A bridge for excellence: Transition and Transformation through Higher Education

PRESENTATION

Author(s) Joel Loveridge, Jenny Stanford and/or Ian Mabbett

Abstract

With the advent of higher fees in higher education (up to £9000 per year), students are increasingly aware of the need to enhance employability skills. Students will also need to undergo a number of transitions in order to make the best of the university education for which they are enrolled. Universities face increasing pressure to deliver “value for money” The Step4Excellence programme at Swansea provides a framework within which core transition and transformation skills may be included in the curriculum. In the newly re-established Department of Chemistry, an evidence-based approach is being used to develop a curriculum which embeds these themes at the heart of its design. We present the approach taken for the design of two key first-year modules addressing transitions to university learning and development of employability skills in a discipline-specific context.

Outline

This session will offer the audience an insight into the pedagogic approach behind the development of the new Chemistry curriculum at Swansea University, embedding the Step4Excellence (S4X) ideals. As a new department, Chemistry aims to deliver an excellent curriculum from day one and has drawn on experience both within Swansea University and externally across the chemistry education sector to achieve this, delivering on the ‘manifesto’ proposed in the January edition of Chemistry World (Royal Society of Chemistry) where the innovative approach we are using has been widely commended. We will summarise the approach used and the evidence upon which it is based in order that attendees might make appropriate considerations for their own disciplines. Audience response software will be used to identify considerations regarding S4X across attendees (“What do you think are the main barriers to embedding S4X in your curriculum”; “What would help you embed transition themes in your curriculum?”), and our intended outcome is to give others ideas on how they might embed S4X themes in their curricula, driving collaboration and collegiate interaction.

Key Words

Transition, Step4Excellence, Employability, Innovation, Evidence-based

Key Messages

Transition to university and employability are key non-academic factors that can be embedded into curriculum design.

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