The Eternal Pain of Group Work

I set more group work now than I used to, in both 1st and 2nd year. It’s always interesting when it is group work season because the students are somewhat more fraught than normal and  staff (myself included) are enhancing their diplomatic skills. I always feel like running group work is like putting out fires: […]

2017: the year of cruelty?

July ’17: I started this in mid-February, but can’t quite recall what sparked me off on this particular tangent. But reading it this morning, with all the brouhaha about tuition fees and student debt, brexit-bobbins, and the escalating levels of may-hem, it still seems fairly relevant. Just because society is getting harsher (and at times […]

Chemistry within Education for Sustainable Development #LTHEchat #HEAchat

Tonight’s #LTHEChat and #HEAChat is on Education for Sustainable Development. I thought I’d drain the swamp of my head with some preliminary thoughts. We run a module called ‘Sustainable Chemistry’. It started several years ago as a 15-credit whole year 2nd year module and covered topics in sustainability, chemistry of technology, industrial chemistry, and various […]

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 (https://micerportal.wordpress.com/2017/04/24/poster-methods-of-investigating-alternative-conceptions-in-nmr/) 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 […]