A summer of skills development beckons. Apply to STEP 2024 from April 2024.

Summer Teams Enterprise Programme 2024 - applications not yet open. This webpage will be updated in April 2024 with further information.

Are you an undergraduate student? Do you want to develop a range of Graduate Attributes and nurture your employability in summer 2024?

The Summer Teams Enterprise Programme 2024 is an opportunity for undergraduate students to invest 7 weeks in participating in a fully-online skills development programme, where they will work on a real-life project designed and supported by University staff, gain virtual team-work experience in a group of diverse students, contribute to the University’s learning and teaching through working on impactful outputs, and get this experience listed on their HEAR transcript.

2024 dates:

  • 23:59 BST on Monday 6th May: Student applications close
  • Monday 27th May: Student Welcome and Programme Briefing
  • Monday 3rd June to Monday 15th July: Core 6-weeks of the programme
  • Tuesday 16th to Monday 22nd July: Final week to wrap-up and submit/present outputs to sponsors
  • Monday 5th August: STEP closing ceremony and awards

How does STEP work?

Premise:

  1. If selected, students are placed in a remote project team of six or seven undergraduate students, based on time-zone and project preferences.
  2. Each team will be given a real-life project to work on, each sponsored by a staff member(s) at a University School/Department.
  3. Students commit to viewing/attending a recording/workshop each week, themed around the University’s Graduate Attributes. They will also commit to completing a reflective log on Moodle each week, reflecting on how the team project is helping them develop that week’s highlighted Graduate Attribute.
  4. The programme comprises of 6 core weeks of project work and the weekly workshops (Monday 3rd June to Monday 15th July), followed by a further week (Tuesday 16th July to Monday 22nd July) where teams will finish and submit the project output to your team’s sponsor. The output can take varied forms, such as a research report, video, creating an educational resource which will be used at the University, a piece of creative work or a website.
  5. At the end of the programme, students can also complete a blog post where you will choose one Graduate Attribute to focus on and reflect on how STEP helped them develop this particular attribute.
  6. If students complete all the skills workshops and reflective elements of the programme they will receive a certificate and electronic badge for their LinkedIn profile, along with guidance as to how they can articulate this experience in future job applications. Additionally, if they complete the blog post, STEP will be listed on their HEAR transcript. There are also individual and team prizes on offer.

 

Time Commitment

The typical minimum time commitment is 4-6 hours/week over the course of 7 weeks of the programme. This time commitment might be higher towards the end of the programme as the teams work towards completing the outputs.

How do I apply?

Please fill out the STEP Application Form. Before proceeding to the application form, please ensure that you've carefully read the descriptions for all the projects below, as you'll be asked to indicate your first and second preference. Applications will open on 1st April 2024 and the deadline for applications will be 23:59 BST on Monday 6th May 2024 (so you also have the entirety of 6th May).

FAQ's

How long is the course?

7 weeks (4-6 hours per week)

What is it classified as? Is it an internship or paid?

This is a skills development course, not an internship and not paid. We hope that by participating in STEP you will develop valuable and employable skills that you can use in your future internships and careers!

What recognition would I gain from this?

STEP will be listed in your official HEAR (Higher Education Achievement Report) Transcript! You will also receive a LinkedIn badge, be able to add this to your CV, and you can potentially win one of our many awards if you’re selected at the end of the programme.

How much time am I expected to put into this overall?

A minimum of 4-6 hours a week, no maximum amount of time

Are there any benefits of participating in STEP a second time?

Yes! You can work on a completely different project, meet different people and develop new transferable skills while practicing the original skills you developed the first time you participated in STEP.

Who will be teaching the skills workshops?

Beyond meeting with your team weekly, you will be able to attend skills workshops hosted by our STEP Management Team, including the coordinator of STEP, Matilda Nevin.

Will my group's final work be taken into consideration to make real changes at the University?

Absolutely! One of the things that sets STEP apart as a development programme is its encouragement of taking projects beyond the programme they originated in. Many of our projects have continued into the following academic year as conferences, showcases, podcasts, and have even influenced modules running in the University. Your project can truly take on a life of its own beyond STEP!

Can I participate in STEP while having another internship or job?

STEP is a part-time commitment, so you can still maintain another internship or job alongside it. Furthermore, contact hours with your project team are not set in advance. You can coordinate with your team members and project coach to set meeting times that work for you and your other commitments.

Any other questions?

