Review Submission

(2008). Review Submission.

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Title Review Submission
Abstract/Summary This submission to the Academic Board Review of the UQ Bachelor of Science degree has been jointly prepared by the faculties of Biological & Chemical Science; Engineering, Physical Sciences & Architecture; and Social & Behavioral Sciences. It represents the outcome of discussions that have occurred between the faculties over the last year. In preparing our submission for the Review, we have sought to capture and present advances at the interdisciplinary boundaries whilst ensuring the expression and growth of fundamental knowledge in existing disciplines. To drive the discussions four Working Parties were established: (1) Structure and Content of the BSc; (2) Pedagogy; (3) Student Experience and (4) Honours and Careers. The Working Parties reported on a regular basis to a Steering Committee that was comprised of Executive Deans, Heads of Schools that teach into the BSc, and staff that have obtained national teaching awards. Members of the above Working Parties and Steering Committee attended a two day Retreat at Caloundra on 8 & 9 June, and a Symposium was held on campus for all staff on 30 & 31 August to have input into the review. In addition, through a range of evaluation tools and personal involvement of students, significant input into the review process was obtained from this key stakeholder group. The review has highlighted the need for the curriculum to be under continual renewal to reflect the most recent pedagogical and scientific advances. The key proposals stemming from our discussions can be summarized as follows: 1. Development of a proposed structure that focuses more on the quantitative and information aspects of science, in which all students are required to take the courses entitled (i) Foundations of Science and (ii) Analysis of Scientific Data and Experiments. 2. A very concerted effort to teach a range of courses in a more interdisciplinary manner, rather than as isolated entities. 3. Strong recognition that mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology are enabling sciences and this is reflected in the expectation that all students who graduate with a UQ BSc will have achieved a level of competence in all of these areas. 4. A dramatic reduction in the number of majors, from around 40 to 14. 5. A significant reduction in the number of first year courses; for example, the number of first year Biology courses has been reduced from 6 to 3. 6. Discipline specific streaming to commence much later than at present, in the second semester of second year. 7. A significant reduction in the number of second and third year courses offered, which should enable students to plan their program of study in a more rational manner and simplify student advising. 8. Creation of proposals for undergraduate research experiences, which assist in embedding the students into the research community and will reduce alienation of students early on in their studies. 9. A major focus on teaching excellence, pedagogical advances and the science of learning, especially on how these areas can assist us to deliver a high-quality educational program. 10. Special attention placed on the student experience, with a number of significant recommendations on how this can be improved, particularly in terms of delivering an enhanced cohort experience and student-staff interactions. 11. Submission of a $22 million grant proposal for a Science Teachers Center to Atlantic Philanthropies, which will help the University promote the importance of science to the primary, middle and secondary school sectors. It will also ensure that our undergraduate teaching practice is evidence based and provide a forum for industry and government to have input into and ownership of our BSc degree. 12. Tabling of a submission for an undergraduate research learning space to significantly enhance the quality of the learning environment for science students which reflects current research and practice into how students learn.
Keyword curriculum
Bachelor of Science
science education
Date 2008
Research Fields, Courses and Disciplines 210000 Science - General
330200 Curriculum Studies
Open Access Status Other

Document type: Generic Document
Collection: Bachelor of Science Curriculum Review
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Created: Thu, 28 Aug 2008, 14:22:53 EST by Kelly Matthews