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Publication - Dr Andrew Doherty

    Utilising final year undergraduate projects to enhance the first-year curriculum

    Citation

    Howarth, J & Doherty, A, 2017, ‘Utilising final year undergraduate projects to enhance the first-year curriculum’.

    Abstract

    Final year research projects are an integral part of many undergraduate degrees, but with growing student numbers they often cause an additional strain on staff and research laboratories. Within the School of Physiology, Pharmacology & Neuroscience we offer a range of undergraduate research projects, including teaching-focused ambassadorial projects where students work with local schools. We have recently developed this style of teaching project to utilising a readily available resource, our first-year undergraduate neuroscience students.In this newer project format, final year students collaborate with staff to enhance our first-year neuroscience curriculum. Students identify topics that they found challenging in first year and investigate how this topic is currently taught. Students perform a review of both scientific and pedagogic literature, observe staff teaching, design hands-on learning resources and deliver a peer-taught revision workshop. The effect of each resource is evaluated and written up as a research project dissertation. Each project has provided valuable teaching resources, many of which have improved in first year learning. Such projects are therefore enabling final year students to develop skills in experimental design, data collection and analysis whilst supporting first year students through peer learning.

    Full details in the University publications repository