Month: September 2018

Future proofing our students and our degrees

By Katie Dallison, Careers Consultant, Careers Service

The robots are coming! This call has never been more real than right now, and right here at Imperial, mainly because we’ll be involved in creating them. So here, at the dawn of the 4th industrial revolution of embedded technology, how do we make sure that our students are ready to take on whatever they will find once they graduate? We teach technical skills, and coding, and theories, but how relevant will some of this knowledge be in 10, even 5 years? How much of the subject related knowledge you gained for your undergraduate degree/s is still used or, in some disciplines, even correct today? According the World Economic Forum, the most sought after skills in 2020 for graduates will be these:

This image lists what the World Economic Forum expect the most sought after skills in 2020 for graduates will be

These skills link nicely to our Imperial Graduate Attributes and realistically, much of the teaching we do already incorporates elements of them. Embedding these attributes into curriculum is often a matter of highlighting where this is already being done, whether that is to students or ourselves, and ensuring we’ve given our students the tools to perform tasks we’re asking of them. For example, if we ask them to do a team project, where in the past have they learnt how to work in a team? Have they had a chance to assess what they are good at, or where they need to improve? How can we make sure we give them all of the tools to properly develop this vital, complex skill? There are some great examples already out there from Imperial and beyond.

Now is the time to make sure our degrees and our graduates are fit for purpose in the future. Yes, we’ll need to teach them solid academic knowledge but to really make sure we are producing the best, we’ll also need Imperial graduates that have the ability to communicate and adapt to an unknown, ever changing environment.

To find out more about embedding attributes visit Resources for staff, Workshop resources: 18 July Employers, Employment and Employability and to discuss your departments unique requirements, drop me an email.

Introducing StudentShapers

By Dr Mike Streule, Imperial StudentShapers Director, Education Office

This week sees the introduction of StudentShapers to the Imperial Community.

StudentShapers is a programme developed between Imperial College and Imperial College Union to support partnership between staff and students. The programme represents the Learning and Teaching strategy’s commitment to working closely with students during the strategy’s implementation and beyond. StudentShapers supports projects in educational development and educational research with the programme open to the entire Imperial College staff and student body.

Scheme framework

The scheme framework provides a structure and guidance for fostering effective co-creative partnerships between staff and students, with bursaries to support the student contribution. These partnerships can adopt either Curriculum Development and pedagogic enhancement and innovation (Theme 1) or Learning and Teaching Scholarship and Research (Theme 2). Within each theme there are various project streams (see image below).

This image outlines the different types of StudentShapers projects. Staff can propose: curriculum development projects (under Theme 1) for UG and PGT, Educational research and investigation projects (under Theme 2) for UG and PGT, Translation of research in to teaching projects (under Theme 1) for PGR and additional projects which are ad-hoc projects for all students at other times of year or across themes.

Key benefits (amongst many others) for staff:

  • Enhanced the relationship or trust between students and staff
  • Development of new or better teaching or curriculum materials
  • Increased understanding of the “other’s” experience (e.g. staff understanding student experiences or vice versa)
  • Expanding a department’s capacity for educational development work

Key benefits (amongst many others) for students:

  • Increased student engagement/motivation/ownership for learning
  • Increased student confidence/self-efficacy
  • Increased understanding of the “other’s” experience (e.g. students understanding staff experiences)

Project Funding Proposal Process

Applications submitted via the online form on the website specific to project type (guidance notes are given to help with submitting an application that will be approved); see deadlines on the website.  Funding proposals for projects partnering with UG or PGT students are geared towards ‘full time’ projects taking place in the summer vacation. However long term projects with lesser levels of commitment with UG or PGT students plus projects for PGR students can be proposed throughout the year.



Follow on Twitter: @studentshapers