Poster Submissions for 2019 Annual Symposium

Supporting the 1st Year Undergraduate Experience with Mentoring

J. Barrow

Starting out at university can be a daunting prospect for students, which will only become more of an issue with more diverse and larger first year intakes expected. Students 4 Students (S4S) has been developed over an eight-year period to become a university-wide initiative aimed at helping first year undergraduates settle into university life and aid the transition to a higher education setting.  All first year undergraduates from across the institution get an S4S Mentor, and current developments include potential Enhanced S4S Mentoring; this will provide more specialised support to enhance the provision for incoming students.

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Effectiveness of a Final Year Honours Project Skills Workshop

J. Barrow, D. Scott

Recent years have seen large increases in the number of students entering our Honours year and with that a more diverse set of inherent skills.  For this reason, coupled with staff and student feedback on previous projects, we have created a series of four project preparation workshops that aimed to educate our students in some of the areas that supervisory staff have highlighted as key for a positive project experience.  Here we will summarise the findings on how effective these sessions have been, as well as highlighting the workshops that have shown the most impact.

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Exploring the “Paperless” Lab – New Ideas and Novel Pedagogy

J. Barrow, D. Scott

Using technology in the classroom is not a new idea, and with students being considered as ‘digital natives’, there is a real opportunity to deliver even higher quality educational experiences especially in the laboratory classroom.  We conducted a pilot study of a paperless laboratory class within a first-year undergraduate course.  From feedback, students liked using the new system and we will report findings here. Overall, our experience was a positive one and the use of such paperless technology offers a real opportunity to fundamentally change the way we teach laboratory classes in the future.

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Native Students in Foreign Language Learning

A. Bokedal

A novel teaching approach will be presented, in which native Swedish students, e.g. Erasmus students, were invited to discussion classes in Year 2 Beginners Swedish (level B1). Students used set questions, relating to topics, grammar and vocabulary covered in the course book, as a help to initiate and possibly sustain the otherwise free conversation. The classes were evaluated with surveys and interviews.  The initiative had positive outcomes for all respondents, such as increased confidence and oral skills as well as awareness of Swedish dialects and mannerism (course students), and increased appreciation of Sweden and of language learning (native students).

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Explaining Assignments through Lecturer-Videos: 'Humanizing' the VLE

M. Brady-Van den Bos

This study investigates how Psychology students and postgraduate tutors experience the implementation of ‘assignment videos’. These videos are created by the course-coordinator and posted on MyAberdeen. They explain assignments and are available throughout the semester. SCEF comments about the videos were overwhelmingly positive. The current study investigated why: results from questionnaires (80 students, 7 tutors) with open-ended and rating questions show that videos, especially with a talking face, can motivate students due to the lecturer’s “social presence”. Enhanced flexibility to get assignments explained (for students), standardization across classes (for tutors), and more teaching confidence (for tutors) also were key outcomes.

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Using Free Online Courses to Support Entry into Higher Education: “Open to All”

L. Christie

Online learning offers students to overcome some of the barriers to entry to higher education. Students lacking time to attend on-campus lectures can study in their own time, students can stay in their current location avoiding relocation upheaval, and many can continue in employment to improve financial stability.  Our short online programme “Understanding the Body” runs online with FutureLearn and offers learners the chance to work towards meeting entry requirements for our MSc Human Nutrition and Clinical Nutrition programmes. Here we explore the opportunities the FutureLearn platform offers learners and the university in delivering teaching through a public engagement environment.

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Scottish Innovative Student Awards (SISA)

A. Davidson

SISA is a new award programme run by the Scottish Institute for Enterprise ( SIE) that is designed to support and build on the skills students gain and practice during their curriculum based work and to provide them with insight and experience as to why these skills are relevant to the external world they will enter on graduation. Each level is designed to build a student’s capacity for innovative thinking to build mindset and confidence for self-led negotiated action.

