Hooked on Active Tectonics: An Affective Comparison of Study Abroad and Local Students in New Zealand

Thursday 1:45pm Ritchie Hall: 368


Alison Jolley (AJ), University of Waikato
Samuel Hampton, Frontiers Abroad
Erik Brogt, University of Canterbury
ben kennedy, University of Canterbury
Lyndon Fraser, University of Canterbury
Students who have studied abroad report greater self-confidence, long-lasting impacts on their worldview, and development of skillsets that influenced their future career paths. Field experiences offer similar benefits to geoscience students in the development of geoscientific identities and transferrable and workforce skillsets. These facets of student development are closely tied to the affective domain: emotion, motivation and connection to Earth. Here we compare the motivation and connection to Earth of study abroad students from the United States (n=23) with local New Zealand students (n=31) undertaking a similar (but separate) field trip in the South Island of New Zealand. All students completed questionnaires before and after their respective field trip. Findings indicate that study abroad students were more intrinsically motivated, less extrinsically motivated, and had higher task value and lower test anxiety than the local students. The study abroad students were more pro-environmental, which contrasts with differences seen between Americans and Kiwis in previous studies. Study abroad students were more attached to the field area and saw more positive and diverse meanings within it, even at the beginning of the field trip and with no prior visits to the field area. There was no change in either group's motivation or pro-environmentalism after the field trip. Both groups had higher place attachment and place meaning scores after the field trip, but the study abroad students remained significantly higher than the local students. In geoscience field trips abroad, it may be tempting to rely on local institutional knowledge and implement unchanged curricula. These findings highlight the importance of understanding specific students and contexts. To leverage student differences, we recommend that this study abroad field trip be adapted to be more environmentally-focused and place-based, attending to the human meanings and management of this tectonically active landscape.

Presentation Media

Hooked on Active Tectonics Presentation (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 12.8MB Jul18 18)