The aim of the UNISOracle is to create a forum at UNIS where bachelor students can discuss, and reflect on relevant topics from their courses, and get help to develop their general skills by for instance creating presentations, posters and practicing presenting together with their fellow students. This semester UNISOracle was organized by Sine-Sara Astad, and she and the PhD students Cheshtaa Chitkara, Samantha Paige Dwinnell, Sil Schuuring and Snorre Flo facilitated the UNISOracle sessions held this semester.
During the fall of 2022, bachelor students in biology were invited to participate within 14 two-hour practical work sessions tailored to the learning outcomes in the Arctic Population Ecology course (AB-204). The first part of the sessions focused on helping students create posters based on their own samples collected during field work. During these weeks, the students got help with the use of statistical tools, layout, content, and the overall message they wanted to convey. The focus for the second part of the sessions were to use different study skills to enhance the students learning experience and prepare the students for the exam. Students were given group tasks and were then encouraged to discuss between groups.
This semester was the first time UNISOracle was arranged at UNIS and 19 students were invited to join. During the first part, when the focus was on making posters, 1 – 6 students attended the first week, and 12-14 students attended the sessions the second week. During the last sessions, the facilitators, Sine and Snorre presented their posters, and then let the students comment what they liked and what they would have done differently. This was done to have the students reflect on things like size, figures, text, and general layout. After the students had worked a bit more on their posters, they were encouraged to show a digital draft of their posters and to try and present it. In this way they could see the posters in actual size and get some feedback from the rest of the group. During the feedback sessions we focused on commenting on the positive things about the posters, which worked well as the students were quite willing to show and share their work.
For the exam preparation sessions, the second week had more participants (14-15 students) compared to the first week (4-6 students). In these sessions students were given some overall tasks (e.g., go through the lecture slides, identifying the main topics of the lecture, explain all figures, identify, and explain key words, and anticipate potential exam questions that they then discussed and tried to answer out in written form.
The Arctic Biology department aim to continue with UNISOracle next semester and hopefully offer something similar led by one of the PhD students.