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  Subjects -> SCIENCES: COMPREHENSIVE WORKS (Total: 374 journals)
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New Directions in the Teaching of Physical Sciences
Number of Followers: 2  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 2051-3615
Published by U of Leicester Homepage  [3 journals]
  • The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Career Preparedness of
           Chemistry Graduates

    • Authors: Abhishek Ladwa, Dylan P. Williams, Richard A. R. Blackburn
      Abstract: Recent research has established that the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a shift in University student expectations of their graduate prospects due to unavoidable changes in their learning experiences during the pandemic, as well as the decrease in number of available jobs because of the economic impact of measures put in place to reduce COVID-19 transmission. This study used a survey to investigate: (a) the impact of the pandemic on student destinations six months after graduation and (b) the variations in perceptions of personal level of career preparedness between pre-pandemic graduates and graduates at different stages of the pandemic (i.e. the graduating classes of 2020 and 2021). 40 University of Leicester chemistry graduates engaged with the survey and analysis of the data revealed a non-statistically significant negative impact on employment six-months after graduation that appears to only affect graduates in 2020. The data also suggests that increased experience of the blended learning approaches adopted at the University of Leicester during the pandemic studies may better prepare graduates for remote working practices (e.g. using remote video conferencing software).
      PubDate: 2022-08-22
      DOI: 10.29311/ndtps.v0i17.4084
       
  • Challenges and Opportunities for Online Practical Work in Sub-Saharan
           Africa

    • Authors: Femi Emmanuel Babalola, Sina Joshua Fakoyede
      Abstract: Practical work is an integral part of teaching and learning in STEM. It can help to deliver many learning outcomes - manipulative skills, observation and description, motivation, creative thinking, problem-solving abilities, and critical attitudes, as well as conceptual understanding. In recent years the already weak provision of the STEM practical curriculum in Sub Saharan Africa SSA has been undermined further by pandemic constraints. Online practical work is expanding rapidly in both scale and sophistication worldwide and it offers a credible means of mitigating such problems and improving access in SSA.This study examines issues and prospects for online practical work in SSA. It includes a brief summary of the present position and presents the views of stakeholders gathered using semi structured interviews. These focused on their attitudes towards introducing new learning technologies and related approaches in the teaching and learning of practical work in science.The results showed that many of the educators interviewed are enthusiastic about the opportunities afforded by online practical work and see such innovation as a useful response to the pandemic. They also assert their readiness to embrace new technologies in STEM practical work but warn of the challenges, notably access to resources and the lack of the teaching skills required to engage learners in effective online practical work. The students have been disappointed by online versions of conventional face to face teaching and many are sceptical about online practical work. Resource and cost issues dominate their thinking. Science educators will require extensive training if online learning technologies are to be harnessed successfully to provide practical science activities in SSA.
      PubDate: 2022-06-16
      DOI: 10.29311/ndtps.v0i17.4026
       
  • Gender balance and impact of role models in secondary science education

    • Authors: Alessandro Siani, Megan McArthur, Bethany Christine Hicks, Claudiu Dacin
      Abstract: Exposure to inspirational and relatable role models is crucial towards fostering engagement of learners with scientific disciplines. However, the representation of scientists in popular culture is still far from being adequately gender- and race-inclusive. This study evaluated the gender balance and impact of scientific role models using a two-pronged experimental approach. The gender balance was investigated in search engines, online databases, and school curricula. A survey was used to investigate English secondary students’ awareness of role models and intentions to pursue further scientific studies.Our findings revealed a widespread female underrepresentation amongst scientific role models in all the analysed online sources and in high school curricula provided by the three main English exam boards. The survey (n = 356) revealed that students were considerably more likely to identify famous male than female scientists. While awareness of female role models was significantly associated with students’ gender, this was not the case for male role models. A statistically significant correlation was also observed between the number of identified role models and intentions to pursue scientific studies in Key Stage 4 girls.This study reinforces the urgency of ensuring school curricula and online resources provide a more modern and inclusive representation of scientists.
      PubDate: 2022-02-23
      DOI: 10.29311/ndtps.v0i17.3939
       
  • Supporting student collaboration in online breakout rooms through
           interactive group activities

    • Authors: David Read, Stephen M Barnes, Oliver Hughes, Iveta Ivanova, Annabelle Sessions, Paul J Wilson
      Abstract: Many instructors globally reported a lack of engagement in synchronous online sessions during the Covid-19 lockdowns. This article outlines the use of collaborative small group tasks mediated via breakout rooms in Teams during the 2020/21 academic year. The rationale for the activities, which are available for download, is described along with details of the evaluation of their impact. Key findings were that a majority of students reported enjoying the tasks and felt that they improved their learning during online sessions.
      PubDate: 2022-01-21
      DOI: 10.29311/ndtps.v0i17.3946
       
  • Student perspectives on online lectures during the Covid-19 lockdown

    • Authors: David Read, Stephen M Barnes, Paul J Wilson
      Abstract: This article outlines an exploratory study that investigated students’ perceptions of the benefits and disadvantages of lecture recordings delivered as part of an introductory chemistry program in the UK during the COVID-19 lockdown in Spring 2020. Three features of these lecture recordings are considered: 1) the production of a series of mini-lectures rather than 50 minute recordings; 2) the inclusion of quiz questions in the video timeline; and 3) the inclusion of a picture-in-picture talking head showing the instructor alongside a captured screen. Analysis of survey data indicates that a majority of students felt that each of these features had a positive impact on their learning and/or experience, with a significant number expressing a preference for the retention of online lectures after the resumption of on-campus teaching. Qualitative data provides valuable insight regarding the specific aspects of the recorded lectures that were perceived to enhance the student experience, supporting the design of future provision both during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. The generalizability of the recommendations is also discussed, along with the limitations of the study.
      PubDate: 2022-01-21
      DOI: 10.29311/ndtps.v0i17.3950
       
  • Improving Graduate Futures and Employability Through Embedded Industrial
           Experience

    • Authors: John Dixon, Neil Gordon
      Abstract: The financial cost to individuals of higher education is now regularly exceeding £50k before maintenance in the UK; consequently, students are more concerned than ever that their degree should offer value for money when they enter the jobs marketplace. Overshadowed by long-term debt, lack of career options and job offerings with low salary, student numbers in the arts, languages, humanities and philosophy areas have suffered compared to most STEM disciplines (Universities UK, 2018). Computer science, I.T. and computing tend to buck this trend (HESA, 2020), and, with a drive toward reskilling the workforce for a more technology-focussed future, this suits Government strategy. However, graduate employers want to hire individuals who are well rounded and have experience; businesses identify that more general workplace experience is key.The subsequent sections describe a level 7 (Master’s) capstone project module, Commercial Development Practice, dedicated to fulfilling these employer requirements by focussing on project processes rather than project products. The practicalities of running this module and considerations that have been key for the successful application of this technique over the 14 years the module has been running are discussed. The curriculum, pedagogic approaches and assessment methods are presented.The evaluation of this approach, which analyses the impact and student experience and perception of the module using data gathered since 2015, has found that participants gain valuable skills, experience and confidence which leads to more employable graduates.
      PubDate: 2022-01-14
      DOI: 10.29311/ndtps.v0i17.3596
       
 
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