I initiated the redesign of a large, core Year 1 undergraduate team-taught module (Geoskills, renaming it Researching Globalisation). At the time Geography at Queen’s ran a number of subject-driven modules alongside standalone ‘techniques modules’ across each stage of the programme. A consequence of this model was the separation of theory from research practice in the minds of students. Concerned about this, I led a team of colleagues in redesigning a techniques module as form of inquiry-based learning. This involved embedding the acquisition of subject-specific and transferrable skills within the process of researching and making sense of the geographies of contemporary consumption practices.
We were awarded a Team Teaching Award in 2004 for ‘a radical and essentially business-like redesign of a compulsory first year module which features an integrated and developmental approach to the total list of skills desired. The consequent concentration on worthwhile and transferrable skills, as well as on coverage of content, is effective and has outcomes for later learning’.