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Trans:it Science

Introduction

The aim of the trans:it science units is to help students make a successful transition from school or college into higher education and to develop their long term effectiveness as learners throughout and beyond their chosen courses.

Overview of Trans:it Science

These science units are written to complement the existing generic trans:it support material and cover the same six topics:

Unit Introductions:

Unit 1: You and Higher Education (Science)

The aim of this Unit is to help you to decide whether or not to study a science subject in higher education.  It offers reasons for studying science and presents an overview of the main ways of studying, including full-time and part-time courses.  It also looks at sources of advice for choosing and funding higher education courses and for finding out what undergraduate science students think of their chosen subjects. Finally, it summarises career opportunities for science graduates in Britain and elsewhere.

Unit 2: The Independent Science Student

This Unit looks at the main differences between studying at school or college, and in higher education, and the factors for success as an undergraduate student. It summarises your likely first year experiences in higher education, including the practical work you will encounter in laboratories, or elsewhere.

It also presents an overview of assessment and progression in higher education, and on what students think about the ways they are assessed.

Unit 3: Time Management for Science Students

This Unit looks at the important issue of managing time for science students, including prioritising work, dealing with procrastination and managing perfectionism. It also includes case studies of science students with time issues they need to address, and offers advice from successful science students on effective ways of managing time.

Unit 4: Managing Science Information

There are many readily available sources of information for science students in both electronic and printed forms.  To help students manage this information this Unit looks at the role of primary and secondary sources in assignments.  It also offers a framework for evaluating Internet and printed sources, as well as a guide to understanding key science concepts, common abbreviations and scientific terms. Finally, it looks at 'critical reading', in terms of why and how to do this for maximum learning benefit.

Unit 5: Science Writing

Writing is a central activity on any science degree course.  Science students in their first year are likely to write and present for assessment the following:

  • Summaries of research papers
  • Reports of practical work and projects (including use of diagrams)
  • Essays
  • Power-point and Poster presentations

These have to be written in a particular style and format expected in the science discipline concerned. Sources of evidence also need to be cited and referenced in accordance to the referencing style adopted by the science department of the HE institution.

Employers also place 'good communication' skills, written and spoken, high on their list of job specifications for new recruits. Setform Limited, a careers information publisher, suggests the following 'top five' personal qualities are particularly valued desired by graduate employers:

  1. Good communication and presentation skills, both oral and written
  2. Self-motivation
  3. Team worker
  4. An ability to pick up technical concepts quickly and competently
  5. Analytical mind

This Unit looks at what constitutes 'good writing' in relation to science reports and essays.  It also presents information and advice on effective poster presentations, and on referencing sources and avoiding plagiarism in academic writing.

Unit 6: Working with Other Science Students

Group work with other science students is a common feature of higher education courses.  Section 6 of the main Trans:it  resource goes into detail about the role of group work in higher education, group roles, presentations, and managing group conflict.

Appendix: Practical Chemistry

Chemistry, like other sciences, is a practical subject. This unit will help you to prepare for laboratory practical classes in chemistry. It covers:

  • Planning and carrying out an experiment
  • Useful units, unit conversions, equations, SI prefixes and multiplication factors
  • Practice at calculating reaction yields