New undergraduate students on the Sport and Exercise Sciences BSc degree programme experience a new style of introduction to their course and to life within the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences at the University of Birmingham.
Title: Sport and Exercise Sciences - Speed BSc
Duration: 8.50 mins
Speaker Names (if given):
S1 Dr Vikki Burns - Senior Lecturer, School of Sport and Exercise Sciences
S2 Undergraduate Sport and Exercise Sciences student
S3 Undergraduate Sport and Exercise Sciences student
S4 Jess, Student Mentor
S5 Undergraduate Sport and Exercise Sciences student
S6 Undergraduate Sport and Exercise Sciences student
S7 Undergraduate Sport and Exercise Sciences student
S8 Student Mentor
S9 Sam Cooley, Sport and Exercise Sciences alumni
S1 My name's Vikki Burns I'm a Senior Lecturer here in the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences I teach Behavioural Immunology and I'm the Head of Quality Assurance. Which, basically, means I look at our programmes making sure they run properly and fairly, and look at ways that we can enhance the student experience.
We've been looking at the student induction process because we know it's a really important transition for our student to make successfully. It’s a big change going from studying at school to studying more independently here at University. Traditional inductions are mostly made up of a series of talks where the students are pretty much just the recipients of information. They sit for two or three hours listening to a series of different people tell them stuff they need to know and what their experience is going to be like. It's not very engaging. It often goes in one ear and out the other and also it goes against everything that we say that university is. University is supposed to be about coming and discovering new knowledge for yourself, learning to be independent and learning to work effectively. So the idea behind Speed BSc is to make it a lot more interactive, a lot more independent. So it really starts out with that independent learning that we want them to have at the university.
It's based on a course called Speed PhD, which was developed by VITAE the graduate research organisation and it involves them doing a whole mini-degree in two afternoons. So they go from an introductory talk to a graduation ceremony in about 12 hours total contact. A lot of their time will be spent in small groups, five or six students, trying to achieve a task that we've set them. So, in this case, they're going to be producing a Sportex fresher's guide to campus. What we're hoping they'll get out of it is a better understanding of what it is to study at university. That we're not just going to tell them everything that they need to know. We'll be there to support them but they need to find things out for themselves, for them to discover what a wealth of places there are on campus that you can find out information that you don’t know.
It's also about getting to know each other because one of the biggest things about university is the people that you meet, the connections you make and starting out with that sense of being part of the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences is a really important aspect of the induction.
S2 It's been a good opportunity to socialise and get to know new people and it's also just finding out stuff about the university.
S3 Things like WebCT. Before, lecturers where mentioning it and you didn't know what it was. So it's little things like that which help you navigate yourself around the uni and the university systems.
S1 They're going to be working together; they're going to be delegating roles out to each other, working as a team to produce a piece of work. We know that in order to succeed in their degree that's going to be really important. They often have to do work, complete projects, presentations as groups and we know it's something that traditionally students find a bit difficult and students sometimes try and avoid. What we'd like to do instead is give them the skills to deal with those situations because we know it's something that employers really value.
We, of course, couldn't run the Speed BSc on our own. High quality small group teaching is one of the main aspects of it. So what we've done is trained a group of students mentors. These are second and third years students in the School of Sport and exercise sciences who'll be helping facilitate the day.
S4 So we've been gathering the freshers together and setting them a few tasks to help them to get to know the campus and the procedures that they're going to have to go through over the next three years; like handing in a piece of work, working in groups, socialising with the people on your course. There was an ice-breaker session involving people writing strange facts about themselves and then trying to work out who that fact was about and obviously introducing themselves while doing so. We went through all the best ways of working in a group and hopefully that'll set them up well for doing pieces of coursework later in the year. And then we sent them off around campus because they're needing to do a presentation about the campus and culture and where you can find information and where you can go for sport; which they're going to have to present to us today and we're going to be marking that.
S5 Essentially, we've got to do a presentation and think of five frequently asked questions in relation to culture and we've been walking around campus and looking around places like the Barber Institute of Fine Arts and the Great Hall trying to get information on different things to do with law, art, theatre and music. It’s quite a good way to meet people and learn how to get round campus and see what it has to offer as well. I didn't know that the Barber Institute of Fine Arts was free so it's quite useful to know that we can visit any time. So it's just a putting it together session tomorrow, so fingers crossed we'll get it done.
S6 We've sort of done the posters and the FAQs already so we're quite relaxed. So we're just getting to know each other. It gets you moving around campus as well, because they were like “Go find computers, go find somewhere to work.” So that was really useful.
S7 We kind of like split it up, we delegated doing different things so I'm trying to catch up with them. It’s going OK though, it's going alright.
S1 So the student mentors play a really important role in the effective running of the Speed BSc. They're actually going to finish the programme by helping them write notes to themselves where they have to write their little resolutions that they're come up with during the Speed BSc about how they want to be during their first term. We'll post those back to them.
S8 We're going to get you to write a message to your future self on a piece of paper and we'll whack it into an envelope - you don't have to tell each other what you're writing - about what you've learnt today and we're going to give it back to you at some point in the future.
S1 But also it's a development for them so they get to come back, they get to learn how to run training sessions, how to facilitate discussion. They get to really share their experiences with the new students, the things they wish they'd know when they were freshers and they'll then be a point of friendly support for them throughout the rest of the year.
So just like with a real degree programme the Speed BSc finishes in a graduation ceremony. All our students will receive a certificate for successfully completing the programme and we'll be awarding prizes to the people who produce the best Sportex fresher's guides to campus. Those will be available to our other students as a resource for them as they go on through the year. As with a graduation ceremony, again there'll be speakers coming to talk about their experiences at university and their top tips for surviving fresher’s and making the best transition possible to life in the school of sport and exercise sciences.
S9 Well, Hi everyone I hope you all enjoyed the Speed BSc. Vikki's asked me to come along and share a few of my experiences from doing the course that you're just about to do.
S1 The last thing I want you to do before we leave is I want you all to close your eyes and I want you to imagine that instead of in a lecture theatre you are sat in the Great Hall. You're wearing your gown, you've got your silly hat on, you're surrounded by people that you've been working hard with; these people, that you've been working hard with for the last three years. And sat on a big block behind you are all the people that you care about. Imagine them being so proud to see you coming down here and picking up a certificate. That's why you're here. Make the most of every second you have here because it'll go by in a flash. Well done and congratulations.
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