Kokotsaki, D., Menzies, V., & Wiggins, A. (2016). Project-based learning: A review of the literature. Improving schools, 19(3), 267-277.
  11. Edwards, F. (2013). Quality assessment by science teachers: Five focus areas. Science Education International. Vol. 24, Issue 2, 2013, 212-226, International Council of Association for Science Education.
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