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For the SoTL Advent Calendar created by Dr Nathalie Sheridan at the University of Glasgow

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Computer Science TEAMS project students

Creation of a Data Base for Degree Calculations

Currently, determining degree classifications is a cumbersome and time-consuming process for class heads across the institution. Because MyCampus is not designed to determine final GPAs for specific programmes, degree outcomes must be calculated manually by collating several years of grade data, by applying different course weightings for multiple degree options, and by considering Good Cause, as well as Discretionary Zone, cases. Subsequent spreadsheet modifications require further time-investments: results must be anonymised and ranked for exam boards, and particular file structures are required for uploading final results to MyCampus for publication of degree classifications and course results. Most of these calculations are done using spreadsheets and, whilst these are effective, there are significant risks for errors to creep in. These requirements contribute to increased stress, anxiety and workload of those who must ensure that the calculations are robust, reliable and defensible.

Our dream (mine and that of my collaborator -Dr Smita Odedra) was to create a database that is flexible, modifiable, interactive, secure, easy-to-use and that it both imports and exports files compliant with MyCampus requirements for facile publication of results.

We harnessed the power of the Computer Science “Software Teams Project” programme (2019-20) to revolutionise this process in a staff-student co-design/co-creation initiative. Our two teams have independently created databases intended to meet all of these objectives.

We presented the results of our work with at the University of Glasgow Learning & Teaching Conference (2020) as a Lightning Talk.

We continue with our efforts with two more CS TEAMS (2020-21) with a variation of incorporating a database for the the course grade calculation.



Dr Linnea Soler & Dr Nathalie Sheridan
05 February 2020

#LTHEchat 165:

Transitions into Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)


#LTHEchat (Learning and Teaching in Higher Education chat) is a community of practice for HE educators, meeting every Wed during term time to discussion current issues in L&T in HE. It is an international community, which has been coming together since 2014 and the chats attract participants from all over the world. The LTHEchat is accompanied by a blog, which is written and run by the community



CHERPS - BSc Projects

Covid response: Converting Wet Labs to Dry Labs

In light of the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent closure and/or limited access to the undergraduate teaching labs, we are designing and building e-lab experiments with the aim of addressing as many of the learning outcomes as is possible without hands-on experience.

One project student that I co-supervise with Dr Smita Odedra is creating two experiments for a Quantitative-1 lab.

Another project student that I co-supervise with Dr Ciorsdaidh Watts is creating two experiments for a Synthesis-2 lab.

We look forward to publishing our learnings soon

Both students are working under the umbrella of our Chemistry Higher Education Research, Practice & Scholarship (CHERPS)(SoTL) group.

Both students are using videos of experiments coupled with e-resources, to build robust e-learning units that are intended to continue as support for the student, even once the pandemic is tamed.

We are very grateful to our colleagues across the UK (& world-wide) and especially to the Oxford Uni DryLabs initiative for all the support and good company during a very gruelling period


ChAMPS - BSc Projects

Analytical Chem: e-Learning & e-Training Resources

We have created a new SoTL group with the aim of creation of teaching and training resources focussed on Analytical Techniques. Each of our students (currently four students members in total) has their own particular analytical technique that they are exploring and developing within the remit of the SoTL group.

One project student that I co-supervise with Dr Smita Odedra is focussing on Nuclear Magnetic Resonance.

Another project student that I co-supervise with Dr Ciorsdaidh Watts is focussed on Thin Layer Chromatography.
We look forward to publishing our learnings soon

Our students are working under the umbrella of our Chemistry Analytical Methods, Practice & Scholarship (ChAMPS) group.

Both students are using videos of experiments coupled with e-resources, to build robust e-learning units that are intended to continue as support for the student, even once the pandemic is tamed.


My Tree Topper - UofG TEA

I am exceedingly fortunate in my profession: I have wonderful students with whom teaching and learning is a pleasure; my project students expand my horizons, nearly on a daily basis, and I love the adventure and discovery of our SoTL projects; I have amazing colleagues who are a joy to work with and who keep life interesting and who make me smile; and I have a superb community here at the University of Glasgow.


