Enhancing the first-year learning experience: a case study from Biomedical Sciences

  • 1,217 views
Uploaded on

Paul Hagan and I presented some of the work we have been doing within the School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Ulster to enhance the first-year experience of introductory chemistry. …

Paul Hagan and I presented some of the work we have been doing within the School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Ulster to enhance the first-year experience of introductory chemistry. This presentation gives an overview of some of the innovations that have been introduced.

These presentations were given as part of the Innovation In Teaching and Learning Support Programme of Lunchtime Seminars for 2008/9 organised by the newly formed Centre for Higher Education Practice at the University of Ulster.

The presentations were given twice in October 2008 at the Coleraine and Magee campuses.

Please see the link below for further details:
http://www.ulster.ac.uk/centrehep/seminar_programme.html

More in: Education , Technology
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Be the first to comment
    Be the first to like this
No Downloads

Views

Total Views
1,217
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0

Actions

Shares
Downloads
3
Comments
0
Likes
0

Embeds 0

No embeds

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
    No notes for slide

Transcript

  • 1. Enhancing the first-year learning experience: a case study from Biomedical Sciences Stephen McClean and Paul Hagan School of Biomedical Sciences University of Ulster [email_address] [email_address]
  • 2.
    • Chemistry ‘service teaching’ module
    • Provides foundational chemistry for further study in biochemistry, clinical biochemistry, molecular biology etc.
    • Taken by students in Biomedical Sciences, Pharmacology, Human Nutrition, Food and Nutrition, Dietetics & Biology
    • 176 students in 2005/06; 123 in 2006/07; 140 in 2007/08; 138 in 2008/09
    BMS105 Introductory Chemistry
  • 3.
    • Historically - high failure rate
    • Student dissatisfaction with the module as evidenced through module evaluation
    • Negative Impact on Student Retention
    The Problem…
  • 4. “ For the little things that make the big things happen.”
  • 5.
    • Enhancement of our support measures – know your audience!
    • Implementing a compulsory tutorial support programme based on cohort group
    • Supplementary tutorials in chemistry and mathematics
    • Introduction of online support material / assessment delivered by Perception software & QuizTest CGI script
    Providing Support
  • 6. Building an Online Support Resource
    • Easy to remember address (PlanetChemistry.com)
    • Hosted on a University of Ulster web server
    • Single login for all students
    • Used to host module notes, links to other support material
    • Used as a method for enhancing communication
    • May be accessed via WebCT Vista
  • 7.  
  • 8.  
  • 9.  
  • 10.  
  • 11.  
  • 12.  
  • 13.  
  • 14. Using Email Effectively
    • Personalised “How’s it going?” emails sent out to students early in semester
    • “ Follow Up” email distribution list kept for those with no prior chemistry experience or those failing class tests
    Stephen McClean (2008) Excel Yourself with Personalised Emails, Bioscience Education E-journal , in press
  • 15.  
  • 16. SMS Text Messaging
    • Opt-in system for students on module
    • Used to communicate reminders about class tests etc.
    • Useful if a rapid response is required
    • Can be expensive!
  • 17. Online Self-Assessment
    • Self-assessment questions delivered using Perception Software
    • Banks of questions available to complement the lecture material
  • 18. Online Assessment
    • 4 x online class tests at 2-weekly intervals
    • 1 x open-book assessment (organic chemistry)
    • Delivered using the Tesol QuizTest CGI Script ( www.tesol.net/scripts/QuizTest )
    • Pitt, SJ and Gunn, A (2004) The value of computer based formative assessment in undergraduate biological science teaching Bioscience Education e-Journal 3
  • 19.  
  • 20.  
  • 21. Maintaining Cohort Identity
    • Regular, Compulsory Tutorials
    • Practicals
  • 22. Exam Preparation
    • Class Test in the Diamond during week 11 under exam conditionss
    • ‘ Mock’ paper set over the Christmas vacation period
    • Pre-exam tutorials in January
  • 23. Student Engagement in the Lab I hope she has read the protocol before lab because I haven’t! I hope he has read the protocol before lab because I haven’t!
  • 24. Student Engagement in the Lab
      • Students often come to lab poorly prepared for experiments – solution – pre-practical assessment
      • They sometimes do not see the relevance of practical sessions
      • Social interaction was recently highlighted by students as one of the better features of university laboratory classes
      • Collis et al 2007 Report: The Student View of 1 st Year Laboratory Work in Biosciences. Centre for Bioscience. Collis et al 2008 Bioscience Education electronic Journal, volume 11.
  • 25.  
  • 26. YouTestTube.com
      • Reflective video sharing website for first-year chemistry practicals
      • Students cover the following things in their videos:
  • 27. YouTestTube.com
      • What is this practical all about?
      • What skills have I developed?
      • How does this practical tie-in with the lectures?
      • How will this be important for other parts of my course? 
      • What parts of the practical were difficult?
  • 28. YouTestTube.com
      • What was most enjoyable about the practical?
      • What was least enjoyable about the practical?
      •   If someone else was about to conduct this experiment again; what advice (about the practical) would I give them?
  • 29. Evaluation
      • Students’ performance in examinations has also improved. Exam failure rates as follows
      • 2003/04 36%
      • 2004/05 27%
      • 2005/06 9%
      • 2006/07 4%
      • 2007/08 9%
    } All support measures in place
  • 30. Acknowledgements
      • Olivier Riche (Computing Officer)