Department of Biology Teaching and Learning Seminar Series
Thursday 27 June 2019, 12.00 noon
Dr. David Smith, NTF, SFHEA, Royal Society of Biology HE teacher of the year 2019
Reader in Biochemistry, Department of Biosciences and Chemistry, Sheffield Hallam University
Who goes where? The importance of peer groups and social interactions in the laboratory and lecture space
Peer groups have a strong influence on student attainment and the broader educational experience. This talk will directly investigate the drivers for peer group formation and how these groups interact within both the lecture theatre and laboratory environments. In both learning spaces students tend to cluster in peer groups of similar academic ability, with pockets of high and low achieving students working together. The research highlights the critical role that social ties play in successful academic outcomes and the positive effects of inclusive practices and alleviating social anxiety during study. Outcomes of the research were used to inform interventions that facilitate interactions between groups of differing ability and with the tutor during teaching sessions. The practical application of these interventions and their effectiveness will be shared during the talk. This work formed the basis of the Royal Society of Biology HE teacher of the year case study and has been shared in blogs and publications.
FEBS Open Bio, Volume: 8, Issue: 9, Pages: 1368-1378. First published: 21 August 2018. DOI: 10.1002/2211-5463.12494
Host: Setareh Chong