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Developing employability skills in science using problem- based learning Derek Raine Director i-Science Centre Sarah Symons Project Manager Project LeAP.

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Presentation on theme: "Developing employability skills in science using problem- based learning Derek Raine Director i-Science Centre Sarah Symons Project Manager Project LeAP."— Presentation transcript:

1 Developing employability skills in science using problem- based learning Derek Raine Director i-Science Centre Sarah Symons Project Manager Project LeAP University of Leicester

2 Project LeAP: PBL in Physics What are Project LeAPs goals? to promote a real-world (student-centred) working environment for the undergraduate learning of physics and astronomy to emphasise the interrelatedness of different areas of physics to improve student learning outcomes from laboratory work through independent learning to provide a natural environment for the enhancement of professional skills including group work, IT, and problem-solving skills to disseminate and encourage the adoption of best practice in PBL in physics

3 Project LeAP: PBL in Physics What is PBL? Students work in group to solve real-world(-like) problems Open-ended – no single correct solution The problem requires acquisition of new knowledge, collaboration (including planning and peer tutoring), decision-making Students identify the need to learn content Problems are complex (requiring an iterative process of research, application, theorising, and reflecting)

4 Project LeAP: PBL in Physics Is PBL new to physics? Used in the medical sciences from the 1960s Spread to other disciplines – popular in engineering Beginning to appear in the physical sciences Is PBL difficult in physics? Physics presents its own challenges: Laboratory work Subject areas What is real world?

5 Project LeAP: PBL in Physics How does PBL enhance employability? PBL models the work environment PBL encourages deep learning of content PBL promotes formation of links between topics PBL introduces employability skills as a natural by-product of the learning process PBL creates lifelong self-directed learners

6 Project LeAP: PBL in Physics What do students think? practical learning… it really helped me to understand and apply the theory…I understand a lot more

7 Project LeAP: PBL in Physics What do students think? we felt we needed preparation for PBL but, actually, PBL was a preparation for now - A 3rd year student after two years with PBL

8 Project LeAP: PBL in Physics What do students think? it gives you something to put on your CV and, given that not many places are doing it, might give you the edge

9 Project LeAP: PBL in Physics What do students think? you have to learn it for yourself, not by preaching…you have to have the experience before you can see how good it is

10 LTSN Practice Guide to Problem-Based Learning in Physics and Astronomy Launch event Spring Derek Raine & Sarah Symons Project LeAP Problem Based Learning in Physics and Astronomy

11 What is i-Science? Interdisciplinary Science New degree (BSc & MSc) programme Faculty of Science, University of Leicester Eight departments Problem-based learning throughout

12 i-Science Structure Modular (2-5 weeks) Modules driven by complex problems Modules integrate research, theory, scientific method, skills, laboratory work, fieldwork, personal development, choice of specialization Support module (also PBL) for Maths, IT...

13 i-Science students could become Teachers Journalists Managers Media researchers Interdisciplinary science researchers Advocates for science Scientifically literate self-directed learners and thinkers

14 i-Science and Employability Employers of science graduates have clear requirements Assessment-driven learning does not translate well to the work-place Not all science undergraduates want to go on to research Embedding skills in context

15 Reactions to i-Science I welcome the opportunities the new course will provide….I am pleased to see that you are working with industry. Alan Johnson MP, DfES..a most important development in Higher Education Science Teaching. Professor Lord Winston …interesting and exciting innovation. Professor John Enderby, V-P Royal Society This is a development that many employers will welcome. Cedric Brown (ex CEO British Gas)


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