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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Laboratory Tutoring (FSH) - Year 1
Module Code PS6071
School Faculty of Science
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Eilish McLoughlin
Semester 2: Eilish McLoughlin
Autumn: Eilish McLoughlin
Module TeachersEilish McLoughlin
Deborah O'Connell
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
None
Description

In this continuous three year module, postgraduate research students will apply pedagogical theory in demonstrating, tutoring and supporting undergraduate and taught postgraduate practical laboratories. The module facilitates graduate students in the development of new and existing demonstrating skills, based on (i) critical review of relevant literature, (ii) feedback from participating students, peers and supervisors and (iii) interaction and training of early stage demonstrators under the guidance of a supervisor.

Learning Outcomes

1. Apply the principles of teaching and learning in relation to practical laboratories and associated concepts
2. Enhance existing and/or develop new practical experiments where applicable, for undergraduate students reflecting latest research and best practice in the corresponding discipline
3. Critically evaluate their own teaching and learning approaches and the corresponding impact on learners
4. Train early stage peers to become effective tutors, and critically evaluate their peers' tutoring skills and techniques
5. Select and apply the most appropriate techniques and skills for the specific learning context (based on student needs, subject area, format, setting etc.)
6. Show a critical awareness of and ability to communicate the relevant suite of health and safety issues/actions pertaining to different laboratory settings



Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Seminars18Introduction to the role of a laboratory tutor in undergraduate practical laboratories in their School. Exploration of the role of a tutor in enforcement of School safety regulations during laboratory sessions. Participation in individual meetings with module coordinators/laboratory supervisors as appropriate to each laboratory.
Group work24Engage in peer reflections and ongoing discussions on tutoring activities, including pedagogic approach an assessment strategy pertaining to each laboratory.
Assignment Completion24Development of an undergraduate laboratory activity in consultation with laboratory supervisor and module coordinator and relevant academic and technical staff.
Independent Study184This activity will involve ongoing discussions with the laboratory supervisor on the pedagogic approach, the assessment strategy and the expected role of the tutor in each laboratory. Critical self-reflection should be carried out before, during and after each laboratory session and should be captured in a reflective journal throughout the module. Consideration should be given to the planning and implementation of each laboratory session.
Total Workload: 250

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Year 1: Focus on developing demonstration skills for practical laboratories (INTRODUCTORY SEMINAR)
Discussion of the role of a laboratory tutor in undergraduate teaching laboratories and within the School. Exploration of the role of a tutor in enforcement of school safety regulations during laboratory classes. There will be individual meetings with module coordinators as appropriate prior to each module. Students will be introduced to the role and responsibilities that are required for their specific tutoring duties.

Year 1: Focus on developing demonstration skills for practical laboratories (FEEDBACK TO UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS)
Tutors will interact with undergraduate students in every practical session and provide them with frequent feedback on their lab skills, lab skill development - and where possible - provide them with practical demonstrations of laboratory best practice.

Year 1: Focus on developing demonstration skills for practical laboratories (ONGOING FEEDBACK FROM LABORATORY SUPERVISORS)
Academic supervisors, at regular intervals, will discuss with tutors how they are assisting undergraduates with their practical skills, and how effectively they are carrying out their tutoring duties associated with each laboratory.

Year 1: Focus on developing demonstration skills for practical laboratories (REFLECTIVE PRACTICE)
Tutors will apply reflective practice and writing techniques to effectively self assess their abilities as tutors, and reflect upon and improve their skills on an ongoing basis. This will be guided self reflection, with a series of questions provided to tutors to help develop their critical reflection of their own pedagogical practice.

Year 1: Focus on developing demonstration skills for practical laboratories (EVALUATION)
At the end of the laboratory session, tutors will review the practical sessions they have demonstrated in terms firstly of the undergraduate lab learning outcomes and secondly the learning outcomes of this module. They will collate their observations throughout the semester as recorded in their reflection journal prior to meeting with academic coordinators to discuss their development as laboratory tutors throughout the past academic year, and to discuss how to assimilate the learning approaches they have developed for the coming academic session.

Year 2: Focus on further developing demonstration skills for labs, and developing teaching material for undergraduate curriculum
Year 2 will build on year 1, and include the core elements of year 1, such as introductory seminar, weekly reflective journal entries, regular meetings with academic supervisor, and evaluation of pedagogical development at year end. In year 2, a set of guidelines/questions will be provided to students to further direct their critical assessment of their teaching and learning approaches. In addition, tutors will submit a report (either oral or written) to the laboratory academic supervisor, detailing either improvements or an alternative to a chosen existing practical on the undergraduate syllabus. They will then explore with the supervisor how these suggestions should augment the learning outcomes of the undergraduate module, and how these suggestions should be achieved.

Year 3: Focus is again on developing demonstration skills for labs, and training and evaluating early stage peers to become effective tutors
Year 3 will build on years 1 and 2, and include the core elements of introductory seminar, weekly reflective journal entries, regular meetings with academic supervisor, and evaluation of pedagogical development at year end. For the first time, tutors will participate in introductory seminar in a teaching capacity to assist in exploring the role of postgraduate tutors with year 1 tutors. Throughout the year, year 3 tutors will be guided in their training and evaluation of year 1 tutors and in conjunction with the academic supervisors, will provide constructive feedback to their peers and potential strategies to improve upon their demonstration skills. In their reflective journal, year 3 students will be guided in their critical self assessment of their training and evaluation of their peers, and the effect on their interaction on their peer tutoring skills.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Practical/skills evaluationAssessment of tutoring of undergraduates: Laboratory academic supervisors will evaluate student's demonstration of undergraduate labs, evaluating areas such as explanation of theory, in terms of appropriate breadth and depth, guidance given to student groups, interaction with peers and adherence to health and safety regulations. Academic supervisors will also give students constructive feedback on their performance in all these areas, and any additional areas as appropriate, and discuss with the students how they may be improved upon. (10% x 3 years)30%
Reflective journalStudents are required to keep a reflective journal of their lab demonstrating, recording for example their self-evaluation of that week's session, what feedback they received from the undergraduate students, their peers and technical and academic staff, and what, if any, adjustments they will make in future sessions. Additionally, students should evaluate their assessment of their peers, and the effect of interaction on their peers tutoring activities. (10% x 3 years)30%
Report(s)New/Alternative practical report: Students will submit a report (either oral or written) to the academic supervisor, detailing either improvements or an alternative to a chosen existing practical on the undergraduate syllabus. They will then explore with the supervisor how these suggestions should augment the learning outcomes of the undergraduate module, and how these suggestions should be achieved. (20% - year 2)20%
Practical/skills evaluationInteraction with year 1 demonstrators: Students will assess early stage tutors and in conjunction with the academic supervisors, will provide constructive feedback to their peers and potential strategies to improve upon their tutoring skills. (20% - year 3)20%
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

    Other Resources

    None
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