The Analyst Laboratory Challenge
Every year we run ‘The Analyst Laboratory Challenge’ test our students in a real-life scenario that tests a multitude of skill sets. Thistask is sponsered by Phenomenex, a global leader in research and the manufacture of advanced technologies for the separation sciences and supported by Custom Pharmaceutical Ltd. This event is filmed from the start of their tasks in the laboratory through to marketing-style presentations and finally the boardroom where they are judged and winners are announced. The main purpose is to teach and learn, and also to expose students to what they will be doing when they are employed. Students are putting theory into practical applications and then thinking of ways to market their results and finally making presentations – all in a competitive environment.
Reverse Learning: A new model of flipped teaching
I have been utilising electronic tools to teach chemistry and pharmaceutical science content. I decided to make changes to the way I lecture due to a number of reasons, such as (i) decreasing student attendance, (iii) reduced engagement with content, (iii) students are now actively recording lectures, (iv) limitation in the time available for delivery of the content and (v) most important of all, poorly structured guided study.
For this reason I decided to provide students with an ‘online e-learning package’ which consisted of a lecture which covered key concepts, an online blog and messenger to allow students to post questions and comments on areas of difficulty. Ultimately, I was providing students with all the content that was covered during face-to-face lectures to work on during private study. Students would have to spend 50 % of their time using online material created using Camtasia, which was placed on StudentCentral. Students were told to work on this material prior to the face-to-face session. This was carried out, so that I could focus on applying the knowledge learnt electronically and deal with areas of difficulty students faced within face-to-face ‘taught lecture workshops’. By applying the theory in the face-to-face session, the degree of student engagement was greater. You could say that I was lecturing the students on material they would have had to work on during private study and they were learning the lecture material in their own time. This is the concept of reverse learning, where the traditional model of lecturing is flipped on its head. After extensive questionnaire based feedback from 7 case studies, student attendance, engagement, satisfaction and grades all markedly improved.
The major benefits to students are that it allows them to focus on the material in their own time, and give them an emphasis to study that given material, or the taught lecture workshop will provide limited relevance. Students also get more opportunities to work with fellow students and better engagement with the academic.
PABS Outreach Program
The Pharmacy and Biomolecular Outreach programme is focused on the promotion of cutting edge science to local schools in Sussex. Our undergraduate students run demonstrative workshops that give pupils insights into how the sciences can have a major impact on society.