Experimental Design - a simple practical activity

This bundle contains materials designed to introduce students to the basics of experimental design in the geographical and environmental sciences.

Original context These activities were initially developed as a COVID-19 response, as a resource to enable students to do hands-on activities without coming into classrooms, but have since also been used in practical classes since they seem to improve student understanding of the difference between observation/recording and experiments, and form a useful part of preparation for developing group projects to carry out during a residential field course at the end of the year.

At present these activities are delivered within a first year (Level 4) skills-led module in the second trimester. They are assessed via a short report on the findings, as part of a portfolio of work assessing individual skills areas. Students were introduced to formal report writing in the first Trimester, when they carried out some laboratory work to make measurements on soil samples they had collected themselves (materials for that activity are in bundle IO4-1-soil).

Materials included in the bundle:

  • Introductory slide deck (key concepts)
  • Trampling experiment instructions for students
  • Trampling experiment supplemental instructions for students not able to attend the practical class (option to carry out the experiment at home with grocery store supplies)
  • Example risk assessment for trampling experiment
  • Report writing instructions for students
Created by M Jane Bunting
on 2023-10-02