Design and reflections from an online FEBS YSF practical session – Shaping your career (also as an educator)

Design and reflections from an online FEBS YSF practical session – Shaping your career (also as an educator)

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The FEBS Young Scientists’ Forum (YSF) for PhD students and postdocs was held virtually for the first time this year, June 15–18, 2021, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Practical exercises on various ‘career skills' were the pillars of the program, presented four times by each tutor to different small groups during the meeting.

One such exercise was ‘Shaping your career (also as an educator) – Tips and tricks for a young scientist’. Here a short summary is presented with the design of  this education-related practical exercise and reflections from it. 

This session was developed considering that now (more than ever) is the time for educators and students to rethink career-diverse PhDs and to readjust mind-sets for shaping one's career also as an educator.

Thus, the learning objectives were set as follows. At the end of the session, participants should be able to:

  • Self-evaluate their knowledge and approach to education
  • Explain the link between education and research
  • Describe the characteristics of a good educator and components of a positive educational environment
  • Design a motto on education
  • Choose a short-, mid- or long-term goal in their educator skills development

After a short introduction and ‘getting to know each other’ activities with Mentimeter interactive presentation software, participants were given some background information about the science of learning and teaching.

An engaging and interesting quiz of 11 questions was run afterwards on Kahoot game-based learning software. This formative assessment was designed to raise more awareness in participants about teaching and learning. New educational technologies and concepts were also introduced as bite-size information during the game.

This was followed with a group exercise in break-out rooms in which the Jamboard digital interactive whiteboard was used. Participants were asked to create an engaging motto related to education and learning.

Group outputs were shared afterwards followed with obtaining feedback from the participants via Menti.

Finally, individuals were encouraged to choose goals to further their educator skills. Goal suggestions will be covered in a follow-up post on the FEBS Network.

All these engaging activities with new educational technologies provided an enjoyable, friendly and safe learning environment for YSF participants. In YSF feedback one of the participants reported: ‘Also practical exercises surprised me many times – in a good way, of course. I like the way how they make us be active, using some online tools, and even games that were not aggressively asking for our attention, but interactively engaging us.’ 

Top image of post:  by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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