Tom Hill, Professor of Nutrition
Population Health Sciences Institute
Faculty of Medical Sciences
What did you do?
Students are openly invited to research based seminars which are part of the Research Institute. This is separate to teaching and it’s really an extra set of learning opportunities that students can join and feel part of the overall research nutrition community within the faculty.
Course: Food and Human nutrition community
Student reach: 50 (Stage 3)
Who is involved?
Tom Hill – Professor of Nutrition, Population Health Sciences
How did you do it?
The events are posted to students on canvas and they get invited to the seminars if they show an interest in joining the session. It’s up to the student whether or not they attend.
The students are strongly encouraged to attend but it’s not linked to a module, although I do it in a way that is linked to final year because its research led teaching and in the ethos of final year.
It’s an additional opportunity, and particularly during covid, when students are at home, it is another opportunity to engage and with connect with people.
It is important to have somebody championing the resource and promoting it to the students directly. Students don’t really engage when it’s a random email from somebody that they don’t know. But institutes are reliable and when somebody who is embedded within the teaching and also a researcher promoting it, then they are more likely to engage.
Why did you do it?
It is very important to have a good relationship with the research institutes. We have a nutrition based degree and we also have a nutrition research centre (Human Nutrition Research Centre), which is part of the Institute.
We’re fortunate that our students feel part of the discipline of Nutrition at Newcastle. The way it’s organised is that the students are taught by the nutrition researchers throughout their degree but more so in final year. It is important to establish a link with research groups within the Institute, which is a big entity.
It is important for our nutrition students to keep abreast of the latest contemporary research issues in nutrition because it’s an ever changing discipline. And given the exposure to people outside of Newcastle, especially internationally, this was one of the upsides as we can invite collaborators from far afield including colleagues in New Zealand, Australia and the West Coast of America to give seminars.
Does it work and student Voice
No formal feedback from this year, but this has been done in previous years.
General feedback highlighting the really good research informed teaching under the program.
We also have external examiner comments, commenting on it as being a really strong facet of the program.
In general, people enjoy the sessions and they get a lot out of the sessions.
The NSS scores also indicate that the quality of the teaching is excellent (>90%).
This approach develops the following attributes:
- Future focused
- Critical thinkers
Staff can find out more about the Graduate Framework on the University intranet.