Monthly Archives: June 2009

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

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:

Labs, Camera Action!

A brief report on our reflective video project for year one chemistry laboratory sessions appeared in the summer 2009 edition of the Higher Education Academy Bioscience Centre Bulletin. The article is below via scribd while the full bulletin can be found here:

Technology to Promote Student Engagement with Laboratory Practical Classes

Going back to January 2009, there was the elearning conference hosted by the University of Ulster on the Belfast campus. The theme for the conference was “Supporting the iGeneration”.

Highlights for me included the use of SMS texting during one of the presentations as a method of asking questions of the speaker. Also of value was Simon Ball’s session on useful technology to promote inclusivity.

Paul Hagan and I had a poster presentation on our use of pre-practical assessment (using an online quiz script) to engage students with laboratory protocols before coming to lab and reflective videos to be made when they were conducting the experiment. There is just some scant detail in the poster below, but hopefully you get the idea!

Thoughts on the Third Science Learning and Teaching Conference SLTC09

The third science learning and teaching conference was held in Heriot Watt, Edinburgh from 16-17th June 2009. This was my first visit to this conference and I was suitably impressed. The organisation of the event by HEA staff from the Physical Science, Bioscience and Materials Science subject centres was good and the venue itself conducive to networking.

Highlights for me were the opportunities for networking and meeting colleagues I had previous only encountered in silico and to experience the amplification of the conferece through twitter #sltc09.

The speakers ranged from the experienced (some faces I recognised from the Variety in Chemistry Education meeting last year!) to those dipping their toes in the pedagogic conference scene for the first time. All made for a good meeting.

My own feeling that pedagogy is better represented in some institutions that others was again reinforced. A quick glance at the 130 or so delegates on the list reveals a number of universities where only one representative was in attendance in contrast with the likes of the Universities of Manchester, Leicester and Limerick with their contingents of interested pedagogues.

Due to personal interest I was drawn towards the “technology” related presentations though strangely in the session where I was presenting the technology failed – twice – once during my own talk! For those who missed it the slides are below.