Session 4.1: Student perceptions of learner autonomy in a school of biological sciences
Professor Graham Scott, University of Hull
The ability to learn autonomously is a key graduate attribute and could therefore be considered to be an anticipated outcome of our degree programs. In the School of Biological, Biomedical and Environmental Sciences at the University of Hull we have explored our student’s perceptions of their ability and willingness to learn autonomously through the application of a simple autonomous learning scale (Macaskill & Taylor, 2010; Scott et al., 2015). By surveying our students at different points in their learning journey we are able to explore patterns of self perception of learner autonomy amongst our student body and to measure shifts in self perception of autonomy as students complete that journey. In this presentation we reflect upon the initial results of this ongoing project and discuss the implications that it has for curriculum design.
Session 4.2: Using engaging pedagogy to develop entrepreneurial creativity of STEM students: reflections from the Ideate project
Mrs Lesley Drumm, Staffordshire University
The session aims to enthuse STEM lecturers to embed engaging entrepreneurism teaching into modules in order to develop student entrepreneurial creativity and, therefore, employability. It will briefly present a reflection of an Entrepreneurism module taught as part of the on-going, European funded, Ideate project. The goal is to offer suggestions regarding module content and to assure lecturers, who do not consider themselves to be entrepreneurs, that they can develop students’ entrepreneurial skills and behaviour in a fun and engaging way using the teaching methods presented.
Session 4.3: Teaching programming effectively to large classes
Prof James Davenport, Dr Alan Hayes, University of Bath and Dr Tom Crick, Cardiff Metropolitan University
Programming as such is fundamentally a craft: it cannot be taught in lectures, but rather learned by doing. How does one do that effectively to large classes (the speaker is currently teaching a class on 330), while retaining the practical orientation of the teaching, the need for feedback and assessment, and the need to keep student motivated, especially when the programming is seen as a side-subject to their main degree , despite its employability implications. The speaker’s answer is an apprenticeship model, with various tutors playing the role of the medieval journeymen doing the detailed interventions, and with the master needing to take care of the journeymen as well as the apprentices. One significant difference with the craft model is the use of automated assessment, which answers some of the other challenges.
Session 4.4: What skills, attributes and personal development do STEM students enhance through volunteering?
Dr Helen Hooper, Northumbria University
Students who volunteer were invited to complete an online survey aimed at exploring what they learn through volunteering. Students from five HEIS were asked to articulate their motivations for volunteering, identify any barriers to volunteering they had encountered, summarise the most positive and challenging aspects of volunteering and to self-assess the impact that volunteering had had on five areas of their life [i]employability, [ii]academic, [iii]personal/professional development, [iv]transferable skills and [v]social/cultural life. Over 300 returns were received, with half of the participants enrolled on STEM programmes. Strongly strategic reasons were reported by STEM students as both motivations to volunteer, and as barriers, with a clear focus and perceived strong impact on enhanced employability. Implications for student support will be discussed, in particular development of opportunity and provision of resource to support volunteering as an effective way to enhance student employability, as well as achieve positive community engagement.
Session 4.5: Credit bearing undergraduate placements – should we or shouldn’t we? Staff and student perspectives
Dr Bethan Louise Wood and Ms Rebecca Mackie, University of Glasgow
The challenge of providing work related learning within the confines of an undergraduate curriculum has always generated considerable discussion. The University of Glasgow’s BSc Environmental Science and Sustainability is unusual in that it offers students the opportunity to undertake a 60 credit placement in lieu of a dissertation at level 3. Based upon eight years of organising and assessing these environmental placements, this presentation aims to present the benefits and challenges of having this option on an undergraduate programme - both from the staff and student perspective. Our experience of engaging employers and students in these short-term placements has proved not only to enhance dialogue between the two organisations, but has also been found to benefit the student (enhanced employability; linking graduate attributes with work), the employer (recognition of the transferable skills/knowledge of our students; future employees), and the university (specialist guest speakers; offers of voluntary/paid work for students).
Session 4.6: Curriculum innovation for employability: Reflection on MSci integrated master with industrial experience
Dr Corina Sas, Dr Andreas Mauthe, Sarah Mills, Colin McLaughlin, Dr Joe Finney and Dr Steve Fish, Lancaster University
While most of young people’s use of web 2.0 has been within the personal and academic life, its value for employability has recently started to be explored. A specific technology for employability is video CV targeted by several UK-led initiatives. However, these have focused exclusively on the technology side of recording, archiving and browsing video CVs. This paper explores the value of social media in general and of video CV in particular for graduate employability. We run 15 interviews with prospective employers and career coaches to investigate the value of such technologies for employability. Findings point to the importance of guiding future graduates’ efforts for self-presentation not just through video CV, but in social media at large. We conclude by discussing the implications of these findings for employability training.
Session 4.7: Embedding employability in the curriculum design to enhancement student experience via integrated assessment for cross-modular learning using live projects
Dr Samia Kamal, Oxford Brookes University
This paper describes how student experience can be enriched by embedding employability within the curriculum. It provides an insight of the curriculum design addressing the key issues associated with modular programmes by implement cross-modular integrated coursework assessing program level learning outcomes based on real (live) client projects (CrMIALP). The paper identifies the rationale for developing such an approach and describes the innovative design framework CrMIALP, which has been developed by adopting different contemporary teaching strategies into assessment design. It discusses the partnership between students, academics and clients.
The paper also provides an analysis of the feedback from all stakeholders, i.e. impact on a) students in preparing for their assessments and their learning, b) staff in terms of workload and feedback and c) clients on their experience. Data concerning student engagement, pass rates and cohort identity are also discussed. The paper concludes by highlighting the main benefits and key components for success.