Working from Home – some thought

I’ve worked from home for about 6 months and am now on sick leave. I was extremely grateful to be able to work in a flexible manner from home that means that time for attending appointments can be made up elsewhen. And you’d be amazed at how much you can get done in hospital waiting rooms […]

MICER 2017

Methods in Chemistry Education Research 2017 was last week. I didn’t make it down to London for it but did submit a poster ( and followed along a bit on twitter. I’ve been to a few of these style of events, initially as ‘Getting Started in Pedagogic Research 2012, I missed one in 2013, showed […]

If I ran a lab course

Michael’s blog post on laboratory practicals (and a long day of manuscript revisions) got me thinking about laboratory practicals. I particularly liked the distinction between ‘science’ and ‘sciencing’ that he highlighted, the difference between theoretical science and the practice of science, or between lectures and labs.  In as much as I like any binary system, […]

Worshiping False Metrics (not what you think)

I’ve been ploughing through research data lately in several different formats and I’m forcing myself to take great care with certain types of data. Most notably this is grade data, particularly between cohorts. It’s one of the key differences between carrying out pedagogical research and chemistry research. If I run the same sample (preparing it to […]

Spherical Students

This is a follow-up post to Helicopter Lecturers. When talking about how we as lecturers spend our students’ time, or how they spend their time, it would help to consider the case of the ideal student. The ideal student is, naturally, spherical. Ideal students are identical, obey Newton’s laws of motion, and undergo elastic collisions […]

Helicopter Lecturers

I’m sure you’ve heard of helicopter parents. The possibly semi-mythological, ever-present parents who speak for their kids, show up everywhere and are generally an effective means of ensuring their offspring don’t say that much (nor appear to have opinions of their own).  But what of the helicopter lecturers? The academics who simply do not trust […]

2016: a year that…

was filled with conferences. January brought HEA STEM, June was Horizons in STEM Education and August was Variety in Chemistry Education. I presented on my infographics assignment at HEA STEM, and on international group work as poster at ViCE and oral presentation at Horizons.  I also presented a few times at Keele, in January at the […]

Post Boxing Day Dreaming – integrating technology into the laboratory properly

I was contemplating purchasing an Amazon Echo this morning. Well I was working out what one was then thinking about what I would do with it, and I was reading some very entertaining reviews of the product that were simultaneously illuminating and distressing. Let me clarify that I haven’t bought one, and probably wont. Yet. […]