School of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Science
University of Bristol
Marc Holderied, Marc.Holderied@bristol.ac.uk
Marc has led the re-development of a compulsory second year unit "Science and Success: Writing, Speaking and Communicating Science". Marc switched from a paper-based to an online system. All aspects including submissions, peer collaboration, feedback, and marking happen online, using Blackboard. Feedback data is downloaded from Blackboard into Excel, where it is manipulated and turned into feedback packages for students.
e-Learning was introduced in this unit in order to improve learner experience and independence, and reduce staff workload.
Recording of Marc's "Education Excellence" seminar presentation in which he talks in more detail about the Science and Success unit.
This unit delivers a range of transferable skills (particularly writing and oral presentation in a biological context) to 130 students. This is achieved by a range of authentic peer-group activities and work including role play, including:
All elements have a strong peer component (mostly online), so computer-supported collaborative learning, or e-learning 2.0, is at the core of this unit.
Blackboard is used in a number of ways:
Marc has been awarded the University e-learning prize 2010-11 for his work on this unit. Students themselves consider it a "great unit", and one said "I went into it thinking it was a waste of time but [it is] VERY helpful!" Another commented: "you will be guided through the process and come out a better, more confident person".
Creative use of Blackboard tools tremendously improved learner experience as well as detail and timeliness of individual feedback. The same unit or its elements but 'flavoured' with a different subject could easily be used in any Department.