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Everybody Loves Field Trips...But How Do You Assess Them?

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Course Assessment in ET

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.537.1 - 7.537.9



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Paper Authors

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Laura Lucas

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Daphene Koch

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Session 2647

Everybody loves field trips…but how do you assess them?

Daphene Cyr & Laura Lucas Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI)


In a technology school, the emphasis is on hands on, real life, practical applications of learning. One way to accomplish this is the use of field trips to reinforce classroom teaching. Students love to leave the classroom, and teachers appreciate a break from lecturing. But with the current emphasis on assessment and proof of student learning, the dilemma is how to prove the benefit of field trips to the students and perhaps more importantly to the industry partner that facilitates the field trip.

We can now tell you the answers for the pertinent questions of:

Does student learning improve with field trips? Is there a better way to focus student learning while participating in field trips? How do you document the learning from field trips? Can you prove to industry the value of their participation?

And the short answer is that if you approach field trips with the same assessment based mindset as with classroom instruction you can implement and measure immense improvements in student learning. Furthermore, if you apply this same assessment attitude toward the industry partner you can also make the benefits more apparent to them.

In essence, preparation for student learning for field trips should follow the same assessment based preparation used for a regular class teaching, practicing, testing and then improving towards a formulated learning objective. The field trip can become a valuable tool by utilizing the additional senses of smell, hearing, touching uniquely that can enhance the field trip to gather and observe the information needed to truly understand the material presented. This methodology would apply to assessing the success of the experience to the Industry partner.

To reinforce and standardize this methodology we have developed departmental checklist and forms for faculty, students and the industry partner. By using both the methodology and forms everyone has consistent expectations and a higher level of success in meeting the goals of all participants.

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Lucas, L., & Koch, D. (2002, June), Everybody Loves Field Trips...But How Do You Assess Them? Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--11196

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