Please direct them to step@st-andrews.ac.uk

Last year's projects (2024 projects will be added when confirmed)

"Antibiotics under our feet" Wikithon

Sponsors: Dr Clarissa Melo Czekster and Rebecca Cornwell, School of Biology

Student eligibility: This project is open to all, but would be especially attractive to students from Biology, Medicine, and those with an interest in scientific writing and writing for non-specialist audiences.

Project description:

Antimicrobial resistance is a global concern. The World Health Organisation has declared that AMR is one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity. "Antibiotics under our feet" is a citizen science project based at the University of St Andrews searching for new antibiotic compounds from soil samples sent in by primary schools. This project will give you official training in Wikipedia editing so that you can be a Wikipedia editor and help to tackle our weird and wonderful Wiki-worklist. Working as a team, you will improve your digital literacy skills, referencing skills and communication skills while contributing to the public engagement aspect of our project by creating a legacy of accessible Simple Wikipedia entries which will be linked to directly from our project website.

Project outputs:

Completed set of Simple Wikipedia encyclopedia articles to be uploaded 

Graduate attributes:

Students will gain knowledge and skills relating to environmental sustainability, civic engagement and good citizenship through participation in our project. By making effective team contributions, students will enhance their organisational and digital literacy skills with an emphasis on accurate written communication with appropriate research and referencing academic skills. 

Videos to promote PGT International Education to prospective students

Sponsor: Lesley Thirkell and Eoin Jordan, International Education Institute (IEI)

Student eligibility: Open to all, but would be especially attractive to students interested in marketing and media production, especially the practical side of producing media. The project will include filming in St Andrews so at least some of the group must be either in St Andrews or be able to travel to St Andrews quite often during the project to engage in filming.

Project description:

The International Education Institute (IE) recently started teaching various PGT (MSc, PG Diploma and PG Cert) International Education courses, both in St Andrews and online. This project involves creating two short promotional videos showcasing the courses from a student perspective to help market the courses to future students around the world. The team would create engaging, fun, interesting videos - one for on campus studies and one for online studies. The content would be a matter of negotiation but we're happy for this to be student-led. The content would have to speak to a diverse audience so consideration would be given to what would attract different cohorts of students to study on these courses. Both the University and the courses themselves would be promoted as desirable. 

Project outputs:

 The final videos would be available on the University's Youtube channel and would link from the 'Study at' pages.

Graduate attributes:

Leadership skills: self awareness, organisation, resilience, leading others
Global outlook: networking, digital literacy, oral communication
Valuing diversity: diversity awareness, interpersonal skills, influencing and negotiation, effective team communication
Entrepreneurial mindset: creativity, confidence and adaptability

App development: Embedding Sustainability in the Curriculum

Sponsor: Prof. Will Cresswell, School of Biology

Student eligibility: We particularly encourage applications from students in computer science, and environmentally related degrees, however sustainability is relevant to all subjects, so this project requires a diverse team!

Project description

You are at the second oldest university in the UK, but have you ever thought… due to its coastal location it may be the first institution to say hello to the fishes (if there are any left, that is). 

“We can still fix this, we still have everything in our own hands” - Greta Thunberg

Are you interested in sustainability? Are you worried about the lack of attention paid to the climate crisis, climate injustice and inevitable social and ecological collapse we are hurtling towards? Well then, STEP on over to our summer team enterprising programme: “App development: Embedding Sustainability in the Curriculum”. From biology to classics, our project welcomes all to join a team working to create a new app, designed to hold lecturers accountable in their responsibility of educating us while considering sustainability. 

Project outputs:

The app could take form similarly to ‘Rate my Lecturer’, offering a platform for students to rate staff, modules and courses on their awareness and teaching of issues and solutions relating to sustainability. It may also hold resources to help lecturers to integrate required changes that have been identified. This is just one pathway the group could explore; however the students will be encouraged to take this project in any creative direction they desire.

Graduate attributes:

Students will gain the following attributes: environmental sustainability, digital literacy (through app design), research skills and problem solving, organisation, effective team contribution, interpersonal skills, creativity, confidence and adaptability.

What Does A Classicist Look Like?

Sponsor: Dr Sian Lewis, Classics

Student eligibility: Open at all, but alongside students from Classics, this project would also be attractive to students from disciplines such as Philosophy, History, Art History and Anthropology.

