Latest articles

 

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Bridging the gap between teaching and research-focused academics
Spring 2018
29 April 2018

At the end of 2016 I was awarded a scoping grant from the Society for Research in Higher Education (SA1635) to investigate brokering activities between academics in Life Science departments in the UK. Brokering is described by Wenger (1998) as a process of exchange between individuals in communities of practice, and in my case, I proposed that teaching-focused and research-focused academics formed two related communities of practice within higher education that had the potential to trade pedagogic and disciplinary knowledge and expertise.

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Using grademark® to improve feedback and engage students in the marking process
Spring 2018
29 April 2018

Many of us will be familiar with the frustration that students frequently express towards the assessment and feedback process: e.g., marking criteria are too generic, feedback is too negative and not useful, etc. In response to this, we embarked on a project, backed by funding from our university’s Learning and Teaching Innovation Fund, to improve the clarity of marking criteria, link feedback more explicitly to criteria, and to help students understand the criteria and be able to apply it to their own work. We also wanted to produce a system that created equity between marks and feedback even if the work was marked by different assessors.

Dolphin Lung Study
Working with marine parks
Spring 2018
29 April 2018

Every animal biologist is faced with ethical, logistical and monetary burdens when performing research studies on animals, or when conducting field work. Studies on animals in human care allow voluntary participation, which enables the researcher to measure baseline physiological function in a stress-free animal. Studies on wild animals, on the other hand, are often limited as it is difficult to control potentially confounding variables. However for those studying ethology or physiology on large marine animals, marine parks and aquariums may be one option for collecting data.

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Communicating your science to the public
Spring 2018
29 April 2018

Science communication to non-scientific audiences has many benefits for researchers and the public alike. For scientists this is an opportunity to explain their work and why it is important which in turn could gain more public support for their research. And you may even find that you will get ideas you never thought about for your research. For the general public, we often find that the media might not always communicate the latest scientific findings accurately and that it tends to focus on the most popular stories. Scientists can play an important role here by helping to better inform the public. In this article we caught up with some of our members to find out about their science communication activities.