Level 1 : Future Thinker – students are asked to think about their learning experiences to date and why they are relevant to the future as a whole and to their future in particular

Level 2 : Innovation Catalyst– building on the level 1 stage, students attend a national level 2 day where they have the chance to experience working in cross disciplinary and institutional teams to solve real social and economic challenges set by SISA’s partners, the Digital Health and Care Institute, Censis and Data Lab

Level 3 – Innovation Champion – students demonstrate that their experiences on level 1 and 2 have led to an enhanced capacity for self-led action around innovation and enterprise.

SIE’s poster will summarise the outcomes of this year’s awards and future plans around the awards for strengthening links with Universities  and enhancing the student experience around participation.

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Zappar – Augmented Reality Software

G. Hough

TBC

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Evidence for Enhancement: Do Student/Employer Networking Events Work?

G. Hough, K. Smith, J. Perkins

In November 2018 the School of Divinity, History & Philosophy organised an undergraduate/employer networking event. The event was hosted in partnership with employers from the MA Programme Advisory Board (PAB).

The event was devised to:

  • Broaden students’ career thinking and knowledge regarding the diverse range of opportunities available to non-vocational degree students.
  • Improve students’ networking skills
  • Enable students to develop further their professional network.

This poster will present an overview of the event and use Kirkpatrick's Four-Level Evaluation Model to help measure the effectiveness of the initiative.

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‘Sink or Swim?’ Preparing Medical Students for International Elective Projects

S. Stone, E. Lyall, S. Tweed, J. Moore, A. Poobalan

International Medical Electives (IMEs) are popular; but needs reciprocity, collaboration and student preparation, for effective learning across cultures. Aim of this study was to explore the experience of IMEs from student and host supervisor perspectives using questionnaires, reflective diaries and focus group discussions. Nine students and five host supervisors participated. Conducting a project within IMEs posed specific challenges. Effective communication to allow collaboration was valued but not achieved. Uncertainties existed in the acquisition of ethical approval, and data collection within unfamiliar systems resulted in administrative burden for LMIC host institutions. Value of the projects undertaken depended upon mutual benefit and engagement.

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To See Ourselves As Others See Us: A Study of Self-Assessment among Year 1 Medical Students

M. Scott, A. Poobalan, S. Fielding, A. Jack

Accurate self-assessment is a key component of self-regulated learning, a vital skill for all health-care professionals. The aim of this study was to determine, using a mixed-methods approach, the characteristics of first-year medical students who inaccurately self-assess.

Data from 503 year 1 SSC students (2015-2018) were categorised into ‘over’, ‘under’ or ‘accurate’ estimators’ by comparing self- and peer-awarded marks. While 87.9% were ‘accurate-estimators’, 4.8% and 7.4% were ‘over’ and ‘under’ estimators respectively. Over-estimation is associated with a lower class rank, presence of Low-Level Concerns, elevated perception of their contribution and poor insight into their strengths and weaknesses.

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“Mini OSPE” Practicals to Prepare Students for Examinations Involving Human Subjects

M. Scholz

OSPEs (objective structured practical examinations) are common in medical education, and have been adopted into honours sport science teaching, developing skills linked to time management and interaction with patients/volunteers.

Interaction with volunteers is important in Sport Science, because interaction with volunteers is an integral part of research. A simplified OSPE measuring volunteers’ blood pressures was introduced to third year teaching to provide earlier exposure to such experiences. Proper technique, interaction with “volunteers” and professionalism are the main assessment criteria.

Student feedback illustrates that, despite initial anxieties, the exercise is perceived as useful and helps build confidence interacting with people.

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Using Infographics to Revitalise a Physiology Communication Skills Assessment

D. Scott, A. Jenkinson

Poster assignments challenge students to deliver clear and detailed scientific information. Infographics can communicate complex concepts in simple graphical form to broad audiences.
Students presented a physiology project using an infographic online and in print form. Students chose the topic, used free software and were invited to complete an anonymous questionnaire on the experience.
Feedback suggests that simplifying the science was challenging but this format encouraged greater thought and critical analysis of their own work, communicating complex concepts more effectively than traditional posters. This approach has revitalised a physiology project assignment, enthused students and broadened communication and transferable skills.

