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Building Student Capital Through Student-Led Outreach, Engagement and Learning Development

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Presentation by Colin Graham at University of Edinburgh Open Knowledge Network event, 31st January 2017

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Building Student Capital Through Student-Led Outreach, Engagement and Learning Development

  1. 1. Building Student Capital Through Student-Led Outreach, Engagement and Learning Development Colin Graham, Andy Cross, Kay Douglas, Brian Cameron and Isla Myers-Smith (GeoScience Outreach team) School of GeoSciences Thanks to Martin Tasker, Stephanie Farley and Stuart Nicol
  2. 2. The Open Knowledge Network is a new initiative that aims to bring together colleagues from across the institution who are working in the area of open knowledge, open data, open access, open education, open science, open collections & archives, etc., in order to support cross- fertilisation and promote the institution’s activities in these areas.
  3. 3. ‘Communities’ • University aims to be ‘open’ to its communities - who and what are the University’s communities? • Communities are complex mix of diverse and overlapping groups and organisations • They may not have much in common. Different values, needs, aims and ambitions. • They may operate locally, regionally, nationally, or internationally. • Many stakeholders • Outreach and Engagement with schools and communities may take many forms.
  4. 4. Community Engagement Through Self-Directed Learning in Universities • Move towards increasing community engagement across university sector • Increasing prominence of public engagement within the research sector (e.g. ‘impact plans’) • Rethinking how our degree programmes are constructed; multiple learning styles • Self-directed points-earning learning beyond traditional knowledge-based courses • Learning for life with students empowered as drivers • Building student capital
  5. 5. Outreach and Engagement Courses – GeoSciences example • Optional courses (10 point (100 hour) and 20 point (200 hour) for final year Bachelors and Masters students (~20-30/yr) • Develop and deliver a project and product for an external (‘community’) client to an agreed specification • Use ‘para-professional’ knowledge and understanding to communicate to - and work with a wider audience • Learn from client the additional and complementary skills required (e.g. school teacher – pedagogy) • Independent project work led by student and supervised/mentored by course team and client • Skills seminars: Project and time management, communication, web, design, school curriculum, IDL. (Course run since 2006)
  6. 6. Benefits for Students (building student capital): Widening participation/access Opportunity to work in different and challenging environments, try new things Skills development “Soft” and people skills alongside project management Employability Direct link between course achievements and career prospects Wider Benefits • Staff and postgrad involvement • Major new provider of educational resources • Supports curriculum reform in Scotland (CfE) • Research impact communicated to wide audiences
  7. 7. Further Developments Roll-out of researched course model across university, foster internal university links / partnerships (IDL) • e.g. Art/Architecture, Archaeology, Medicine, Psychology, Health, Impacts the student experience • NSS & other rankings, TEF
  8. 8. ……for communities
  9. 9. Projects created and delivered by our students and team that illustrate the diversity of our communities and demonstrate the impact of their work for schools and ‘communities’ Some now available online as OERs through TESconnect. Examples
  10. 10. Informal Education Sector Scouts/Guides/Brownies ‘Go For It’ badges in science Encourages girls’ involvement in science through discovery
  11. 11. Resources developed from Geoscience Outreach – on Open.Ed 28 downloads http://open.ed.ac.uk/the- sea-level-story-geoscience/ 3 downloads http://open.ed.ac.uk/nothin g-goes-to-waste-in-nature- geoscience/
  12. 12. Resources developed from: Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Feedback Programme These resources were developed to enhance the learning and teaching of data handling in: Secondary school Geography, Biology and Environmental Science at Higher (Level 6), Advanced Higher (Level 7), AS-Level & A2-Level Undergraduate level courses in Geosciences. They are uploaded onto and downloaded from 31 downloads 65 downloads 40 downloads 63 downloads 5 review ‘Fantastic resource, perfect for introducing statistics to Advanced Higher Biology pupils. Wonderful!’ http://open.ed.ac.uk/geoscience-guides/
  13. 13. Resources developed from: Research by Dr Ruth Doherty (to be uploaded to Open.Ed) http://open.ed.ac.uk/
  14. 14. Challenges • FTE time/cost and workload don’t fit easily into conventional teaching workload models • Staffing • Perceptions • REF and TEF (positive impact on both!) • Teaching quality enhancement • Changing mind-sets • Improving co-ordination and collaboration across University • Higher order skills and values
  15. 15. OKNs and OERs have great potential enhance collaboration across the institution, promote the institution and conquer poor communication and co-ordination.
  16. 16. “The most relevant course I have taken in my studies” “It has been good to take my learning out into the community and give something back” “I can’t believe what this course has taught me. It has really increased my skills base.” “The outreach course has been one of the most fruitful and enjoyable courses I have done whilst at university. I now feel inspired and capable to pursue a career in the field of science communication”. What our students said (a small selection of feedback)

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