|Title||Delivery and Assessment of Key Skills in the Earth Sciences Curriculum|
|Department||Careers Advisory Service, University of London: Imperial College, UK|
|Tel.||+44 (0)20 75948027|
In conjunction with the Careers Advisory Serivece, the T. H. Huxley School
of Environment, Earth
Sciences and Engineering has been trying to shift the focus in geology courses from teaching to learning (and, hence, from staff to students). This (1999) is the second year of working with an integrated Key Skills system. A team of 6 staff (the Undergraduate Director, 2 teaching staff, Frances and 2 library staff) meet once at the beginning of the academic year and once at the end to review the process / progress. One of the major issues which they have encountered is that students don't hear / understand things in the same way that we tell them in terms of Key Skills-speak.
The students are taught didactically and are given time to reflect on their learning and time to practise what they are learning. For example, the fieldwork is taught in the context of risk-assessment. The students are required to present their risk-assessment as a group (this presentation is assessed but not marked) and to produce a (marked) technical report.
It is ensured that the students have the opportunity to develop their Key Skills further and to practise the skills prior to marked-assessments. For example, the students are required to produce a poster presentation which they assess using peer-assessment, the students are given models of good practice as guidelines for the production and assessment of the posters. Later on in the year the students submit a poster which is marked and should be of reasonable quality given the opportunity provided for practising the skill.