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Use of Student-Created Video Resources to Enhance Science Practical Skills Training

D. Scott, C. Malcolm, J. Kirkman, A. Jenkinson

Increasing academic diversity and student numbers has challenged traditional delivery of core practical skills. Utilising Objective Structured Practical Examinations (OSPE's), time spent delivering science practical skills has been reduced substantially. However, student-developed short video resources utilised before and after the practical class has enabled more effective use of practical class time. VLE data demonstrated high video utilisation and attainment was not adversely impacted. Feedback from anatomy, physiology and sport science students has been very positive. These results suggest that larger, diverse practical classes can be trained in a consistent and effective manner by using student-created video resources.

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Women in Physiology: Development of Educational Infographics to Improve Awareness of the Contributions of Historical Female Physiologists

R. Mackay, D. Scott

The aim of this study was to investigate the perceptions of students and academic staff regarding key historical female researchers in physiology using infographic posters. This study has shown that universities may have to do more to raise the profile of the contributions of female medical scientists, but that exhibits such as this may be an effective method of engaging a broad audience with such topics, as well as improving how we teach the history of physiology. Future exhibits will take place in more accessible areas of university campus to increase the visibility of women in science.

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Use of Gamification to Improve Student Revision of Physiological and Pharmacological Concepts—a Pilot Study

C. Malcolm, J. Kirkman, D. Scott

Gamification is a teaching methodology where learners may be motivated to engage with their learning material more effectively by applying gaming mechanics to traditional education material or lessons.

As well as helping students learn more effectively, we hoped a gamification approach would improve student interactions in highly diverse student groups, some of whom join an already established class at a late stage i.e. exchange programme students, articulating students from FE colleges.

This pilot study has encouraged us to increase use of apps such as Quizlet and explore further ways in which gamification could be applied to other teaching activities.

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Multimedia Approaches to Public Engagement with Pharmacology

S. Tucker

Public engagement with scientific disciplines is increasingly critical especially with areas such as pharmacology and drug discovery, where lay understanding is critical in developing trust in medications. With this in mind, a 3D printing project was designed for 4th year pharmacology students, where groups of students were tasked with investigating an existing drug target and several drugs that clinically interact with the target. As part of the assessment, students were required to produce a patient information leaflet explaining the target and its therapeutic relevance, but also 3D printing these structures and using these to produce short public information videos demonstrating molecular interactions and activities. The assimilation of presenting this information through different media channels combined with the need to be careful in how the information was presented created a unique and challenging learning experience. Together this promoted a deeper level of understanding, enhanced communication skills, encouraged innovative approaches and produced a variety of outreach ready resources. This poster will explain the rationale, design and implementation of this project.

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Benchmarks for Quality Assurance and Course Enhancement

S. Tucker

Benchmarks are an important tool in higher education to safeguard quality and to guarantee the delivered materials are appropriate for a given discipline. Here, the core curriculum for undergraduate pharmacology programmes, published by the British Pharmacology Society was used as a comparator to our pharmacology syllabus. The core curriculum was aligned with the content of our Aberdeen programme and several areas of strength were identified. In addition, a few areas where coverage was less strong were also identified, and these were used to inform course and programme redesign and redevelopment. This poster will describe the QA process used here, and the way it was utilised to make wholesale changes for the benefit of the pharmacology programme showcasing a broadly applicable model for course quality assurance, but also using this as a tool for course renovation and invigoration.

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Does a brief Mindfulness Practice in Chemistry and in Principles of Teaching & Learning Lectures Affect the Experience of Flow?

S. Wehmeier

Higher education has seen a growing interest in Mindfulness, though as a relatively new concept in universities it is mostly found in medical schools.  The project explores if integrating a brief (1 minute) mindfulness practice and intention setting at the beginning of a lecture enhances the student learning experience. It aims to generate evidence by measuring the student’s experience of flow using the Rheinberg Flow Short Scale questionnaire, by gathering student’s feedback at the end, and by reflecting on the research field notes.

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