We redefined the emphasis of our curriculum, moving from classes in particular topics – medicinal chemistry, pharmacy practice, pharmacology, pharmaceutical science – to an interdisciplinary class that (i) emphasized students learning rather than our teaching; (ii) was interdisciplinary, focusing on body systems and people rather than disciplines like chemistry, pharmacology and pharmaceutics; and (iv) focused on the development of professional skills.
We emphasize skills development through (i) 'Being a Pharmacist' classes that run through every year and which integrate what is being taught in other more knowledge based classes and workshops with relevant practical skills; (ii) by teaching key transferable skills such as communication explicitly; (iii) by an extended and increasing programme of experiential learning (in all bar the very first semester) where students go out to work on specific topics in community or hospital pharmacies; and (iv) through interprofessional learning with medical and dental students from the University of Glasgow.
MUSE (Models of University and Schools Engagement) (2013 – present). This particular collaboration developed through open discussions with staff at Knightswood Secondary School and a member of staff at Strathclyde University, based on an ongoing research project first supported through Strathclyde’s ‘Bridging the Gap’ funding and led by Marion Sheridan (MS). The initial aims of the project were to form new partnerships with science, electrical engineering and the humanities using optical imaging and hyperspectral imaging to interpret and reinterpret the work of the visual artist, the late Steven Campbell. Engaging with interdisciplinary activities has been at the heart of this MUSE project involving staff (university and school) and young people (2nd year and 3rd year pupils) from the disciplines of science, drama, art & design, music, dance, photography and film. The Head Teacher and Depute Head Teacher at Knightswood were keen to develop projects that promoted the spirit of A Curriculum for Excellence and having the Dance School of Scotland on their premises wished to have these highly skilled and talented young people integrated more with the general pupil population. Since the project began pupils and staff have worked on two interdisciplinary projects from within the school environment and with staff from Strathclyde’s School of Humanities and Research Staff from Electronic and Electrical Engineering. A third and final project is underway, again an interdisciplinary project, involving specialist staff from music, art & design, dance, science, drama (university input) and creative writing.
Strathclyde University MUSE leader and co-ordinator
Marion C. Sheridan, Lecturer in English and Theatre
Workshops on real-world civil engineering problems, run by engineers from industry.
302 students attended 1 or more of the 55 workshops
(N=1183 returned questionnaires from 1302 attendances)
Workshops on real-world civil engineering problems, run by engineers from industry. 357 students attended 1 or more of the 67 workshops (n=1477 returned questionnaires from 1571 attendances)
Client organisations come from a wide range of industries but they all share similar characteristics in that they are mainly SMEs facing growth or sustainability challenges. Very many of our clients are in the third sector, thus they have a focus on solving social issues as opposed to maximising returns.
In 2014-15, 104 students worked with 23 client organisations coming from the Greater Glasgow area.
The students involved in the project are in their 3rd year of a Business degree, thus they already possess substantial knowledge which can be applied to solve the issues faced by the client organisations. Moreover, Business Clinic students receive training on consultancy tools and business modelling in the form of workshops at the beginning of the project.
By the end of the project, each team of students produced a comprehensive report with a detailed strategy and recommendations for each of the 23 client organisations.
Much of the work also took on a practical element such as attending trade fairs on behalf of the businesses or redesigning websites to make these more effective in promoting the business.
As part of the MSc/PGD in Forensic Science, the students have the opportunity to undertake a crime scene exercise which provides them with comprehensive direct practical experience of crime scene to court processes and procedures. The exercise involves attending a mock crime scene at the University Stepps Playing Fields, recovering evidence, examining the evidence in the laboratory on their return and then producing a court report.This is also a collaborative exercise as the report produced by the forensic science students then goes to students of the University’s Law School who act as the prosecution and defence when the forensic science students present their evidence at Glasgow Sheriff Court in front of a sitting Sheriff.
A flipped classroom approach using a jigsaw book exercise with undergraduate civil engineering students (n=474) in years 1,3,4,5. -To focus the learning and assessment process on students being active in constructing their (own and group) knowledge (explicit and tacit) and to promote a ‘reflective practitioner’ behaviour akin to that of professional engineers. -To introduce students to the role of civil engineering knowledge and practice and to establish a foundation on which students will be self-motivated to ‘read’ widely as a commitment to becoming a professional engineer. - To introduce students to a collaborative learning space where peer knowledge is considered to be contributory (as opposed to ‘in competition’) to a holistic understanding of new knowledge whereby cooperation can be seen to lead to synergistic outcomes.
Glasgow: Health, Culture and Identity is a second year class that provides an introductory overview to the History, Culture and Identity of Glasgow, Scotland’s biggest city, from the medieval period to the present day. An exciting and interdisciplinary approach will be used for the teaching of the class, involving history, literature, film, and material culture. Student-centred and independent learning will be encouraged by students undertaking visits to key historical locations in the city. Themes covered in the course include the medieval city, the Reformation, Act of Union, the Enlightenment, immigration and emigration, urban expansion and industrialisation, Empire, sport, technology, culture, architecture and health. The class aligns itself to the teaching and research cluster of Scotland and the world in the History section of the School of Humanities, and the Culture and Place theme in the English section, as well as vision and themes of Strathclyde’s Institute for Future Cities. The interdisciplinary nature of the class will appeal to students from HaSS and other Faculties. The class has attracted considerable attention from both home-based and international students and intellectual interaction between these two groups of students is strongly encouraged.
(1) The Open University (2016) Diagramming for development 1 - Bounding realities, Rich Pictures, http://www.open.edu/openlearn/science-maths-technology/computing-and-ict/systems-computer/diagramming-development-1-bounding-realities/content-section-3.1
(2) What is Rich Picturing? 6 Tips to Get Started with Rich Picturing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39Wc5ACx5v4
(3) Bell, S and Morse, S (2013) How People Use Rich Pictures to Help Them Think and Act, Syst Pract Action Res. 26:331–348.