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ERIC Number: EJ1004885
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Dec
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 31
ISSN: ISSN-1479-7860
Tutorials for Enhancing Skills Development in First Year Students Taking Biological Sciences
Cousins, Nicola J.; Barker, Martin; Dennis, Catherine; Dalrymple, Sarah; McPherson, Lindsay R.
Bioscience Education, v20 p68-83 Dec 2012
In order to increase engagement and to consolidate skills, a tutorial-based skills course (module) was introduced as a compulsory component of first-year in the School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen. We evaluated whether students had attained certain "graduate attributes" during the course, comprising: transferable and generic skills and intellectual curiosity. Student feedback from course evaluation forms, student diaries and focus groups indicated that the course increased students' confidence in questioning accepted wisdom and helped students to develop generic skills. Feedback forms generally indicated a strong appreciation of interactions with tutors, and also of learning in small groups, interacting with peers within degree programmes, personalised learning, and developing generic skills. The quality of students' experience varied, probably due to differences among students themselves as well as with their tutors. Students' use of the course website indicated strategic use of materials to enhance the development of transferable/generic skills. Activity on the course website tended to be greatest among those students who went on to achieve higher overall course marks. Tutors were more cautious than students in claiming that students were more ready to question information having done the tutorial course. Intellectual curiosity among students was more apparent later in the course, suggesting that students had been learning critical thinking skills. (Contains 3 tables and 4 figures.)
Centre for Bioscience, The Higher Education Academy. Room 9.15 Worsley Building, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK. Tel: +44-113-343-3001; Fax: +44-113-343-5894; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Aberdeen)