‘Developing Graduate Skills in HE Mathematics Programmes’ booklet released

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed me saying I’ve been juggling a few things this week trying to get three big announcements out. Here’s the first.

We funded Jeff Waldock at Sheffield Hallam University to collect a series of case studies on ‘Developing Graduate Skills in HE Mathematics Programmes’. Well, the booklet of case studies is ready. The printer has it today and the PDF is online at the project website.

Developing Graduate Skills in HE Mathematics Programmes cover

Jeff and I are planning to tour a workshop offering the findings from this workshop and details of funding to support lecturers bringing the ideas from this into their own teaching. Details of this are below.

Developing Graduate Skills in HE Mathematics Programmes Workshop

There are significant barriers involved when seeking to modify Mathematics programmes to encourage the development of graduate skills. One barrier is the practical difficulty of finding space for graduate skill development in a crowded curriculum. This can be addressed, at least in part, through different approaches toward learning, teaching and assessment that allow skill development to take place alongside the development of the mathematical skills, and by encouraging students to take part in extra-curricular activities.

A series of short case studies have been collected, each focussed on specific graduate skills, providing examples of ways in which these have been successfully developed through curricular initiatives. There is a wide variety of work reported, both in terms of the skills developed as well as the type of courses and institutions involved. The hope and expectation is, therefore, that there will be something of interest and relevance to everyone who has a desire to make curricular changes aimed at improving the ‘graduate’ skill levels of their students.

Project leader Jeff Waldock and, where possible, case study authors will present the background to the project and describe the case studies. There will be discussion of barriers, drivers and enablers, and how these might affect practice, particularly in the light of the poor record many mathematics students have with regard to employability skills. Participants will be invited to discuss the issues raised by the case studies and make proposals for adapting their own teaching.

A call for funding will be available until 31 May 2011 for funding of £1,000 (may be paid to individuals rather than employers if appropriate) to take up ideas from the booklet. You should look to adapt one or more of the ideas from the booklet in a way that suits your circumstances. This may look to replicate one of the activities described, or it might draw on some elements of one or more of these. Trial your proposed activity and conduct an evaluation of it. Write a case study detailing what you did and giving the findings of the evaluation. (Please note: This funding is to support new development and is not to support the write up of activity which has already been completed.) Details of this funding call will be made available at the workshop or can be obtained by emailing Peter Rowlett.

This workshop will take place at:
University of York, 18th April (jointly with the National HE STEM Programme North East Spoke);
Manchester Metropolitan University, 5th May (jointly with the National HE STEM Programme North West Spoke);
University of Bath, 10th May (jointly with the National HE STEM Programme South West Spoke);
Cardiff University, 11th May (jointly with the National HE STEM Programme Wales Spoke);
University of Greenwich, 17th May;
University of Birmingham, 19th May (provisional) (jointly with the National HE STEM Programme Midlands and East Anglia Spoke).

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