Author Archives: TheOtherDrX

About TheOtherDrX

Senior Lecturer in Biosciences. MSc Biosciences course leader and lecturer on topics such as Cell Biology, Moleular Pathology and Genetics. I manage a research team of PhD students and post-doctoral scientists working on novel anti-tumour drug combinations, nanotech-based delivery of anti-tumour agents, and artificial scaffolds for 3D cell culture studies as a replacement for animal-based studies. I also do a bit of STEM public engagement work with my Geiger counter.

Is knowledge worth testing any more? Is testing knowledge ‘Authentic’?

I was challenged recently at a Learning and Teaching conference about how I assess students in Biosciences. Apparently my assessment methods are ‘not authentic’ and ‘overly test knowledge’ on the basis that almost every module on my course is in … Continue reading

Posted in Assessment, Student engagement | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Should we adopt more active learning at the expense of cutting the STEM curriculum?

A few things have been troubling me recently. Do I teach too much stuff? Is teaching on my course too didactic? Am I over-reliant on knowledge transfer and passive learning? Do my students forget everything they have learnt on the … Continue reading

Posted in Rants and moans, Student engagement | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Comments on Deslauriers “Improved learning in a large-enrollment physics class”.

The role of traditional teaching is taking a beating from some/many quarters in HE. Often the evidence against traditional teaching is from educational research which by the standards of a typical scientist, is rather questionable. This is a pity as … Continue reading

Posted in Student engagement, Stuff about research | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Active vs. passive learning in STEM: Is a little better than a lot?

Lecturers who lecture have been getting a lot of stick recently for their ‘sage on the stage’, didactic, boring lectures. I have even heard it said that the brain is more active when asleep compared to in lectures (maybe that’s … Continue reading

Posted in Student engagement, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

The White Swan hypothesis: How not to fool yourself in research

There is a simple test that I use to determine whether a potential graduate student is in a suitable frame of mind to undertake post-graduate research in science, and this test seems applicable to most disciplines (maybe except Maths). Ask … Continue reading

Posted in Stuff about research | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Strategies for improving exam feedback

A frequent complaint from students regarding exams is the lack of opportunities to learn from their exams. As such, this has prompted education commentators to question their use, over other assessments where students can learn from the assessment and gain … Continue reading

Posted in Feedback | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

iCard: The low-tech, low cost tool for assessing student engagement in large groups

In this post, I discuss my initial use of simple coloured card voting system for assessing student understanding in a large group University setting. Not a novel concept, but simple and effective. There have been some amusing Twitter debates recently … Continue reading

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