• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!


Roy Smith

Page history last edited by Norman Jackson 13 years, 9 months ago


I'm a biologist by trade, doing my PhD at Newcastle and postdoc in Edinburgh. However most of my professional life has been focused on teaching and learning in human physiology applied for health care, and course leadership. I spent 19 years (!) at Birmingham Polytechnic/University of Central England (now BCU) and then moved to Aston in 2009 to assist in the running of their Combined Honours programme. I'm now Head of Interdisciplinary Studies at Aston Uni in Birmingham. This is a new role, expanded from my previous post of Director of Combined Honours at Aston. I have a small team of two assisting academics and three invaluable adminstrative staff, plus annually a placement student - marketing assistant. We are closely linked with the University's Centre for Learning Innovation and Professional Practice (CLIPP), headed by Alison Halstead, and we are expanding from our long-standing full-time undergraduate provision in Combined Honours into lifelong learning, research into learning and teaching, sustainability studies, and other things. So it's all go for expansion and dead exciting! My own research interests at the moment centre round developing critical reading skills in life sciences, through an internally funded project at Aston, and developing extracurricular modular support in employability skills for our Combined Honours students, which is the topic of my SCEPTrE Fellowship. So I'll put up a deeper description of that shortly.


This is a link to a short description of the employability skills modules that are the focus of my project.

Employability Skill suite for CH students.doc


My own evaluation of the first run of the level 4 module was that it needed more structured interaction with the students throughout the duration. So I am setting up a series of realtively small tasks which can be regularly updated and developed, with feedback at each iteration (CV production; self-assessment; planning; action learning sets) . That way we will all have a more interactive experience. This seems obvious in retrospect, but I wanted to see how the more passive provision of online materials and advice on request would be taken up.


One significant development since the project started is that we have now gained agreement that Interdisciplinary Studies will take over the running of placements for Combined Honours students (except for those taking languages). We will be using this suite of employability skills modules to prepare students for, to assess and to follow up the placement. The devil is in the details and I'll update as we go into this.  Our confidence that we can do this has been boosted by our intial experience around this project and seeing what other people have achieved.






Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.