The opportunity to work with the Digitally Ready Team

Via the Existing and Emerging Biotechnologies (EEB) Framework and our work toward Creating a Global Agenda in the Biosciences and the Internationalisation Change Programme (ICP) , we have recently been given the opportunity to work with the Digitally Ready team.

Via the small project funding calls advertised in November by the DR team, we have been successful in securing 3 small funds to further our work on creating a global agenda in the Biosciences and Flexible Learning. Katerina Lazidou (2nd year PhD student), will be working with us on the Internationalisation project, while Sam Holton (2nd year Undergraduate) will join us once again to continue his UROP placement work on development of the EEB blended learning framework.

So far, we have focused on several areas of the student experience, namely: Teaching Methods, Learning Styles, Assessment Methods, Academic Support (including tutorial teaching), Technical Support and Career Management. The work to date during this project, particularly student-led, has illustrated some key factors contributing to the enhancement of the student experience and especially toward improving the ‘Global Employability’ of our students.

We wish to further improve our understanding of students’ and employers’ perception of employability skills through further focus group discussions and case studies with our students who have undertaken placement, as well as, students registered to be in placement for the next academic year.

With Katerina now in the team, we are aiming to run focus groups with students and employers, and to develop relevant case studies with (students and) employers from the UK and global organisations. This will be organised for next term. In preparation, we have collated a list and contacted those students and employers who are willing to participate in the study. Katerina will have the opportunity to be trained to use video and audio recording packages and will provide assistance while doing video recording and editing.

We anticipate that the focus group discussions and interviews will shed light on the most critical skills that students require and develop during work experience that contribute to or directly lead to improving their chances for employability in a subject-specific related field. Likewise, we expect that through direct interaction with employers this will reveal the expectations of industry (in terms of work ethic and bioscience skills training) and aid us in further developing career-relevant teaching and resources for our students to enhance their global employability.

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