Every student ready: inspiration, insight and inclusivity in outreach

Dawn Bradley
January 19, 2023

Like you, we’re educators. And we were once all students. So we know how challenging it can be being both! 

You want to prepare those in further education so they’re feeling inspired for the next few years in higher education. 

You want your outreach programmes to provide a real insight into what students will learn on your course. 

You want your taster days to reach as wide an audience as possible, to include pupils who are outside the UK. 

We’re here to help with LearnSci Direct.

Every student ready

Educators at higher education institutions want students to feel prepared and ready to join their course. But there are two major hurdles: student anxiety over being prepared and imposter syndrome. 

School and college teachers work hard to prepare pupils for their exams so they can take up their offer of a place at their chosen university. But the pandemic has meant that many students are approaching their HE courses with feelings of anxiety. Missing out on lab time in school means they’re now not sure if they’re ready for the practicalities of an undergraduate degree. 

Many students also worry about imposter syndrome. What’s the course going to look like? Will I be able to keep up? Am I good enough? We’ve all been there.

So university open days, taster days and school visits need to provide a snapshot of what students will be learning. Outreach programmes need to provide an insight into the type of content the students will learn, and opportunities to have a go. That’s where we can help. 

Showcase digital resources used in your department to excite and inspire potential students on open days

In 2020 and 2021, Dr Shobana Dissanayeke, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Biological Sciences at Royal Holloway University of London, used our Showcase* site as part of the department’s taster days. Normally, visiting pupils would run an agarose gel as part of the day’s activities, but this was during the pandemic, and pupils were not able to visit the labs in person. 

So instead pupils were online, working on our LabSims ‘Cloning: Plasmid selection’ and ‘Agarose gel: separating DNA by size’. They got the insight into the course and the chance to practise an experiment themselves.

Two screenshots of bioloy lab simulations. Left is a cloning plasmid selection labsim. Right is an agarose gel labsim about separting DNA by size. Each LabSim has a instruction or question at the side and an interactive activity to complete.

*Showcase was used by university departments before Direct

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Enhance, not replace

Our resources were successfully used to allow outreach programmes to continue during the pandemic. Post-pandemic, it might be easy to think that online resources won’t be as useful, because outreach can return to purely in-person, which is better for the students. 

But a return to in-person events doesn’t mean digital tools can’t still be used. Our resources aren’t designed to be an alternative to in-person experiences. ‘Enhance not replace’ is our mindset. Via LearnSci Direct, our LabSims can be used alongside in-person experiments in outreach programmes, just as they are during the course itself. 

Accessible resources for everyone in your target audience

Even post-pandemic, students may still be unable to travel to open days, particularly those overseas. LearnSci Direct lets you invite anyone to participate in learning, whether they’re on campus, in the local community or on the other side of the world. With no need for a VLE and flexible log-in options, you can offer accessible resources to everyone in your target audience. The direct platform means pupils can still access elements of your open day wherever they are, gaining insight into the course they’re interested in.

LearnSci Direct is also ideal for careers events in schools. Educators are able to showcase their teaching methods, bringing a taste of university learning straight to pupils’ classrooms.  

Technical support for you and for students

Accessing content via our Direct platform means access to our:

✔ Instructional guides

✔ Help articles

✔ Ticketing system 

Choosing Direct also means access to interactive training sessions for your department or faculty from our Partner Success team.

We’re ready to help you and your prospective students get the most out of LearnSci Direct. Get in touch via to find out more or request a demo.