HEA STEM 2018 conference - a brief summary and review

Last week (31st Jan & 1st Feb 2018), Learning Science attended the Higher Education Academy’s STEM conference in Newcastle, which focussed on Creativity in Teaching, Learning and Student Engagement.

Here's a brief summary and review of how we found it.

Getting Creative: Learning Science at the HEA STEM conference

We’re going to be attending the HEA STEM conference in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, on Weds 31st January and Thurs 1st February 2018. The focus this year is Creativity in Teaching, Learning and Student Engagement.

We’ve got a stand and will be running an interactive workshop session on the Thursday afternoon, where we look forward to learning from and sharing ideas with you.

It's called: "Creative techniques to support your laboratory practicals: student engagement via interactive simulations, smart worksheets & more."

Enhance, not replace: Why real university teaching labs are irreplaceable

Teaching labs across the country are going through a time of transition, including the introduction of learning technology. In recent years we have seen the development and potential of virtual labs which could be used to replace teaching labs.

However, real university teaching labs are invaluable; irreplaceable, even. Here are our top four reasons why.

How the University of Glasgow’s School of Chemistry transformed its teaching labs

This semester, the University of Glasgow’s School of Chemistry have transformed two teaching lab units with learning technology.

In doing so, they have enhanced student confidence in the lab, made more efficient use of  lab time and improved the quality, consistency and timeliness of feedback whilst reducing the staff marking burden.

Getting the most out of your VLE: how to easily add functionality

How much do you and your students get out of your Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)? 

Imagine your VLE with the added opportunity to provide real-time feedback to individualised student assessments, test your students on their ability to draw chemical structures, add in complex mathematical notation or introduce engaging and interactive resources to spice up your own content.

With these added functionalities, the opportunities for student engagement and active learning are abundant.

5 strategies for more effective online assessments

Online assessments are an increasingly integral part of UK higher education. The potential is huge, and the possibilities growing. But digital infrastructure alone is not sufficient for effective online assessment. A foundation of solid pedagogical underpinnings is needed.

Here are five tips to enhance the effectiveness of your online assessment practices. 

Adoption of digital learning resources in teaching labs: A varied state of play

First year teaching labs have variable digital learning provisions among UK universities, according to a Learning Science survey of delegates at ViCE-PHEC 2017 in York, a leading conference in chemistry and physics higher education teaching.

Science & Education News Digest: July 2017

Welcome to Learning Science’s News Digest for July 2017.

This month we learned about potential new changes to TEF and the pay-packets of vice-chancellors, and the finalists of the Global Higher Education Excellence Awards.

We cover a study on the thinking processes of chemistry students, and a report on how students feel before uni vs during or after. There is news, although it’s not entirely new, that the proportion first-class degrees is greatly increasing at some institutions.

In science, it appears that frogs benefited greatly from the event that killed off the non-avian dinosaurs, and we discover a “charming” new particle.