2019 Swap Shop Presentations, Parallel Sessions

2019 Swap Shop Presentations, Parallel Sessions

Teaching outside the Classroom - Using a Visit to Aberdeen Science Centre to Engage Students with the Realities of Science Communication

Professor Marcel Jaspars, Professor of Organic Chemistry, School of Natural and Computing Sciences.

This workshop will describe the original design of the Sixth Century ‘Science and Society’ course containing elements of ethics, science communication, intellectual property and entrepreneurship and focus on how the communication section benefits from a visit to the Aberdeen Science Centre. I will explain the preparation for the visit, the visit itself, the assessment and the feedback to the staff of the Aberdeen Science Centre. We can then discuss as a group the benefits of such teaching outside the classroom and how we can prepare the students to give constructive and useful feedback to the Aberdeen Science Centre staff.

Improving Student Retention in History

Dr Heidi Mehrkens, Lecturer (Scholarship), School of Divinity, History and Philosophy.

This workshop will explore ways to develop and implement new methods of improving student retention using the example of the level 1 course ‘Making History’. The strong focus on level 1 student experience can be seen as one way towards fostering a stronger sense of belonging to a History learning and teaching community, with the potential to improve student satisfaction on all levels of the degree.

Future Proofing Your Students’ Skills

Dr John Barrow, Senior Lecturer (Scholarship), Institute of Education for Medical and Dental Sciences, School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition and Ann Davidson, Enterprise Programme Director, Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE).  

This interactive workshop will focus on how you might integrate skills into your own undergraduate courses or degree programmes.  We have successfully embedded an accredited skills class into a first year undergraduate Medical Science course, so this workshop will be an opportunity to test-drive aspects of that class as well as discussing possible ways to include future proofing skills into any degree discipline.

Enhanced Student Support through Sociocultural Coaching for Transitioning Postgraduate Students

Dr Amudha Poobalan, Senior Lecturer in Public Health (Scholarship); Dr Lynsey Christie, Teaching Fellow; Dr Heather Morgan, Lecturer in Applied Health Sciences and Dr Leone Craig, Teaching Fellow, School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition.

Drawing on auto-ethnography, student feedback and observations of teaching staff, this workshop will challenge and explore support for postgraduate students:

  • They are mature and experienced… do they really need support?
  • Is academic support adequate or should we look at personal development support?
  • Introducing the SUCCESS PLUS programme (Socio-cUltural Coaching for Careers and Employability to Support Success: Pathways for Life Underpinning Success)
  • If matched coaching works, what are the challenges and solutions for rolling it out?

Higher Education Academy (HEA) Compendium

Dr Darren Comber, Senior Educational Development Adviser, Centre for Academic Development.

Short, snappy examples of innovative teaching approaches from:

  • What does Mindfulness have to do with Teaching Chemistry to Undergraduates? Dr Sylvia Wehmeier, Lecturer (Scholarship) in Chemistry, School of Natural and Computing Sciences.
  • Use of the University’s Flexible Learning Spaces to undertake problem based learning, Professor Andy Welch, Chair in The Institute of Education in Healthcare and Medical Sciences, Medical Education, School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition.
  • Inviting Local Refugees into the Classroom to Assist with Language Learning, Dr Khaled Bashir, Lecturer (Scholarship) in Arabic, School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture.

eLearning Compendium

Chair: Catherine Ogilvie, eLearning Adviser, Centre for Academic Development. 
  • Using Blogs for Assessment, Dr Rachel Shanks, Senior Lecturer, School of Education.

This workshop will show how the Blog tool in MyAberdeen can be used for assessment. By asking students to contribute blog posts it is possible to give initial tutor feedback on their work and also enables peer feedback between students. By breaking down larger pieces of assessed work into shorter blog posts it also reduces the likelihood of students overlooking a required part of an assignment.


  • Programme Design: Developing an Engaging Online Programme, Aloyise Mulligan, Lecturer (Scholarship) in Education, School of Education. 

This workshop will explore the process of programme development to support distance learning students who are working full time in the education sector. It will look at the process involved in designing and developing two online Masters’ level courses through a collaborative team approach involving staff across the university.


  • Blackboard Collaborate Stories, variety of presenters introduced by Maria Nikoletatou, eLearning Adviser, Centre for Academic Development. 

Maria Nikoletatou, eLearning Adviser, Centre for Academic Development, will introduce a range of “Blackboard Collaborate Stories” from across the university. Attendees will hear how other courses have used the online web conferencing tool, Blackboard Collaborate, within the delivery of their online courses.  Such stories range from supporting students in online tutorials to students facilitating their own tutorials, to students role playing scenarios. The session has been designed to inspire others in using Blackboard Collaborate creatively in their own teaching and learning. Attendees will also get an instructional eBook to help get started with Collaborate.