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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Earth Science

Undergraduate Course: Geoscience Outreach and Engagement (EASC10087)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryGeoScience Outreach is a project-based course where students design and carryout an outreach project that communicates some element of the field of GeoSciences and related subjects beyond the university community. The course will enable students to: 1) develop expertise in outreach and engagement, 2) improve communication skills for non-academic audiences, 3) learn key career skills such as project management, and 4) work in a professional capacity liaising and collaborating with external clients. Students will work with schools, community centres, museums, outdoor visitor centres, science centres, community groups, online public and other clients, to design, develop and deliver resources and materials for outreach and engagement. Resources can include classroom teaching resources, leaflets, websites, smartphone/tablet applications, community events, presentations or materials for museums and visitor centres, etc.. The subject matter can include anything within the remit of the School of GeoSciences or other participating schools within the university. Opportunities exist to undertake projects that contribute to the development of teaching resources to support the new Environmental Science qualifications in the Scottish school curriculum (Curriculum for Excellence). Feedback from students indicate that successful completion of the course has enhanced future employability and opened up diverse career options such as science communication and education.
Course description The GeoScience Outreach course will begin with regular workshops to provide the skillsets required for the individual projects. Sessions will be held from 10am - 12pm (or 9 - 11am) on Wednesdays in first semester. The three remaining sessions will continue during the second semester.

Course introduction - discussion of the objectives of the course and previous student outputs and experiences (Wednesday 27 Sep. 10 - 12 pm).

1. Communication skills and learning objectives - 4 Oct.
2. Time and project management - 11 Oct.
3. Science engagement and working with museums, Our Dynamic Earth - 18 Oct.
4. Outreach in schools, interdisciplinary learning and the Curriculum for Excellence - 25 Oct.
5. Diplomacy and communication, working with vulnerable groups - 1 Nov.
6. Open Educational Resources, copyright and permissions (e.g. creative commons) - 8 Nov.
7. Web development and social media - 15 Nov.
8. Design and visual communication - how to produce professional content - Spring
9. Video development, editing, digital media (optional) - Spring
10. Outreach projects connecting to your future career - Spring
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs No
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  32
Course Start Flexible
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 10, Other Study Hours 100, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 86 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) Additional Hours: on placement
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Written Exam: 0%, Course Work: 100 %, Practical Exam: 0%.
5% Interim project report
10% Conference presentation
Final Hand-in:
40% Final product
25% Technical report
10% Diary/log with project management timeline
5% Blog post
5% Project flyer/promotional material

Interim project report (1 December 2017 12pm noon - via Turnitin)
Blog post (16 March 2017 12pm noon - via Turnitin)
Conference presentation (14 March 2017 9 - 12 am)
Final Hand-in (April 27 2017 12pm noon - via Turnitin)
Feedback Individual and Group Meetings: Each student will have at least two individual meetings per semester with their GO supervisory team. Students can also arrange individual supervisory meetings with their GO team including staff and tutors at any time for advice, support, feedback etc.

December interim report: student will receive detailed written feedback on the progress of their project based on their assessed December hand-in and also on project development and student progress throughout the first semester.

Spring presentation and blog post: Students will receive detailed feedback on their assessed spring presentation and pitching of their project in the blog post.

End of semester 2 hand-ins: Students will receive detailed feedback on their final project submissions at the end of semester 2.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Develop expertise with community outreach and engagement
  2. Learn key communication skills including verbal, visual, video, and online/social media communication
  3. Refine skills with project development and time management
  4. Build relationships with community partners including schools, museums, community groups, etc.
  5. Create learning resources, educational materials, delivery of workshops
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills *Communicating science knowledge and understanding in unfamiliar contexts and to unfamiliar audiences
*Working with external clients in unfamiliar environments (e.g. school classrooms, visitor centres, museums)
*Project and time management
*Creative project design skills
*Interpersonal skills
*Enterprise and sustainability
Special Arrangements Students will be mentored through project development in Semester 1 and undertake the majority of their project work in Semester 2. Deadlines for submission may be flexible to allow maximum breadth of participation and to accommodate different outreach projects.
KeywordsScience engagement and communication; science education; clients; project management
Course organiserDr Isla Myers-Smith
Tel: (0131 6)50 7251
Course secretaryMiss Eilein Fraser
Tel: (0131 6)50 5430
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