4 ways to transform scientific skills with the Smart Worksheet Collection
September 25, 2023
Core scientific skills serve as the foundation upon which more advanced scientific knowledge is built. Without a solid grasp of these key skills, students can struggle to master more complex concepts and approaches. We recognise the importance for students to feel confident in their fundamental skills set, not just to help them thrive in university, but also to empower them with methods to effectively tackle a wide range of problems in their careers.
Our advanced Smart Worksheet Collection is designed specifically to enhance skills development, offering students unlimited opportunities to practise and master concepts and skills needed in their course, careers, and beyond. In this article, we explore four ways that the Smart Worksheet Collection promotes core scientific skills development.
1. The ability to practise skills time and time again with randomised data
In education, it’s widely accepted that practice is key to mastering skills. For many students, feeling confident that you understand complex calculations or data analysis exercises can require numerous attempts. Therefore, it’s essential that students have enough opportunities to reinforce their learning.
In our Smart Worksheet Collection, each sheet generates a fresh set of data every time it’s accessed. This means there are no constraints on how frequently students can engage in their practice. They can revisit calculations as much as they need to feel confident in their capabilities, building their understanding with every visit. This feature allows educators to offer their students unlimited opportunities to practise exercises before an assessment or before/after a workshop, without the significant task of creating hundreds of questions themselves.
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“Students welcome the opportunity to repeat calculations with different data to test their understanding of the material. Student feedback on courses that I teach that use Smart Worksheets, always highlight this as a very positive aspect.”
Prof. Dudley Shallcross, Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry, School of Chemistry, University of Bristol
2. Designed to focus on learning, not just correct answers
The ability to harness randomised data doesn’t just provide unlimited practice opportunities, but also offers a unique learning experience for every student. The diverse sets of data in the worksheets are generated to maintain a consistent complexity level, offering a dynamic approach to assessment too.
By fostering an environment where students explore the steps towards finding solutions, not just quick answers, our worksheets can be used to evaluate skills, without having to worry about collusion or external help. This encourages a shift towards true comprehension, ensuring that every student’s learning journey is meaningful and specific to them.
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3. Engaging and interactive elements to promote active learning
With traditional worksheets it’s difficult to offer anything beyond static visuals. Our Smart Worksheets incorporate engaging exercises and interactive elements which promote active learning and encourage students to become active participants in their education.
Exercises such as rearranging algebraic equations, plotting and analysing graphs, or actively collecting and interpreting data are presented as interactive experiences which students complete in real-time, turning passive participation into an engaging learning experience.
4. Instant feedback at every step to support progress
Remember the experience of being stuck halfway through a complex calculation, only to be stumped by just one small part of a larger problem? With Smart Worksheets, multi-step calculations and unfinished worksheets are a thing of the past.
Instant, targeted feedback is offered to students for every answer they submit, meaning they get immediate assistance, precisely when they need it the most, showing students not just when they have submitted an incorrect answer, but giving them scaffolded guidance on how to reach the correct one.
This allows students to navigate learning obstacles, review their attempts, and correct their mistakes without interruption. It also offers them confidence when they have submitted a correct answer, giving them the assurance they need to progress with their work and continue their skills development.
For educators, this reduces the need to give timely, repetitive feedback, and reduces marking burdens, meaning there’s more time to focus on teaching. The worksheets also offer an opportunity to review learning attempts using Timeline Mode, meaning you can pinpoint areas where students need more support.
Enhancing core scientific skills development can be achieved in your department with the Smart Worksheet Collection, allowing you to offer unlimited practice opportunities, engaging and interactive learning experiences, and immediate, targeted feedback for every step of your students' learning journey.