Enhancing the student experience

Speakers

Thomas Kador

Thomas Kador 2
Teaching Fellow in Public and Cultural Engagement; UCL, UK

Talk title: Museum pieces to enhance the learning of biology - object based learning

In this talk, I will focus on the use of UCL’s Natural History collection from the Grant Museum of Zoology in teaching of both Biology and wider interdisciplinary topics, employing an object-based learning framework.

Biography:

Thomas Kador is Senior Teaching Fellow in the Arts and Sciences on UCL’s BASc programme. He is responsible for running the university’s flagship object-based learning programmes, focusing primarily on objects, artworks and specimens from UCL’s substantial museum collections. These include the Grant Museum of Zoology, the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, an Art and Pathology Museum as well as several other curated collections.


Melissa Lacey

Melissa Lacey

Senior Lecturer; Sheffield Hallam University, UK

Talk title: How peer/friendship groups form, and their effect on engagement and attainment

Science undergraduates undertake a large proportion of their contact time in laboratory classes and peer groups generally form around how they are in a lab group will. This talk will investigate what peer groups within the laboratory class environment, how they form and what effect these peer groups have on attendance and attainment within the first year of study.

Biography:

Mel Lacey is a Senior Lecturer in Microbiology and researcher at Sheffield Hallam University. Her academic and research interests are molecular and medical microbiology and pedagogy in higher education. She is an active STEM Ambassador and has undertaken numerous microbiology-based outreach projects aimed at key stage 1-4 children and adults in a variety of settings.


Julie Peacock

Julie Peacock

Lecturer in Ecology; University of Leeds, UK

Talk title: Campus based fieldwork to provide opportunities for all

In a move towards more inclusive learning, we re-structured a module moving from individual lectures and longer field trips to an integration of theory and fieldwork in short sessions utilizing the campus environment. Student surveys revealed this structure benefited learning as they could link theory with practice and it prepared them for carrying out future fieldwork in novel locations.

Biography:

I am a teaching focused lecturer in Plant Ecology and Global Change at the University of Leeds and was awarded a University Student Education Fellowship in 2017. My discipline interests have focused on plant life histories and how plants have responded to global climate change, carrying out fieldwork both in the UK and the tropics. In my research now I am interested learning outside the classroom, both through making fieldwork accessible to all students and through work based learning.

I am a committee member of the British Ecological Society’s Teaching and Learning SIG, a Editorial Board Member for GEOverse, a journal of undergraduate research in Geography and was recently on the organising committee of the 8th Enhancing Fieldwork Learning showcase.

I worked for five years at the Higher Education Academy promoting learning and teaching in Higher Education nationally across the STEM subjects and had the privilege of being involved with many innovative teaching and learning projects.


Emma Peasland

Emma Peasland

PhD Student; University of Hull, UK

Talk title: Students' motivation influences their fieldwork participation choices

Fieldwork is considered a valuable part of environmental disciplines with benefits such as deeper learning and skills development. However, not all students choose to participate in fieldwork. A new fieldwork motivation scale was used to provide a novel perspective on students’ fieldwork choices.

Biography:

My research investigates the benefits of fieldwork with a focus on graduate employability. I am particularly interested in skills development through fieldwork and the choices that students make regarding their fieldwork participation.
 
Before starting this PhD, I worked in environmental education for a number of years including eight years of biology and geography fieldwork teaching at the Field Studies Council and the Peak District National Park Authority. I am an early careers representative on the British Ecological Society’s Education and Careers Committee.


Anne Plessis

Anne Plessis

Lecturer in Plant Biosciences; University of Plymouth, UK

Talk title: Changes in teacher-student interactions during residential field course

Field and campus are two widely different teaching environments. Looking at how teacher-student interactions change during field courses sheds light on the social and intellectual connections that can exist between students and lecturers.

Biography:

Anne Plessis is a lecturer in Plant Sciences at the University of Plymouth. During her PhD and post-doctoral research, she studied different aspects of plant responses to environmental conditions. Her scientific interest is now on modelling physiological and molecular responses to climatic signals under field conditions in cereals. She teaches plant physiology and biotechnology to undergraduate students and takes them every year on field courses in Devon and in the Azores. With the time she has left, she carries out pedagogic research looking into the interactions between students and lecturers during field courses.


