Centre for Bioscience, The Higher Education Academy


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Short Guides

The Centre has produced a number of Short Guides which aim to provide an introduction to various aspects of teaching and learning in the biosciences. The guides complement the material and information available through our website. The most recent guides are on Small Group Teaching (published June 2011) and Higher Education Careers - Teaching in the Biosciences (July 2011).

A Short Guide for Postgraduate demonstrators and Teachers is available and there is also a collection of Student Short Guides aimed at bioscience students:

  • Maths on your bioscience course (published June 2011)
  • Advice for students starting their bioscience course
  • A Bioscience Degree - Why and What Next?
  • Making the Most of Practical Work
  • Assessment (published autumn 2010)
  • Feedback - Make it work for you (published autumn 2010)

View and download the Student Short Guides.

Each guide is available to download in pdf format, if you would like to order paper copies of any of the Short Guides, please contact us.

Please note: due to cost constraints and a large number of orders we are unable to fulfil orders for more than 50 copies of any short guide.

Cover of Creativity Skills Short Guide and link to Guide in pdf format

Creativity Skills

Prospective employers, government agencies and academic PhD supervisors have indicated repeatedly they want graduates who can solve problems creatively in laboratory, field and other settings. Bioscience undergraduates and postgraduates are expected to absorb an enormous amount of information from a rapidly expanding knowledge base. Further, when asked to solve problems, science students are usually expected to find the single correct answer to a precisely defined question. As a result there is often very little time left for the development of creative approaches to open-ended problem solving that may involve the generation of a range of alternative solutions. This short guide focuses on techniques and strategies designed to promote creative problem solving skills in bioscientists.

Front cover of differentiated learning short guide and link to guide in pdf format

Differentiated Learning - Stretching Able Students

Following on from the Centre's Differentiated Learning events and report this short guide brings together ideas for supporting more able students. Ideas and activities for stretching able students on an individual basis and in tutorial groups as well as activities that could be implemented across a department are discussed.

Image of front cover of transition short guide and link to guide in pdf format

Transition to Higher Education

Although transition, at first glance, appears to refer to the transition of a student from a secondary or FE setting to an HE institution, in reality it is much less straightforward. Therefore providing a student with a successful transition relies on a variety of participants who collectively help a student to become familiar with, engage in and succeed within a programme of study. Issues affecting transition within the biosciences can be unique, but many are applicable to a variety of sciences and other subjects. This guide is intended to be an introduction to assisting higher education teaching and learning practitioners with transition.

Image of front cover of plagairism guide and link to guide on pdf format

Preventing and Designing out Plagiarism

Plagiarism is a major issue for all those involved in teaching and learning in Higher Education. It is unlikely it will ever stop. Although detecting and punishing students who plagiarise is likely to be necessary, it is better to try and reduce plagiarism through educating students and assessment design.

Image of front cover of guide and link to guide in pdf format

Supporting Inclusive Learning and Teaching in the Biosciences

With increasing student diversity it is now likely that within student groups there will be some who have a disability. The application of good practice, making curricula more accessible, benefits all students in higher education including disabled students. This guide is intended as an introduction to making aspects of your teaching more inclusive and accessible for all.

Front cover of Postgraduate Demonstrators short guide and link to guide in pdf format

Postgraduate Demonstrators and Teachers

Intended for postgraduates who demonstrate and / or teach, this guide brings together hints and tips, mainly focused on demonstrating in practical sessions, but also briefly considers tutorials, lectures and demonstrating on field trips.

Front cover of Linking Teaching and Research short guide and link to guide in pdf format

Linking Teaching and Research

This short guide considers the skills linking teaching and research could encourage students to develop, how teaching and research could be linked at different levels and gives some practical examples of how they could be linked.

Front cover of diversity and inclusivity short guide and link to guide in pdf format

Diversity and Inclusivity

This short guide brings together hints and tips on how you might support a more diverse student population, it is by no means comprehensive but intended to give you a starting point in thinking about student diversity and inclusivity in relation to teaching and learning in the biosciences.

front cover of Small Group Teaching short guide

Small Group Teaching

This Short Guide brings together ideas, hints and tips on teaching small groups. Aimed at postgraduates who teach and those new to teaching, the guide looks at the benefits and challenges of small group teaching and considers several potentially tricky situations that could arise in teaching small groups and ways of dealing with them.

areers short guide

Higher Education Careers - Teaching in the Biosciences

This short guide, authored by Dr Hedda Weitz, Careers Service, University of Aberdeen was written as a result of series of events 'Teaching in the Biosciences: An introduction for postgraduates and postdoctoral fellows'.

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