And more...

SoTL and more...Student Support, Inclusivity & Outreach


In addition to SoTL, our community is focussed on supporting our student body through a range of initiatives. I share some of the recent activities I have been involved with....

Student Support: Formal pastoral meetings with our final year students (I presented to the CoSE TCM the good practice within the School of Chemistry)

Routes to Dissemination Fair:

I presented a lightning talk on the topic "From Resarch to Scholarship" that led to meeting new people, sharing good practice and learning so much from this talented and creative community.

Inclusivity: Our group project for the UofG Leadership (LTS) Programme (19-20) yeilded material that led to the creation and presentation, together with Dr Michael McEwan, a LEADS module on "Inclusivity & Accessibility"


Chemistry & the Media:

Together with Dr Smita Odedra and Dr Beth Paschke, we created social events involving movies, chemistry related quizzes and more to engage, support and just have fun with our students. We presented our initiative at an RSofChem Meeting (#SUSChem) where there was positive response and this has been taken up by other institutions.

Outreach: Outreach is core to so much of what our LTS ChERPS group undertake and create. My projects have created resources intended to support secondary students with their chemistry but also to highlight the role of chemists in a wide range of careers.

Re-Imagining Learning Encounters: I am so delighted to be a member of this working group where we identified issues that could arise from the sudden shift to on-line learning in response to Covid and we produced with a wide-range of creative routes to support our student body with learning and to create a community of inclusion (and with fun!) This was shared with the UofG and has clearly inspired subsequent work

Launching of our LTS Group: We are in the final stages of desighing and launching our LTS/SoTL website, with Dr Smita Odedra's technical wizardry, creative input from my talented son (thanks Anthony!) and planning input from our lovely group

LTDF Project (2019-20)

LTDF - Customised Student Learning

This Learning & Teaching Development Fund was awarded to our cross-College (CoSE) collaboration comprised of membes from Engineering, Chemistry(*) and Physics(**). We have developed a web content which can provide the students a customised learning experience. The instructors have the flexibility of creating online contents including lessons, audio, video etc. and branch the formative or summative learning in a way that based on the student performance at a specific learning level, the next levels are adjusted.

As an example, a wrong answer at level 1 would not lead to level 2, rather it will take the student to some guidance material to practice level 1 before taking them to the next level.
The customised student learning will have positive impact on student directed or self-learning performance.

This project was presented at the University of Glasgow Learning & Teaching Conference (2020)

Sajjad Hussain, Qammer H. Abbasi, *Linnea Soler, *Ciorsdaidh Watts, **Eric Yao & Muhammad Imran


Lab Video & e-Resources: BSc Project

Facilitating the Transition into Chem-1 Labs

This SoTL BSc Chemistry Project (19-20) focussed on the creation of resources intended to facilitate the transition into the Chem-1 labs. I very much enjoyed working wit Jarrett Gray and the project was all the more enjoyable and productive due the great three-way discourse that included the co-supervisor, Dr Ciorsdaidh Watts.

We were selected to present at the University of Glasgow's Learning & Teaching Conference (2020). Furthermore, we presented (poster) at CLEARLAB and at ViCEPHEC (Variety in Chemistry Education / Physics Higher Education Conference)

The outputs from Jarret's project are being used to scaffold further SoTL projects by our current BSc students in 2020-21.

We feel fortunate to have this experience and background to support us with the transition to e-learning labs during the Covid-19 pandemic and we feel very fortunate to have been able to collaborate with Jarret on this topic.


e-Learning Resources & BSc Projects

Student Learning Experience & Lab e-Learning

-In 2017-18, I had the pleasure of co-supervising three talented BSc students with Dr Ciorsdaidh Watts.

