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Structured Biomedical Sciences Honours Projects: A Protocol for Resilience and Preparedness for the World of Work During the Pandemic?

Garden, Claire

Authors



Abstract

For the past four years, undergraduate students studying on the Royal Society of Biology accredited Biomedical Sciences honours degree at Edinburgh Napier University have been undertaking structured, timetabled honours projects co-supervised by a group of academic staff across a number of ‘themes’. There is a long-standing emphasis on employability in the curriculum design of this degree (e.g. Skills Passport work of Campbell and MacCallum), and so the projects were designed to allow students to gain hands-on training in a number of techniques that would usually not be available to undergraduates due to cost or access to equipment and training (e.g. RT-PCR, cell culture). Student achievement on the module remained in line with previous years as measured by mean mark and range of marks, and feedback has been positive. In the past year, this structured approach has enabled these projects to go ahead in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic has created opportunities for Life Sciences graduates in the Central Belt of Scotland, however this cohort of final year students have had a disrupted learning experience over the past year and there is anecdotal evidence of decreased confidence amongst this group of students. 2/3 students chose to attend the ‘Immunology’ and ‘Physiology’ RT-PCR in-person lab sessions and online alternatives were provided to students who chose not to. The impact of the in-person laboratories on student experience and preparedness for the world of work was evaluated via a survey and informal verbal feedback. Data were analysed through the lens of transitions based on the ‘Five Senses for Student Success’ model proposed by Lizzio of ‘capability’, ‘connectedness’, ‘purpose’, ‘resourcefulness’ and ‘cultural competence’, and recommendations are made on how student success in the transition to the world of work might be improved through continued changes to the approach to honours projects and the wider curriculum in the biomedical sciences.

Presentation Conference Type Poster
Conference Name Horizons in STEM Higher Education
Start Date May 26, 2021
End Date May 26, 2021
Deposit Date Apr 27, 2021
Public URL http://researchrepository.napier.ac.uk/Output/2765091
Related Public URLs https://ukstemconference.com/