Project description:

"If you can see it, you can be it." The importance of role models is well attested, yet the persistent image of the classicist is of a tweedy older white man, usually in an Oxbridge college setting, with the discipline of Classics itself seen as a male and upper-class subject, its history rooted in conservatism. In fact female and BAME classicists have played a major role in the shaping of the discipline and continue to do so today, yet their contributions are rarely represented in either school curricula or contemporary media.

As part of the School’s Athena Swan Charter for gender equality, we resolved to counter this impression and foreground the achievements of female and BAME classicists through a series of displays around Swallowgate focusing on influential figures from the School’s past staff and alumni, and from the discipline as a whole. Drawing on their personal experience the team will identify inspirational figures from the field of classics, including both those holding traditional academic posts and those contributing in wider social and cultural fields, and create informative and visually striking large-scale displays to showcase them.

Project outputs:

Three completed large-scale displays (at least A1 size) presenting inspirational female and BAME classicists, plus a presentation of the material in online format for the School EDI webpages.

Graduate attributes

  • An overall conception of the history and current direction of the discipline of Classics and the potential for its transformation.
  • Skills in assimilating information and summarising it in a concise and informative style
  • Skills in the organisation and presentation of visual material.
  • Experience of project management, communication and teamwork. 

Developing cyber-security training for students

Sponsors: Heather Curtis (CEED) and Dr Jean Carletta (Computer Science)

Student eligibility: Open at all.

Project description:

In today’s digital world, it is increasingly important that students are aware of cyber-security issues and feel equipped to protect their equipment and data. At St Andrews, we can regularly experience attempted malicious cyber-attacks and a training programme is in place for all University staff. However, student training has so far been optional and embedded as part of the Orientation Moodle course.

This project will involve working alongside stakeholders in IT Services, CEED and Computer Science, and the STEP team will be tasked with taking existing cyber-security training resources and re-imagining them in a more interactive online toolkit – created by students for students. A secondary element of the project will be creating a series of marketing materials that can be used across multiple platforms and places to alert students to this new resource, and incentivise engagement by linking it to the new Saints Skills Award.

The completed toolkit will form part of a larger project sponsored by the Scottish Government to create a resource that can be disseminated across Scotland to schools, colleges and Universities, so there is potential for this STEP team to leave a legacy to benefit a large number of school pupils and University students.

Project outputs:

There will be three outputs from the project: 

  • A stand-alone interactive training resource, likely built using Qualtrics software, to inform students about the importance of cyber-security.
  • A short report recommending how best to embed and market the resource
  • A selection of marketing materials to help raise awareness of the resource

Graduate attributes:

•     Valuing diversity: Effective team contribution, Interpersonal skills
•     Entrepreneurial mindset: Creativity, Research skills and problem solving
•     Leadership skills: Resilience
•     Global outlook:  Digital literacy, Oral communication, Written communication

Historical Mathematicians on Wikipedia

Sponsors: Dr Isobel Falconer (Mathematics & Statistics) and Dr Kirsty Ross (Computer Science)

Student eligibility: We especially welcome students from the Schools of Mathematics & Statistics, History, and International Relations, and those with an interest in scientific writing and writing for non-specialist audiences.

Project description:

St Andrews hosts a major database of biographies of past mathematicians (https://mathshistory.st-andrews.ac.uk/). Some of these mathematicians do not have pages on Wikipedia, while others have Wikipedia pages that could be improved using information from MacTutor.

This project will identify mathematicians missing from Wikipedia, and pages that could be improved. The team will agree criteria for prioritising which Wikipedia pages should be created/improved and will collaboratively select subjects according to the criteria. Optionally, they may identify whether these subjects are present in other language wikipedias. They will allocate subjects to small subgroups of 2 or 3 students.

The subgroups will research the lives and mathematical work of their subjects. They will write the text for the page, or the improvements to the page, probably in English, but maybe in another language. They will critique each other’s work and source appropriately licensed images to illustrate the pages. The team will receive training in Wikipedia authoring and editing near the beginning of the project and this will inform their editorial decisions while preparing their text.

Finally, the students will create or edit the Wikipedia pages using the text they have written. Each student will author/edit at least one page.

Project outputs:

By the end of the project, the team will have produced at least 6 new Wikipedia pages and improved at least 6 more. They may do much more than this.

Graduate attributes:

Students will gain mathematical, historical, and communication skills, increasing their digital literacy and ethical awareness (appropriate licensing). They will make an effective team contribution and negotiate priorities to implement their ideas. They will reflect on their own and others' draft outputs.

