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Hypotheses

Data Collection

Data Presentation

Analysis and Conclusions

 

GCSE/IGCSE Geography Fieldwork

 
The aim of this unit is to prepare student for the CIE 'Alternative to Coursework' written examination or the computer based assessment.
 
River Study Fieldwork above Imlil, Morocco
Image: River Study Fieldwork above Imlil, Morocco, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from geographyalltheway_photos's photostream
 
Alternative to Coursework
IGCSE Geography candidates should be able to:


(i) Formulating aims and hypotheses
Candidates should be familiar with hypotheses as statements that form the basis of coursework assignments. The hypotheses may investigate a geographical concept e.g. ‘A CBD has the highest concentration of comparison shops’. Collecting relevant data, analysis and drawing conclusions using the data as evidence can test these.


(ii) Enquiry skills to collect data
Questions on this paper will test knowledge and application of the methodology used in the following range of data collection enquiry skills.
Questionnaires – Questionnaires can be oral or written to gain information from an individual or a group ofindividuals. Suitable themes in the syllabus where questionnaires may be appropriately studied include spheres of influence, use of services, shopping habits, a farm study, a factory or industrial study, leisure activities, tourism, or attitudes of the public to developments associated with resource development. Consideration should be given to factors influencing the successful design of questionnaires e.g. layout,
format of questions, the appropriate wording of questions and the number of questions. The practical considerations of conducting a questionnaire e.g. the sampling methods, pilot survey, and location of survey should also be discussed.
Observation – Examples of using observations as an enquiry skill to collect data include the recording of land use in an urban area or observations of river or coastal features. Maps, recording sheets, field sketches and annotated photographs may all be used to record student observations.
Counts – Pedestrian and traffic counts are two significant examples of this enquiry skill. Appropriate methods for recording the counts should be discussed including the layout of recording sheets, instructions and the necessary information required to identify the sheet following the count (i.e. time, date, location and name of recorder)
Measurement – When recording measurements, due consideration should be given to planning the layout of the recording sheet, the location of instruments and the sampling methods adopted to provide reliable data. Knowledge of the equipment used in measurement is required such as the quadrat, the clinometer and the pebbleometer or callipers. Candidates should be familiar with river measurements of channel width, depth, speed of flow and the size and shape of bedload; beach studies of beach profile, the size and shape of pebbles and the movement of beach material and weather study instruments closely linked to Theme 2.2.


(iii) Data presentation techniques
A knowledge of the illustrative techniques to present data across the topics for Paper 4 is required. This should include, various types of graphs, maps and diagrams for example line graphs, bar graphs, divided bar graphs, histograms, flow diagrams, wind rose graphs, isoline maps and scattergraphs.


(iv) Analysis
IGCSE Geography candidates should be able to describe the patterns in data presented in graphs and tables of results. Reference to relevant geographical knowledge and understanding is often required in the interpretation of the data. Practise of this skill will improve success in Paper 4 questions.


(v) Formation of Conclusions
Using the evidence from the data, IGCSE Geography candidates should be able to make judgements on the validity of the original
hypothesis or aims of the assignment. Reference is also required of the reliability of the collected data and a critical evaluation of the chosen data collection methods.

 

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