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 […]

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 […]

Once more into the distance

My distance learning modules are about to start. Modules – two of them this year – delivered via computer means fair and foul to an institution in China. Last year I delivered our sustainable chemistry module, this year I’m adding half a module on inorganic chemistry to the mix. Last year the module was delivered […]

Variable Working Spaces

This morning on Twitter I’m picking up a lot of tweets from the SEDA conference and many focus on ‘innovative’ campuses and the abolishment of staff office space. Open plan academic office spaces are also being discussed and inevitably working from home. As someone who’s spent the morning setting up a home office because I […]

Assessing the Assessment Criteria

Following on from my musings on word counts (http://wp.me/p3BLsC-pv), I’ve been writing a lot of assessment criteria and guidelines for new assignments in a revised module lately. And I’ve found myself writing: “These are suggestions only. I don’t want to be too specific because I want you to have the flexibility to tailor your report […]

Undergraduate Projects (again!) This Time: MChem

I wrote back in May about final year projects, meaning BSc final year. http://www.possibilitiesendless.com/2016/05/one-year-out-another-year-in/ It’s a nice aggregation of previous musings on the subject and therefor relevant to the brainfull of thoughts leaping from my fingers. For 2016/17 we have a new type of project: final year MChem projects. I’m yet to see assessment criteria […]

Safety Compromises

Running a practical exam with several staff invigilating highlights, very clearly, the differences in approach to certain lab techniques. For a reaction heated to reflux, do we clamp the flask, the flask and the condenser, or the flask but with a second clamp loose around the condenser for a little stability? Are disposable nitrile gloves […]