 

Celebrating English Diversity

Sponsor: Dr Sam Haddow, School of English

Student eligibility: This project is open to all.

Project description:

The Celebrating English Diversity STEP Project will explore historical and recent graduates from the School of English from diverse backgrounds, in terms of race, religion, class, gender, as well as members of LGBTQ+ communities.

The aim of this project is to gather information to produce some public facing material on the stories of graduates from the School of English - both historic and recent - to present an engaging and full history of students who have been part of the School, and to give a sense of the diversity of student experience through the years. This project is supported by the EDI officers in the School, as part of the School’s commitments in its Athena Swan plan to ensuring a diversity and gender balance in all publicity material relating to the School. 

Students will develop key communication skills, research development, and critical analysis skills, as well as be part of creating public-facing materials and narratives; they will also engage in efforts to celebrate diversity in the School and wider University. 

Project outputs:

The STEP project team will produce an accessible report on some graduates from the School of English and their subsequent lives and careers. They will also create a website showcasing some of these graduates.

Graduate attributes:

  • Valuing diversity: this is at the heart of the project.
  • Research skills: problem solving and critical thinking (in gathering, collating and presenting the information).
  • Effective team contribution and interpersonal skills.
  • Valuing ethical awareness: dealing with questions of how to research and present different narratives (including involving protected characteristics).

ChatGPT and Higher Education: Students’ Perspectives

Please note, this project is in high demand and the application process is therefore more competitive. Students are encouraged to consider all projects before applying.

 

Sponsors: Dr. Aisling Crean (CEED)

Student eligibility: Open to all.

Project description:

ChatGPT is a language model developed by OpenAI which uses deep learning techniques to generate human-like responses to text-based prompts. Tools like ChatGPT are now freely available online and have generated a wave of reactions given the wide impact that they will have on many aspects of human life. One of the fields in which AI is having a game-changing effect is that of education. 

The project “ChatGPT and Higher Education: Students’ Perspectives” will take ChatGPT as a case study. It will be conducted by a working group of students who will collect resources, conduct interviews and propose a list of suggestions on how to tackle the use of ChatGPT in education within the University of St Andrews. The project will be structured in three parts: (1) collection of resources on current uses and misuses of ChatGPT in education, including the potential harms inflicted on students and the academic community; (2) conducting interviews and focus groups with undergraduate students about their perspective and their perception of ChatGPT in education; (3) based on the research and the interviews, the student will produce a list of suggestions for the University policymakers. 

Project outputs:

The outcome of the project is twofold. First, the students will produce a short report with a list of resources and suggestions about ChatGPT in education. Second, the students will produce a list of suggestions that will be made available to CEED and other departments of the university interested in developing a strategy or documentation to regulate the use of ChatGPT at the University. 

Graduate attributes:

•    Entrepreneurial mindset: research skills and problem-solving; recognition of opportunities; creativity
•    Social responsibility: integrity; ethical awareness
•    Valuing diversity: effective team contribution; interpersonal skills; influencing and negotiation
•    Leadership skills: self awareness and reflection; organisation, resilience; leading others
•    Global outlook: digital literacy, oral communication; written communication; networking

Hidden Figures in the School of Chemistry

Sponsors: Dr Matthew Andrews and Prof. Allan Watson, School of Chemistry

Student eligibility: Alongside students from Chemistry, we would also welcome students from the Schools of Mathematics & Statistics, History, and Computer Science, and those interested in archival research.

Project description:

The School of Chemistry is one of the oldest Schools at St. Andrews and one of the longest serving Chemistry Schools in the UK. Despite this, many of the historical contributions highlighted within the department lack significantly diverse backgrounds which does not reflect the modern distribution of the Department or University today.

This STEP project will look to uncover the hidden figures of the Chemistry Department through both historical analysis and interacting with current members of the Department, showcasing a greater representation of chemists to better reflect the School. By uncovering of our past, historically underrepresented individuals (gender, race, sexual orientation, and other protected characteristics) can be identified and celebrated through a series of posters, culminating in an interactive exhibition lunch and proposed name for a new school analytical instrument. 

The STEP team would be involved in historical research (online, university archives) and interviews, the preparation and presentation of the research outputs (e.g. posters, online dissemination), and organization and planning of the exhibition lunch, to install the legacy of hidden figures within the department.

