Tuesday, 1 July 2008

More on the Pure Science group, 24 Jun meeting

Just to build on Kath's posting here, and speaking from a social scientist's outsider perspective, I was struck by how the conversation quickly focussed in on the importance for science students to develop "soft skills" - how to engage in and implement group work projects effectively, how to develop oral and poster presentation skills etc. - alongside more bread and butter (perhaps) lab and report writing skills.

As Kath observes, the importance of embedding the resource within departmental consciousness, and of making as much of it clearly relevant to specific disciplinary contexts, was a key theme - and the tension between generic and discipline specific, small light hubs and extensive resource pools, and the chicken and egg of getting the hub up and running, and individual disciplines recognising the opportunities it can provide and developing new or adapting existing resources to feed in/out of TASH.

It was also suggested that the motivation of some students may be a little different today from in the past - to wit, more students were interested in the degree they were working towards than in the specific subject they were taking. It would be interesting to hear whether this is a view shared by colleagues across the faculty.

The possibility of lifting some of the existing library info skills resources out of MOLE and making them more easily accessible in an open source .html form was also floated by Lyn Parker - and offers some exciting possibilities for TASH. We will certainly be following up on this one. Lyn also mentioned some of the materials students have been developing with CILASS in terms of "how to do (IBL) research" etc. Tim and I met with a number of the CILASS core team today and Tim will be blogging this separately - but it is already clear that CILASS will be able to help in a number of ways - and thanks here to Laura Jenkins also, whose final official act as the SAN co-ordinator (before her extended swansong at the LTEA conference), must surely have been to come along to the TASH launch itself. We look forward to working closely with her successor, Natalie Whelan, and others in the student ambassador network, over the summer and into next academic year.

Finally, Patrice Panella's Innovative Communications project was mentioned as one place where student led engagement with Web 2.0 technologies is being explored - there may be important lessons for TASH to draw from this work when we start to consider the nature of the interface we will be developing in more detail.

1 comment:

stevewise said...

I would agree that students these days are more focused on getting a degree than on getting an education. it's not hard to see why this should be so, with constant assessments through the school system giving priority to the outcome of learning rather than the process and with students paying directly for their education