Aims and objectives
- Research how technology can best be used to support learning in laboratory-based bioscience.
- Develop a new course management system in collaboration with teachers and learners.
- Enable learners to engage more effectively with the subject matter in the laboratory.
- Build the systems required for electronic submission, marking and feedback.
The project will involve about 250 first-year Biochemistry undergraduates in the autumn and spring terms of 2009/10. As part of the preparations we plan to evaluate current practice through interviews, focus groups and personal diaries.
Learning technologists and experts in the subject areas will work together on designing the new systems and tools. The new practices will be reviewed and embedded into the curriculum. Developments will be communicated throughout the life of the project via traditional and new media.
Anticipated outputs and outcomes
- A customised course management system allowing for learner interaction before, during and after laboratory-based workshop sessions.
- A reusable model for providing personalised, portable, flexible tools to assist with the delivery of laboratory courses, adaptable to other subject areas that involve laboratory or field work.
- Enhancements to Moodle to support this model.
- Reports and case studies detailing our findings.
- Evidence as to whether this model results in more engaged students with a better understanding of practical science, and with skills that will help them develop as proactive lifelong learners.
- Evidence of other tangible benefits, eg a reduced administrative burden with fewer marking and recording errors.