Project outputs:

Posters of individuals’ key work and contribution that will be displayed within the department, with a final interactive departmental lunch. This will be amplified through digital outputs within the chemistry Intranet. Additional outputs will be in the form of a proposed name for the new NMR machine within the school, along with any additional proposals by the STEP team.

Graduate attributes:

Participation will enable the development of awareness and appreciation of diversity (research), active listening (interviewing), presentation of information (both team presentations and outputs), communication to wider, non-specialist audiences, practical experience in team working, opportunities for management and leadership skills. Disciplinary knowledge may include contextualization and impact assessment of the chemistry contributed by the hidden figures.

The French Digital Library

Sponsors: Dr Aisling Crean (CEED) and Dr Pauline Souleau (School of Modern Languages)

Student eligibility: Participating students will have either a Modern Languages (French) and/or Computer Science background.

Project description:

This digital education and language learning project will develop an online support tool for school pupils and university students: a digital platform and depository of multimedia resources in French to consolidate learners’ linguistic skills and cultural knowledge, make digital language resources more accessible, and develop interest in modern languages, thus impacting students’ learning experience, self-access learning, and widening access and participation. This platform saves learners much-needed time hunting for resources, facilitates linguistic and cultural immersion, and counteracts reduced mobility stemming from COVID-19, Brexit and/or financial or wellbeing difficulties disproportionately affecting disadvantaged students.   

The platform currently exists as a prototype.  Participating students will have either a Modern Languages (French) and/or Computer Science background (with good understanding of at least one back-end and front-end web framework) and work together to a) test and curate the platform, design searchable templates (e.g. opera & dance; animation & comics, French A-Level), and add and tag resources for accessibility, learners’ level, content warnings etc.; b) maintain and extend the platform’s development. This exciting interdisciplinary project will benefit participating students by giving them the opportunity to co-design a digital platform promoting diversity, accessibility, and sustainability in language learning and digital education.  

Project outputs:

The main output of the STEP team will be to refine the existing platform from a rough prototype to a viable product, adapted to undergraduate students’ and school pupils’ learning needs. Thus, the team will first explore and test the current functionalities of the platform. The first phase of the project will be dedicated to assessing the prototype: after the testing phase, each student participant will prepare an oral presentation to propose how they would improve the platform both in terms of design and curation. These presentations will be overseen by the two sponsors and the PGR coach; the whole team will then collectively decide on what platform improvements will be selected going forward. The PGR coach will produce a written report summarizing these improvements to launch phase 2 of the project: extended development, design, and curation. Student participants will be assigned specific resources to curate and templates to create and/or will maintain and update the development of the platform. At the end of the project, the PGR coach will produce a second written report with an update on the progress of curation and development, with further suggestions on updating and disseminating the platform going forward, as well as with a reflection on how the French Digital Library might contribute to more sustainable teaching and learning and how it might help to mitigate digital inequalities of various kinds.   

Graduate attributes:

By developing a sustainable and accessible platform, students will foster their social responsibility and champion diversity; by developing an innovative learning digital platform, first testing and assessing its functionalities and finding solutions and ideas for improvements, they will develop their entrepreneurial mindset (creativity, problem solving, collaboration), leadership and communication skills. 

Website on "Exploring Chinese Art and Culture in Scotland"

Sponsors: Dr Michelle Huang, School of Art History

Student eligibility: Students who are interested in art history, museum studies, Chinese studies, anthropology, computer science, or have a knowledge of website development are particularly welcome to take part in this project. Selected students will be fully briefed by the project sponsor and coach before they participate in research and discussion about art, culture and webpage design.

Project description:

This project aims to create a website with information about where to explore, see, taste and experience things about Chinese art and culture in Scotland. The webpage design will include various sections such as museum collections, exhibitions, heritage sites, cultural organisations, research networks, festive events, workshops and other learning resources that can support the teaching of Chinese art and culture at the University of St Andrews. 

The first phase of the project will begin with research on the collections of Chinese art and artefacts scattered in different libraries and museums in St Andrews, Fife, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and elsewhere. A visit to the Special Collections of the St Andrews University Library can be arranged for gaining access to relevant collections and manuscripts. The webpage will provide searchable functions and interactive elements such as timelines, maps and image walls. It will feature accessible collections of Chinese art, artefacts and Chinese-inspired artworks in Scotland. It will also introduce the art of the Chinese diaspora with artists' biographies, images and other references. If time permits, students are welcome to add fun facts and travel information such as Chinese scholars and students in St Andrews, popular Chinese restaurants, Chinese culture-related societies, and an event calendar of Chinese festivals.

