natsukashii
Badges: 5
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#1
Hi, I'm in Y13 and considering accepting an undergrad place on either UCL's Natural Sciences or Imperial's Biological Sciences courses. My question is about online learning. Can someone who currently does one of those courses (whichever year) please let me know how remote teaching is going for you? What software/methods are being used? Is it enjoyable? Are certain practicals just being put on hold? Also, is it currently known whether these unis will reopen face-to-face for biosciences in September? Thanks.
Last edited by natsukashii; 1 year ago
0
reply
E51
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#2
Report 1 year ago
#2
Time to share your knowledge.
0
reply
E51
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#3
Report 1 year ago
#3
OP until UCL (and Imperial) makes an official public statement that they will reopen in September, I'd keep your options open if it's importan to you.
1
reply
natsukashii
Badges: 5
Rep:
?
#4
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#4
(Original post by E51)
OP until UCL (and Imperial) makes an official public statement that they will reopen in September, I'd keep your options open if it's importan to you.
Thank you for the advice!

It'd still be great to hear some opinions from current students about what's working/isn't working, so I'll keep checking this thread.
0
reply
Imperial students
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#5
Report 11 months ago
#5
(Original post by natsukashii)
Hi, I'm in Y13 and considering accepting an undergrad place on either UCL's Natural Sciences or Imperial's Biological Sciences courses. My question is about online learning. Can someone who currently does one of those courses (whichever year) please let me know how remote teaching is going for you? What software/methods are being used? Is it enjoyable? Are certain practicals just being put on hold? Also, is it currently known whether these unis will reopen face-to-face for biosciences in September? Thanks.
Hi natsukashii,

I'm Maya, and I'm currently in second-year of Biological Sciences at Imperial. I won't be able to give you any information about whether unis will have face-to-face teaching in Sept I'm afraid, as these are things that unis themselves are uncertain about. However, I'm more than happy share my experience of remote learning.

Prior to the global pandemic, the vast majority of our lectures were recorded and put online (Panopto) so that students can rewatch or watch for the first time if they are unable to attend lectures. For my current module (Immunology), this has been implemented for every lecture, with typically 2 or 3 pre-recorded lectures uploaded at the beginning of the day for students to watch at their own pace. Our department also provided us with a guideline timetable scheduling lectures, online practicals etc. Obviously, for students in different timezones this can't be followed, but I try my best to stick to it so that I keep up with lectures and stick to some form of a routine. Imo this is a lot more useful than if they had just uploaded a month's worth of lectures at the beginning of term and left us to it.

Every week, our module convenor holds a live Q&A session which enables us to ask the kind of questions we normally would have asked after lectures or during office hours. We also have post-lecture discussion boards where we can raise any queries about content.

Regarding practicals, our department has redesigned ours so that our lab-based practicals were replaced by online ones. One upside of this is that we get to do stuff that normally wouldn't be offered to us. For example, our last practical was a flow cytometry data analysis one that I actually really enjoyed (despite being data analysis haha) and our next one is on immunodiagnostics (really looking forward to this one!) Like the lectures, they upload videos online explaining some of the principles of the practical and then we complete the work in our own time. The practicals are then gonna assessed by an online quiz with short answer questions to test our understanding. I actually find this style of teaching quite fun and I think it would be great if they continued some form of online practicals even after things get back to normal.

So I hope my post was helpful and answered some of your questions! I appreciate it's pretty long haha, but hopefully will ease any concerns you have about online learning. It's not perfect by any means but for me, it's definitely better than I was expecting. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask!

Maya
1
reply
natsukashii
Badges: 5
Rep:
?
#6
Report Thread starter 11 months ago
#6
(Original post by Imperial students)
Hi natsukashii,

I'm Maya, and I'm currently in second-year of Biological Sciences at Imperial. I won't be able to give you any information about whether unis will have face-to-face teaching in Sept I'm afraid, as these are things that unis themselves are uncertain about. However, I'm more than happy share my experience of remote learning.

Prior to the global pandemic, the vast majority of our lectures were recorded and put online (Panopto) so that students can rewatch or watch for the first time if they are unable to attend lectures. For my current module (Immunology), this has been implemented for every lecture, with typically 2 or 3 pre-recorded lectures uploaded at the beginning of the day for students to watch at their own pace. Our department also provided us with a guideline timetable scheduling lectures, online practicals etc. Obviously, for students in different timezones this can't be followed, but I try my best to stick to it so that I keep up with lectures and stick to some form of a routine. Imo this is a lot more useful than if they had just uploaded a month's worth of lectures at the beginning of term and left us to it.

