Development and Evaluation of an Undergraduate Science Communication Module

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Abstract

This paper describes the design and evaluation of an undergraduate final year science communication module for the Science Faculty at the University of East Anglia. The module focuses specifically on science communication and aims to bring an understanding of how science is disseminated to the public. Students on the module are made aware of the models surrounding science communication and investigate how the science culture interfaces with the public. During the module they learn how to adapt science concepts for different audiences and how to talk confidently about science to a lay-audience. Student motivation for module choice centres on the acquisition of transferable skills and students develop these skills through designing, running and evaluating a public outreach event at a school or in a public area. These transferable skills acquired include communication, interaction with different organisations such as museums and science centres, developing understanding of both the needs of different audiences and the importance of time management. They also develop skills relating to self-reflection and how to use this as a tool for future self development. The majority of students completing the module go on to further study, either a PhD, MSc or teacher training. The module can be sustained in its present formed if capped at 40 students, however it is recognised that to increase cohort size, further investment of faculty time and resources would be required.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBioscience Education e-Journal
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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