An ever-increasing number of students are passing through undergraduate science degree programmes with a wide range of skills they are expected to demonstrate for future educational opportunities or to employers. Further to this, students have a diverse range of inherent skills, with more intermediate or advanced skills not directly related to disciplines being neglected and assumed to have been acquired through the course of a degree programme. Whilst it is true that the acquired levels of subject-specific skills will be high in any undergraduate degree programme the softer skills such as professionalism, data and information handling, and scientific writing can vary dramatically between individual students. The study presented here was born out of staff and student feedback, which suggested over recent years due to increasing student numbers and a more diverse student population, the skills attainment gap has widened throughout the student population. This could potentially affect student employability because of a lack of parity in the acquired soft skills that will equip a student for the job market following graduation. Therefore, we aimed to limit this perceived skills attainment gap through the introduction of a standardised workshop series into our final year teaching, with impact being assessed through class feedback surveys. This series of workshops was introduced to all final year undergraduate students in the Medical Science degree programmes and formed a compulsory part of their final year education. We report here that the outcome of the pilot workshop series (academic year 2017-18), which was overall viewed as a positive introduction based on student feedback. Following the pilot, students (n = 210) were asked to rate 15 different skills sets via a feedback questionnaire, with 11 skill sets showing an increase in self-reported reflection of ability following the workshop series, and a significant increase in skills development pre- and post-workshops for ‘Graph Drawing’ (p = 0.05), ‘Data Analysis’ (p = 0.01) and ‘Experimental Design’ (p = 0.001). We have further developed the skills workshop series based on the feedback from the pilot and will report these further findings and how they compare with the original pilot findings to assess sustainability and rate the changes that were introduced into the second skills sessions run in academic year 2018-19. This teaching development has now been embedded into future final year Honours teaching based on their success.
|Publication status||Published - 8 Jul 2019|
|Event||Physiology 2019 - Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre, Aberdeen, United Kingdom|
Duration: 8 Jul 2019 → 10 Jul 2019
|Period||8/07/19 → 10/07/19|
- Skills Development
- Medical Sciences