UniServe Science News Volume 18 October 2001


First Year Experience Discussion Forum: Scientific Skills: Fostering development

The Discussion Forum, Scientific Skills: Fostering development was held at The University of Sydney on Thursday 19 April 2001. The forum was attended by 31 academics representing 13 institutions.

The program included five short presentations by invited academics representing several Australian universities. These 'cameos' illustrated a number of university-wide, faculty and school/department programs that are being implemented to foster the scientific skills in first year students:
  • Paul Adam, The University of New South Wales, Graphing skills, numerical skills and data analysis;
  • Marjan Zadnik, Curtin University of Technology, Presentation and communication skills;
  • Cristina Varsavsky, Monash University, Generic skills in the context of the scientific method;
  • Manjula Sharma, The University of Sydney, Tutorial workshops; and
  • Charlotte Taylor, The University of Sydney, Writing skills.

Feedback from participants was very positive. Presentations were seen to be 'thought provoking and interesting' and focus group discussion 'worthwhile'. However, as with all these events the most valuable aspect is the networking with peers - 'hearing what other people are doing, what works, what doesn't'.

Details are available at

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UniServe Science News Volume 18 October 2001

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