Every week, our module convenor holds a live Q&A session which enables us to ask the kind of questions we normally would have asked after lectures or during office hours. We also have post-lecture discussion boards where we can raise any queries about content.

Regarding practicals, our department has redesigned ours so that our lab-based practicals were replaced by online ones. One upside of this is that we get to do stuff that normally wouldn't be offered to us. For example, our last practical was a flow cytometry data analysis one that I actually really enjoyed (despite being data analysis haha) and our next one is on immunodiagnostics (really looking forward to this one!) Like the lectures, they upload videos online explaining some of the principles of the practical and then we complete the work in our own time. The practicals are then gonna assessed by an online quiz with short answer questions to test our understanding. I actually find this style of teaching quite fun and I think it would be great if they continued some form of online practicals even after things get back to normal.

So I hope my post was helpful and answered some of your questions! I appreciate it's pretty long haha, but hopefully will ease any concerns you have about online learning. It's not perfect by any means but for me, it's definitely better than I was expecting. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask!

Maya
Hi Maya,

Thanks so much for your detailed answer!
This is hugely enlightening. Imperial's approach to online learning sure sounds organised and enjoyable.
Sorry I'm late getting back to you - I have some more questions if that's alright.

I was really curious about how practicals would work. Those online practicals do sound fun! Do you know whether you'll be able to catch up the missed irl ones once back at Imperial?

Also, general-ish question but how are the assessments at uni structured? Do you have a final exam in Immunology at the end of this module (and will this be online due to the pandemic)?

Finally, Imperial has released a lot of info about covid-19 (on website and via email). Did you discuss covid-19 in class from a biological sciences pov?

Sorry for the barrage of questions, I'm excited to have caught a good answerer... Please don't feel pressured to answer all of them, you've helped a lot already!

Thanks so much,
Mei :heart:
0
reply
Imperial students
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#7
Report 10 months ago
#7
(Original post by natsukashii)
Hi Maya,

Thanks so much for your detailed answer!
This is hugely enlightening. Imperial's approach to online learning sure sounds organised and enjoyable.
Sorry I'm late getting back to you - I have some more questions if that's alright.

I was really curious about how practicals would work. Those online practicals do sound fun! Do you know whether you'll be able to catch up the missed irl ones once back at Imperial?

Also, general-ish question but how are the assessments at uni structured? Do you have a final exam in Immunology at the end of this module (and will this be online due to the pandemic)?

Finally, Imperial has released a lot of info about covid-19 (on website and via email). Did you discuss covid-19 in class from a biological sciences pov?

Sorry for the barrage of questions, I'm excited to have caught a good answerer... Please don't feel pressured to answer all of them, you've helped a lot already!

Thanks so much,
Mei :heart:
Hi natsukashii

Sorry for the late response, I'm back on shift today! I'm happy to answer your questions

Do you know whether you'll be able to catch up the missed irl ones once back at Imperial?

So we won't be catching up on the missed practicals from the past module but Imperial is planning to implement a mixed mode teaching approach where practicals will be delivered on campus as normal (with social distancing) whilst lectures will be online still.

Also, general-ish question but how are the assessments at uni structured? Do you have a final exam in Immunology at the end of this module (and will this be online due to the pandemic)?

Our most recent assessments followed the same format as our usual exams except that they were online and open-book to mitigate for exam offences like cheating. My exams just finished over a week ago and they went pretty well. By the end, I had a fair amount of practice at scanning and uploading exam scripts

Finally, Imperial has released a lot of info about covid-19 (on website and via email). Did you discuss covid-19 in class from a biological sciences pov?

Course-wise, I got two opportunities to learn about SARS-CoV2 - from a virology perspective and an immunology perspective. As someone who wants to specialise in virology in the future, I found it really interesting to learn about the novel coronavirus and similar viruses. I also find the epidemiology of covid-19 pretty interesting as well.
In immunology we learned a little bit about different assays testing for antibodies or antigens that are currently used for identifying patients positive for covid-19. This was also really cool to learn about!

Please feel free to fire away any other questions you may have, I'll try and check this thread occasionally so I can reply more quickly!

Maya
1
reply
natsukashii
Badges: 5
Rep:
?
#8
Report Thread starter 10 months ago
#8
(Original post by Imperial students)
Hi natsukashii

Sorry for the late response, I'm back on shift today! I'm happy to answer your questions

Do you know whether you'll be able to catch up the missed irl ones once back at Imperial?

