Practical learning

We need to help students overcome their textbook troubles

Submitted by Eliza.Compton on Mon, 23/08/2021 - 09:00
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The pandemic has fundamentally altered higher education’s view of what students need. Before Covid-19, a handful of institutions had begun to champion emergency aid, providing small grants that made a major difference to whether a student stayed enrolled.

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As institutions re-examine the costs of attending university, the affordability of course materials is again moving to the centre of the conversation, writes Raj Kaji
Teaser
As institutions re-examine the costs of attending university, the affordability of course materials is again moving to the centre of the conversation, writes Raj Kaji

New modes of practicum – synergising online and offline teaching modes

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Tue, 17/08/2021 - 09:00
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Teaching the practical application of a subject – or practicums – sits at the core of many courses. Among our trainee childhood educators, it is possibly the most highly anticipated learning experience.

Practicums offer students hands-on experience in their respective disciplines, allowing them to put their knowledge to use in real-life scenarios. However, practicums can be daunting, stressful and full of doubts.

Standfirst
Rohnii Tse provides insight on how teaching the practical application of a subject can be adapted to work via online or remote channels
Teaser
Rohnii Tse provides insight on how teaching the practical application of a subject can be adapted to work via online or remote channels

Connecting research and humanities through creative collaborations

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Tue, 03/08/2021 - 09:00
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It can be challenging to find opportunities for students across campus to gain “real world” experience in their disciplines. One strategy to create these opportunities is to build cross-department collaborations that capitalise on the unique interests and talents of different student disciplines.

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Allison Schwartz explains how creative collaborations between students in different disciplines can offer opportunities to gain “real world” experience and apply their knowledge in new contexts
Teaser
Allison Schwartz explains how creative collaborations between students in different disciplines can offer opportunities to gain “real world” experience and apply their knowledge in new contexts

Creative ways to boost student learning through community-based projects

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Fri, 30/07/2021 - 12:02
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Community-based projects can provide great opportunities for students to enhance their learning, get creative and gain practical experience, while also benefitting local communities.

With a strong focus on practice-led and problem-based education, we have formed connections with communities and organisations across the Bristol region to provide relevant, authentic and engaging opportunities for students to learn about and tackle real-world issues and problems. Here are some key lessons in how to do this successfully.

Standfirst
Jamie Darwen explains how community projects offer creative and practical ways to enhance student learning and shares advice on building successful partnerships outside the university
Teaser
Jamie Darwen explains how community projects offer creative and practical ways to enhance student learning and shares advice on building successful partnerships outside the university

Striving for imperfection: Introducing randomness into virtual experiments

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Fri, 23/07/2021 - 09:00
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Physics requires students to analyse errors in data, discuss the causes of these errors and recommend ways experiments can be improved in the future. This requires lab work.

When we moved online during the pandemic using interactive simulations of lab work, we found their results were too perfect. The experiments can run exactly according to the underlying principles every time, removing the chance to investigate issues or propose improvements. We had to find a way to make the online study more realistic.

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Rachel Martins explains how she introduced random error into her lab simulations when teaching online physics, to better replicate real-world experiments for her students
Teaser
Rachel Martins explains how she introduced random error into her lab simulations when teaching online physics, to better replicate real-world experiments for her students

Playing the field: how virtual field trips can benefit student learning now and in future

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Wed, 14/07/2021 - 09:00
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The changes to teaching delivery in the past 18 months have been particularly challenging for subjects that require field-based learning, such as geography, life sciences and environmental sciences.

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Theresa Mercer and colleagues explain how to develop virtual field trips that support in-person learning, boost accessibility and help future-proof teaching against unforeseen challenge
Teaser
Theresa Mercer and colleagues explain how to develop virtual field trips that support in-person learning, boost accessibility and help future-proof teaching against unforeseen challenges

Three steps to successful rapid-response civic engagement with students

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Wed, 30/06/2021 - 14:30
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A flurry of rapid-response community engagement projects have been launched in the past 18 months, each seeking to address specific challenges bought to the fore by the pandemic. Across higher education there is growing momentum surrounding civic engagement, accelerated by Covid-19.

However, such rapid-response initiatives require careful navigation and negotiation by those in charge, to get them off the ground and make them a success.

Standfirst
Kathleen Riach outlines key lessons from successfully leading a rapid-response civic engagement project with students to help over 50s gain better digital access
Teaser
Kathleen Riach outlines key lessons from successfully leading a rapid-response civic engagement project with students to help over 50s gain better digital access

Short online courses can grease the wheels of student employability

Submitted by dene.mullen on Mon, 17/05/2021 - 01:01
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It’s hardly a secret that the UK’s Further and Higher Education Act 1992 helped to diversify access to degree-level education. It was an excellent way to bridge the social mobility gap and ensure that students from different backgrounds could go to university.

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The degree has transitioned from differentiating factor to basic benchmark. Online microcredentials can help graduates stand out from their rivals, says Madina Tash
Teaser
The degree has transitioned from differentiating factor to basic benchmark. Online microcredentials can help graduates stand out from their rivals, says Madina Tash

It’s time for the sector to embrace online work placements

Submitted by dene.mullen on Fri, 02/04/2021 - 01:01
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Work placements have long been crucial for students in terms of their employability. They influence students’ choices, and employers highly value such workplace experience. Furthermore, assessed placements are a statutory requirement for professional bodies, and universities prioritise and invest in them. They are well established as a necessary step in professional development, and many of us learned ourselves as professionals this way.

Standfirst
Placement capacity has been shaken to its core by Covid, creating a huge backlog. We must look for sustainable alternative solutions, says Gilly Salmon
Teaser
Placement capacity has been shaken to its core by Covid, creating a huge backlog. We must look for sustainable alternative solutions, says Gilly Salmon

Creating internship opportunities for students online

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Tue, 30/03/2021 - 10:05
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Lecturer Dorothy Kwok offers three strategies institutions can take in setting up digital work placements and industry projects to ensure students get real-world experience when learning online
Teaser
Lecturer Dorothy Kwok offers three strategies institutions can take in setting up digital work placements and industry projects to ensure students get real-world experience when learning online