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Higher Education Workshops
The Education and Teaching Theme supports a number of informal workshops and symposia throughout the year. Events are hosted across the country to enable as many of our Members as possible to attend. The aim of these events is to promote the sharing of best practice in all aspects of teaching, learning and assessment: from laboratory and project-based work, to lectures and small group tutorials.
Feedback from the workshops to The Society’s Committees is a key factor in influencing Society policy and identifying future activities and initiatives.
Teaching Workshop – University of Dundee, 9 January 2014.
The next workshop will be hosted by Dr Graham Christie and Dr Gerhard May, both at the University of Dundee. The workshop is entitled ‘Undergraduate lab skills, practical and project provision in the Life Sciences’.
Teaching life science undergraduate students laboratory skills which adequately prepare them for employment in academic and non-academic roles has come under pressure due to increasing student numbers and simultaneously dwindling resources. Academics have to teach and assess larger classes with fewer members of staff. The key opportunity for students to practice skills they have learned during their early years, and to gain further experience in life science research, remains the honours project, but increasing numbers make it more and more difficult to provide all students with appropriate project opportunities.
In this workshop we would like to address and discuss the following questions: How can we give students confidence in their own laboratory skills and techniques, so that they can successfully make the transition to either research in an academic environment, or have the skills required by other employers? What are the skills ‘industry’ is actually looking for, and how can we teach them? How can we provide sufficient numbers of quality honours projects to our final year students? What other project options exist beside the traditional ‘wet’ lab-based research project? Importantly, how can we ensure that these alternative projects and their assessment are comparable to the traditional form?
This one-day workshop is open to anyone who is involved in undergraduate teaching, and will be an opportunity to share good practice in the key areas outlined above. The day will consist of separate sessions to include keynote speakers (to be announced), short presentations and time to discuss these themes and network with attendees.
To register for this workshop please send your contact details via email to Dr Graham Christie (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please also indicate if you would like to deliver a short oral presentation to showcase good practice in either delivery and assessment of undergraduate lab-based practical classes and/or final year projects.
This workshop has received additional sponsorship from the Biochemical Society.
A teaching workshop was hosted by Dr Sean Roe at Queen's University, Belfast. The topic of the workshop was ‘Building learning communities in the biomedical science classroom’, and it explored environments in which students are supported by staff and each other. The morning session included 3 key note talks from Dr Harriet Jones (University of East Anglia), Dr Aisling Keane (Queen’s University, Belfast) and Dr Dave Lewis (University of Leeds). In the afternoon there was 2 interactive sessions that consider how best to form support networks in practical environments.
Additional workshops and reports
- Physiology 2012, Edinburgh Univeristy
- Birmingham University, 2011, Feedforward and Feedback in Physiology Teaching
- Bristol Univeristy, 2011, Using Assessment to Engage Students & Enhance their Learning
- Physiology 2011, Oxford University
- The University of Leeds, 2011
- The University of Manchester, 2010
- King’s College London, 2007