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The University of Southampton

CHEM3027 Communicating and Teaching: The Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme

Module Overview

This unit runs under the Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme and provides an opportunity for students to act as ambassadors for their disciplines.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Communication skills, both one to one and with an audience.
  • Team-working skills.
  • Knowledge and appreciation of typical teaching methods.
  • An understanding of the preparation of lesson plans and teaching materials.
  • Understanding the needs of individuals.
  • Interpersonal skills when dealing with colleagues.
  • Knowledge of staff responsibilities and conduct.
  • The ability to improvise.
  • The ability to give and receive feedback.
  • Organisational, prioritisation and negotiating skills.
  • The ability to handle difficult and potentially disruptive situations.
  • Confidence in public speaking.


The module induction will provide the student with an introduction to working with children and conduct in the school environment. A competitive interview system will be used to match students with appropriate schools and a specific teacher in the local area, and each student selected will be given a chance to visit the school they will be working in before commencement of the unit. The student will be required to spend at least 40 hours in the school over the course of the semester. It is intended that there will be no formal lectures associated with the unit, and that wherever possible or appropriate the students' own ideas and learning will feed back into the content of their activity as they become more experienced. However, there will be four supporting tutorials which will provide an opportunity for students to share their experiences. The teachers will act as the main source of guidance but, in addition, students will also be able to discuss their progress with the module co-ordinator. The students will be involved in the following activities in support of their learning and teaching: • Classroom observation and assistance: Initial contact with the teacher and pupils will be as a classroom assistant, watching how the teacher handles the class, observing the level being taught and the structure of the lesson, and offering practical support to the teacher. • Teaching assistance: The teacher will assign the student with actual teaching tasks, which will vary depending on specific needs and the student’s own ability as it develops over the module. This could include for example offering problem-solving coaching to a smaller group of higher ability pupils, or taking the last ten minutes of the lesson for the whole class. The student will have to demonstrate an understanding of how the level of the knowledge of the pupils they are teaching fits in to their overall learning context in other subjects. • Whole class teaching: Students will typically be offered, in collaboration with their teachers, at least one opportunity to undertake whole class teaching, albeit that it may be only for a small part of one lesson. • University awareness: Students will represent and promote their academic discipline as a potential university choice to pupils across the social and academic range represented at their partner schools. • Special projects: The student will devise a special project on the basis of discussion with the teacher and their own assessment of what will interest the particular pupils they are working with. The student will implement the special project and evaluate it. The student will be required to show that they can analyse a specific teaching problem and devise and prepare appropriately targeted teaching materials, practical demonstrations and basic ‘tests’ where appropriate. • Extra-curricula projects: The student may be supervised by the teacher in helping to run an out-of-timetable activity, such as a lunchtime club or special coaching periods for higher ability pupils. The student will have to demonstrate an ability to think laterally in order to formulate interesting ways to illustrate more difficult scientific concepts. • Written reports: The student will keep a journal of their own progress in working in the classroom environment, and they will be asked to prepare a written report based on their overall placement experience.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • initial module induction • discussions with teacher and module co-ordinator Learning activities include • observation and note-taking • preparation and delivery of teaching materials • keeping a reflective journal.

Follow-up work15
Preparation for scheduled sessions5
Wider reading or practice30
Project supervision40
Completion of assessment task50
Total study time150



MethodPercentage contribution
Presentation 25%
Teacher’s report 15%
Written report 60%


MethodPercentage contribution
Presentation 30%
Written report 70%
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