Graham Scott

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Interim Dean (Faculty of Science and Engineering); University of Hull, UK

Talk title: The value of insitu-reflection in understanding student engagement with fieldwork based learning

 

Biography:

Professor Graham Scott is the Interim Dean for the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University of Hull. Prior to this he was the Head of the Department of Biological Sciences. He was made a National Teaching Fellowship in 2009 and received HEA Ed Wood Teaching Award (Bioscience lecturer of the year) in 2010. In 2013 he was made a Principle Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Graham is the Editor in Chief of the journal Bioscience Education and is a member of the editorial board of The Journal of Biological Education and he is a Fellow of the Society of Biologists.

Graham has written two successful textbooks, has a wealth of experience in the design and evaluation of biosciences degree programmes and as an external examiner (UG and PGR). He is a regular provider of national workshops and residential events to support colleagues new to teaching. His research is practice based and focuses upon student autonomy, employability and the value of learning outside of the classroom.


Alison Stokes

Alison Stokes

Lecturer in Earth and Environmental Science Education; University of Plymouth, UK

Talk title: Reducing barriers to fieldwork for students with disabilities

Fieldwork is a fundamental characteristic of geo- and bioscience disciplines. However, the requirement to undertake fieldwork can present significant barriers to students with disabilities engaging with their discipline, and subsequently progressing onto a career as a science professional. Drawing on my own field experiences, my talk will explore some of the barriers that can arise for students with a range of disabilities, and how these can be mitigated.

Biography:

Having completed my undergraduate and postgraduate studies in geological sciences, I am now a lecturer in Earth and environmental science at the University of Plymouth. My research interests are currently focused around field-based learning, in particular addressing barriers to inclusion to field-based academic disciplines. I sit on the Geological Society Higher Education Network committee and am the diversity and inclusion representative on the Committee of Heads of Environmental Sciences. I am currently involved in an OfS-funded project focused on embedding inclusive practices in STEM subjects and co-lead, together with my colleague Dr Jacqueline Houghton (University of Leeds), the organisation Diversity in Geoscience UK (DiG-UK). 


Katja Strohfeldt

Katja Strohfeldt

Teaching and Learning Dean; University of Reading, UK

Talk title: How to teach large class sizes – a very practical guide

Within this talk we will explore the challenges and perceptions surrounding large class teaching at Higher Education. Following on, we will look at very practical tips, which make your teaching more inclusive even in large classes.

Biography:

Katja Strohfeldt is a Professor in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Education, and currently works as Teaching and Learning Dean at the University of Reading (UK). She works closely with the Schools of Humanities and Social Sciences; Literature and Languages and Arts and Communication Design. Furthermore, Katja has also been awarded a University Teaching Fellowship in 2011 for her excellence in T&L.

Katja is passionate about Problem-based Learning as a student-centered teaching approach, which she has published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at several conferences. In addition, she is actively seeking to improve large class teaching at HE level, where she has recently published a toolkit.


Ian Turner

Ian Turner

Associate Professor in Learning and Teaching; University of Derby, UK

Talk title: Interactive, creative, pantomime teaching to improve the student experience

Large group and lecture theatre based teaching are an increasingly common part of HE delivery. It is sometimes thought that in such environments it is difficult to create a challenging and immersive learning experience. This talk will highlight one  approach using a 'pantomime' delivery style to create an excellent student experience.

Biography:

Dr. Ian Turner is an Associate Professor in Learning and Teaching at the University of Derby.  He is known for creative and colourful approach to teaching and assessment.  Ian was honoured to be named as a National Teaching Fellow in 2014 and the Royal Society of Biology's HE lecture of the year in 2017.  Ian's research interests are focused around the use of gamification and game based learning in teaching and assessment.


 

David Smith

David Smith

Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry / Course Leader MSc Molecular and Cellular Biology and National Teaching Fellow; Sheffield Hallam University, UK

Biography:

David is a National Teaching Fellow, teaching Molecular Bioscience and Biochemistry. He is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and has received the Sheffield Hallam Vice Chancellors Award for Inspirational Teaching. David has been research active in the field of biosciences for over 20 years focusing on the molecular basis of neurodegeneration in diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's using his research to enhance his teaching.