Each of our students (Catherine McKenna, Jason Eriksen and Jack Bullon) carried out a different SoTL project, but all were linked to the theme of investigating the introduction of E-learning resources in the Organic Chemistry Labs (recall that this is pre-covid research).

Catherine, Jack & Erik were selected, with a joint-submission, to present at "Let's Talk about [X]"(2018) (year of the snow storm...) after which they were invited to present at the University of Glasgow's Learning & Teaching Conference (2018) where they delivered an excellent talk.

It was a real pleasure to work with these three dynamic and able students and we are continuing with the work that they spearheaded.


Mauveine & BSc Project

Chemistry & Heritage Science - Historic Dyes

Chemists play an exciting role in the field of Heritage Science and we harnessed this in our BSc Project (2018-19) to create an outreach teaching resource that not only supported the Advanced Higher chemistry curriculum but also showed how chemistry can lead to a wide range of career paths. Adriana Iuliano, my fabulous final-year project student designed and created a 100-minute teaching unit we trialled it sucessfully at a local secondary school. Active learning using gamification, object-based learning and problem-solving made the teaching unit "fun" with enthusiastic response from the students.

We collaborated with Dr Anita Quye (History of Art), from the School of Culture & Creative Arts at the University of Glasgow and underpinned this project with the first synthetic dye, Mauveine, created by Sir William Perkins in 1856.

Adriana was selected to present at "Let's Talk about [X]" where her talk was selected as one of the best and she was then invited to present at the University of Glasgow's Learning & Teaching Conference (2019).

Image of “Perkin Mauve”, https://americanhistory.si.edu/sites/default/files/perkin%20mauve%20resized.jpg, (accessed 08/12/2018).

Plans are afoot to publish this project as a teaching resource for secondary school chemistry teachers with the aim of helping students to become more confident with both the chemical techniques (Elemental analysis, Mass Spectroscopy, Infrared spectrocopy, 1H and 13C Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectrocopy) and with solving problems that require integration and thought to pull the various strands together.


Roman Pigments & BSc Project

Chemistry & Heritage Science - Roman Pigments

The role of Chemists in Archaeology was explored in our BSc Project (2019-20). Craig Sproul, my marvellous final-year project student designed, created and produced a 100 minute teaching unit. Furthermore, he supported the piloting of this outreach teaching unit with a local secondary school, comprised of 42 Advanced Higher Chemistry students. We collaborated with Dr Louisa Campbell (Archaeology), from the School of Humanities at the University of Glasgow. This project was inspired by and underpinned with her fascinating research, focussed on determining the composition of the traces of pigments that the Romans left on sculptures found along both the Anthonine Wall and Hadrian's Wall. Through games, object based learning, and a careful sequence of activities, this unit was designed along the POGIL constructs (Process Orientated Guided Independent Learning). Not only did the students enjoy the unit, they felt that this helped to teach them and to consolidate their knowledge and skills. The analytical techniques covered in this unit include Raman and X-Ray Fluorescence, linked them to the better known concepts of IR and Elemental Analysis.

Photo of portion of map and pebbles used in one of the problem-solving games

Craig was selected to present at "Let's Talk about [X]" and this project work was also selected for presentation at the University of Glasgow's Learning & Teaching Conference (2020).

This project work was also presented at the ViCE/PhEC (Variety in Chemistry Education / Physics Higher Education Conference.

Work is underway to publish this as a resource for secondary school / Level 1 Chemistry educators.


Hosted by University of Glasgow

ViCEPHEC Conference 2021

I am on the committee who were sucessful in our bid to bring this national conference to

Univeristy of Glasgow
20/21 August 2021

Variety in Chemical Education and Physics Higher Education Conference

We are very much looking forward to seeing you!

note: website still under construction



VICEPHEC is a national conference that brings together educators in chemistry and physics to discuss and share developments, ideas and good practice in learning and teaching at tertiary level. The conference is open to academics, researchers, teachers and postgraduate students as well as those with an interest in chemistry and/or physics higher education (such as A-level teachers interested in supporting students’ transition into university).