The University of the Sea and the Benefits to Student Learning of Participation in a Marine Research Expedition

  •  Kelsie Dadd    


The University of the Sea has provided university students from the Asia-Pacific region with experience on multi-week, marine research expeditions since 2004. The program is UNESCO-funded and generously supported by Geoscience Australia. During 2007 and 2008, students were surveyed to ascertain whether they felt the program was a valuable learning experience. The survey had both Likert-scaled and open-ended questions. The students enjoyed the experience, found it valuable, appreciated putting theory into practice, and liked the interaction with scientists. They gained skills and knowledge that will help guide their career paths. However, most felt they required more information prior to the expedition, and a greater knowledge of the research aims and their role in the expedition. Students incorrectly assumed the expedition would be tailored to their learning and would provide didactic learning experiences. They did not automatically see the experiential learning activity was valuable in itself.

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