Get QS on the agenda at your university
The QS in Science project produced many resources that can be used to facilitate curriculum development. If you are in Australia and believe that curricular planning to build the QS of your students is needed, consider applying for an extension grant. There are two deadlines in 2014 (early April and early September). The application form is short and you could be awarded up to $30,000. Extension grant information is available at the Office of Learning and Teaching website. The QS in Science project team is happy to support you in applying for an extension grant, contact Kelly Matthews at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Extending QS in Science workshop at the University of Queensland (UQ)
The Extending QS in Science team initiated an action-planning workshop among academics from the Bachelor of Biomedical Science and the Bachelor of Science focused on majors in Biochemistry, Biomedical Science and Geological Sciences. The workshop, according to the participants, not only served as an avenue to formulate plans but also a highly valued way of providing space and time for academics to get together and discuss common issues. Details of workshop outcomes will be posted to our website in early 2014.
Extending QS in Science workshop at 2013 DELTA Conference
Kelly Matthews and Cristina Varsavsky facilitated a workshop, Mathematics and statistics for life science students: Discussing the contribution of mathematics and statistics departments, with 35 mathematicians and education researchers at the 2013 DELTA Conference. The QS list of topics developed from the project was presented. Participants noted that ‘the list was useful to prompt discussion but could be improved if the expected levels for QS topics were articulated.’
Learning or doing? Science degrees need reform and students can help
Kelly Matthews, in her article for The Conversation, urges universities to consider the voice of students. Their perceptions of their learning gains should inform curriculum review and reform efforts. She argues that “students are uniquely placed to comment on the learning outcomes of a university degree program”, her view strengthened by the data from 400 graduating science students of two research-intensive universities in Australia. Read more here.
National Australian forum on the assumed knowledge in maths
There is increasing awareness that many students entering STEM degree programs do not possess the assumed knowledge in mathematics required to succeed. This is not only evident to academics teaching mathematics in first year, but across other disciplines such as science and engineering, where students struggle to apply mathematical skills in the context of their discipline. The First Year in Maths Project is inviting academics to participate in a national forum. The event will be held on 13-14 February 2014. Click here for more information and registration.
Extending QS in Science project update
The team is preparing the final report consisting of case studies from the three member-universities UQ, Monash and LaTrobe along with details of action-planning workshops and QS resources. The QS in Science website will be updated in early 2014 with all the latest resources from the Extending QS project. Until then, enjoy your holidays!