Engaging taught postgraduate students with science communication
Keywords:student engagement, writing skills, science communication
This case study presents "Kelvin News": a project to encourage and support taught postgraduate (PGT) students in the School of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Glasgow in communicating their passion for Physics and Astronomy during their studies. The context, rationale, and practical implementation of the project are described. We also discuss the successes and challenges in developing the project. We identify the conflicting demands on time experienced by PGT students as being the key factor negatively affecting the project. Other limiting factors such as weak writing skills among participating students can be addressed by peer-support within the project team. Despite these difficulties, this project provides great opportunities for the students to develop further transferable skills which have the potential to benefit them in terms of academic progression, employability, social well-being, and relationship with their subject and the department. This project is well suited for use within other disciplines and other departments or universities.
Bownes, J., Labrosse, N., Forrest, D., MacTaggart, D., Senn, H., Fischbacher-Smith, M., . . . others (2017). Supporting students in the transition to postgraduate taught study in stem subjects. Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice, 5 (2), 3-11. doi:10.14297/jpaap.v5i2.280
CBI/Pearson. (2017). Helping the UK thrive. Retrieved from http://www.cbi.org.uk/insight-and-analysis/helping-the-uk-thrive/
Cownie, F. (2017). What drives students’ affective commitment towards their university? Journal of Further and Higher Education, 1-18. doi:10.1080/0309877X.2017.1394988
Dunlosky, J., Rawson, K. A., Marsh, E. J., Nathan, M. J., & Willingham, D. T. (2013). Improving students learning with effective learning techniques: Promising directions from cognitive and educational psychology. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 14 (1), 4-58. doi:10.1177/1529100612453266
Dunne, E., & Rawlins, M. (2000). Bridging the gap between industry and higher education: Training academics to promote student teamwork. Innovations in Education and Training international, 37 (4), 361-371. doi:10.1080/135580000750052973
Funkhouser, G. R., & Maccoby, N. (1971). Communicating specialized science information to a lay audience. Journal of Communication, 21 (1), 58-71. doi:10.1111/j.1460-2466.1971.tb00904.x
GuildHE. (2015). Making student engagement a reality: Turning theory into practice. Retrieved from https://www.guildhe.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/6472-Guild-HE-Student-Engagement-Report-36pp.pdf
Sobral, D. T. (1997). Improving learning skills: a self-help group approach. Higher Education, 33 (1), 39-50. doi:10.1023/A:1002997022123
Tatalovic, M. (2008). Student science publishing: an exploratory study of undergraduate science research journals and popular science magazines in the US and Europe. JCOM, 7 (03), A03. doi:10.22323/2.07030203
Taylor, K., & Rohrer, D. (2010). The effects of interleaved practice. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 24 (6), 837-848. doi:10.1002/acp.1598
Topping, K. J., Smith, E. F., Swanson, I., & Elliot, A. (2000). Formative peer assessment of academic writing between postgraduate students. Assessment & evaluation in higher education, 25 (2), 149-169. doi:10.1080/713611428
Wilmot, K. (2016). Designing writing groups to support postgraduate students academic writing: a case study from a south African university. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 1-9. doi:10.1080/14703297.2016.1238775
Wilmot, K., & McKenna, S. (2018). Writing groups as transformative spaces. Higher Education Research & Development, 37 (4), 868-882. doi:10.1080/07294360.2018.1450361
Copyright (c) 2023 Nicolas Labrosse, Jessica M Bownes
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).
Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice has made best effort to ensure accuracy of the contents of this journal, however makes no claims to the authenticity and completeness of the articles published. Authors are responsible for ensuring copyright clearance for any images, tables etc which are supplied from an outside source.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.