So we won't be catching up on the missed practicals from the past module but Imperial is planning to implement a mixed mode teaching approach where practicals will be delivered on campus as normal (with social distancing) whilst lectures will be online still.

Also, general-ish question but how are the assessments at uni structured? Do you have a final exam in Immunology at the end of this module (and will this be online due to the pandemic)?

Our most recent assessments followed the same format as our usual exams except that they were online and open-book to mitigate for exam offences like cheating. My exams just finished over a week ago and they went pretty well. By the end, I had a fair amount of practice at scanning and uploading exam scripts

Finally, Imperial has released a lot of info about covid-19 (on website and via email). Did you discuss covid-19 in class from a biological sciences pov?

Course-wise, I got two opportunities to learn about SARS-CoV2 - from a virology perspective and an immunology perspective. As someone who wants to specialise in virology in the future, I found it really interesting to learn about the novel coronavirus and similar viruses. I also find the epidemiology of covid-19 pretty interesting as well.
In immunology we learned a little bit about different assays testing for antibodies or antigens that are currently used for identifying patients positive for covid-19. This was also really cool to learn about!

Please feel free to fire away any other questions you may have, I'll try and check this thread occasionally so I can reply more quickly!

Maya
Hi Maya,

Thanks so much for your reply! All the information is really useful

Actually, I firmed my Imperial offer last week and I'm looking forward to preparing for uni.

I know there are other threads specifically about this but do you have any recommendations of how to prepare for starting the BioSci course in the autumn? Whether it be about the academic/social/accommodation aspects of living and studying in London.

I really appreciate any time you can spare for this!
0
reply
Imperial students
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#9
Report 9 months ago
#9
(Original post by natsukashii)
Hi Maya,

Thanks so much for your reply! All the information is really useful

Actually, I firmed my Imperial offer last week and I'm looking forward to preparing for uni.

I know there are other threads specifically about this but do you have any recommendations of how to prepare for starting the BioSci course in the autumn? Whether it be about the academic/social/accommodation aspects of living and studying in London.

I really appreciate any time you can spare for this!
Hi natsukashii

Yay! Hope to see you here in Autumn!

Preparation-wise, my advice is to take it easy and enjoy your summer! This year has been particularly rough for A level students so don't stress yourself out too much trying to prepare for the course. Obviously, try not to let all of your bio knowledge escape from your brain over the break but I'd be lying if I said that I did any intense preparation for first-year lol.

My top tips would be to refresh your A level knowledge a couple of weeks before starting uni so you don't have to spend too long at the beginning trying to relearn stuff. It's also a great idea to keep up to date with some current topics in biology (e.g. if you find viruses interesting, read a couple of news articles about SARS-CoV2 vaccine development or perhaps the pathology of COVID-19). Getting into the practice of doing extra reading before uni will be really valuable for when you arrive. Don't worry about reading dozens of journal articles though, there's plenty of time for that when you start uni

Social/accommodation aspects - if you are not already, make sure to join any FB/whatsapp groups for bio sci offer holders, it's a good way of getting to know people that are potentially going to be your coursemates in October. Same goes for any halls chats if you are going to be living in halls during first-year. In my first-year, halls were allocated at the beginning of Sept, but it may be different this year. I joined the FB group for Wilson House (my hall) and also joined the group for my particular house, which meant that I at least knew a couple of names before I arrived in London for the first time.

Also make sure to make the most of shopping for kitchenware and things to decorate your room with! Honestly this is one of the things I most looked forward to after results day - my tip is to buy relatively cheap plates/bowls/glasses and cutlery as they will get broken or misplaced at some point during the year (I somehow managed to melt a spoon on my first night at uni) and try to bring as few things to uni as possible, as chances are you're not gonna use half the things you bring with you on the first day and if you're sharing a kitchen people tend to bring loads of the same item (e.g. graters, can openers, etc). Kitchen scales are a really good investment though, especially if you are into baking, but if in doubt, you can always buy something when you get to uni.

Preparing to live in London is kinda difficult given current circumstances but fingers-crossed museums, galleries, cinemas etc. will still be open in Autumn. Google is your best friend here - make a list of places you wanna see/go in the first couple of weeks before the workload starts to build up, and in the event of closures etc. there are some beautiful parks in London to have as a backup plan.

Once again, I hope I've been helpful. By all means, keep the questions coming - I'm happy to answer as many as I can.

Maya
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Should 'Mental health support' be included on league tables?

Yes (211)
75.09%
No (70)
24.91%

Watched Threads

View All