Development of a blended learning framework for STEM – ‘Imaging and Affinity’

Department: Biomedical Sciences

Supervised by: Dr. Kimberly Watson

The Placement Project

A modular framework is being developed by the School of Biological Sciences to deliver blended, tiered learning offering on-line study with residential workshops in ‘Existing and Emerging Biotechnologies’ that allows an attendee access to industrial and academic experts and state of the art instrumentation. There are three modules being developed in this project, namely; ‘Genome to Proteome’, ‘Imaging and Affinity’, and ‘Integrated Systems’. To this end, the student will be actively involved in creation of a variety of on-line methods to be used for the development and delivery of effective and engaging curriculum to cover one of three modules, in this case, ‘Imaging and Affinity’. Such methods of delivery of the curriculum are likely to involve filming of lectures and demonstrations, so the student will have the opportunity to assist in making and editing films. The student will then assist with integration of the developed content to the overall framework. In the final stages of the project, the student will assist in deployment of a pilot test of the framework, using graduate students and industry participants as valid subject groups. During the project, the student will have the opportunity to engage in meetings with academic and industry leaders to help further develop relevant content and gain an understanding of the needs of industry with respect to development and provision of appropriate teaching and learning.


The student will engage in meetings with academic and industry leaders, as well as the project team, to identify select material for the module content (week 1). The student will embark on creation and integration of the content into the framework (weeks 2-5). Finally, the student will assist in the deployment of a pilot test of the framework (week 6).

Skills, knowledge and experience required

The student will ideally have an interest in teaching and learning and some background knowledge of the biochemistry/biology curriculum, with particular interest in the area of ‘Imaging and Affinity’ technologies (such as X-ray crystallography, mass spectrometry, and a variety of spectroscopic methods). A keen willingness to learn and to work as part of a team is essential. Some experience of social media and filming would be advantageous, but not essential.

Skills which will be developed during the placement

The student will have the opportunity to build essential skills in networking, modern software/hardware used in teaching and learning, communication (written and oral), teamwork, become aware of different learning styles and modes of delivery, become familiar with on-line methods of learning (blackboard, moodle, illuminate, etc) and different media formats (wikis, video, podcasts, etc), develop an awareness of health and safety issues required for the residential laboratory components and develop an awareness of issues regarding assessment and evaluation of learning. The student will also become familiar with modern methods and engage with experts in the field of ‘Imaging and Affinity’ technologies. This knowledge and skills obtained throughout the course of this project should be of benefit for any student seeking a career in teaching, media, academia and/or biotech/BioPharma industry.

Place of Work

The student will be based in the Harborne Building, as an integral member of the team, throughout the placement. There are likely to be opportunities to visit industry leaders in the workplace.

Hours of Work


Approximate Start and End Dates (not fixed)

Monday 02 July 2012 - Friday 10 August 2012

How to Apply

Interested students should submit, by email, their cv and a covering letter stating why this project is of interest to them and what benefits they hope to gain from their experience, to Dr. Kim Watson (

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