Project outputs:

An interactive website

Graduate attributes:

Selected students will learn to appreciate multiple perspectives and see things differently through cross-cultural communication and understanding. They will also learn to manage tasks collaboratively to achieve collective goals through open communication, mutual support and accountability. The task of website development will enhance digital literacy, creativity as well as research and presentation skills. 

Listen closely: examining student and lecturer experiences of audio feedback

Sponsors: Professor David Donaldson (School of Psychology and Neuroscience) and Dr. Aisling Crean (CEED)

Student eligibility: Open to all

Project description:

Feedback is vital to develop as a learner and a person and comes in many modes and registers: it can be written or audio, formal or informal. In practice, within Higher Education, the dominant mode of delivery is written feedback, which is widely used by tutors and lecturers. Unfortunately, however, the literature on feedback suggests that it is often singled out by students for its poor quality, with students criticizing the vague nature of comments, the lack of constructive feed-forward, and lack of clarity on how to improve their work. From an institutional perspective, therefore, there is good reason to encourage academic staff to develop new approaches to feedback, including the adoption of alternative audio feedback methods.

The project team will develop a set of questions to understand student and lecturer perspectives on the following (and other) themes:

  • The student experience of audio feedback in comparison with written feedback?
  • The experience of students with specific physical disabilities, especially with respect to the accessibility of audio feedback in comparison with written feedback.
  • The extent to which audio feedback increases a student’s sense of belonging and well-being.
  • The extent to which audio feedback feels more personalised than written feedback.

Project outputs:

The project team will carry out a survey of student views on the use of audio feedback, including its advantages (particularly in relation to accessibility and well-being issues) and disadvantages (around clarity and utility), ideal length and format/mode of delivery. The team will also survey lecturers about their views on audio feedback, including information about methods/tools for creating and delivering feedback, benefits and barriers to adopting an audio approach. The Listen Closely team will use their findings to develop dissemination material (e.g., a leaflet or flyer, or a digital training video) that can be distributed to academic staff – informing them about why they might want to begin using audio feedback, and if so, how they can best do so.

Graduate attributes:

Diversity awareness – developing a survey to assess user views will require the students to appreciate multiple perspectives and cross-cultural differences.

Teamwork – students need to work together to develop, implement and analyze the survey.
    
Creativity – students will have to generate interesting and engaging dissemination material requiring imagination in designing original content. 

Trustworthy Learning Analytics

Sponsors: Dr. Areti Manataki (School of Computer Science), Dr. Angela Miguel (School of Computer Science) and Dr. Aisling Crean (CEED)

Student eligibility: We especially welcome applications from students in Computer Science, Philosophy and Management.

Project description:

At St Andrews, we are currently developing a suite of new digital taught postgraduate Masters programmes. As part of this, the University wishes to develop more personalised learning systems that involve a more dynamic adaptation of content to a learner’s particular aims, interests, and levels and kinds of competences. One way to achieve this is to use learning analytics, involving the measuring, collecting and analysing of data about learners and their contexts, in order to gain insights into their learning processes with the aim of improving teaching and learning and supporting student well-being. However, across the HE sector, there is a striking lack of student engagement with the development of learning analytics services. Studies of student expectations of learning analytics are thin on the ground. After a short review of the literature on learning analytics, the Trustworthy Learning Analytics Team will conduct a series of focus groups with students to try to understand student expectations and beliefs about learning analytics services. Findings from this project will inform the use of trustworthy learning analytics services in the new digital Masters programmes, ensuring that they are in line with students’ needs and expectations. 

Project outputs:

The Trustworthy Learning Analytics Team will produce a 4000 word report detailing student expectations and beliefs about learning analytics. 

Graduate attributes:

Social responsibility: integrity; ethical awareness. Valuing diversity: diversity awareness; effective team contribution; interpersonal skills. Entrepreneurial mindset: research skills; creativity; recognition opportunities. Leadership skills: self-awareness and reflection; organisation; resilience; leading others. Global outlook: digital literacy; written communication; numeracy; networking. 

Creating supplementary learning resources for new students in Mathematics and Statistics

Sponsors: Dr Thomas Coleman, School of Mathematics and Statistics

Student eligibility: We especially welcome applications from students in the School of Mathematics & Statistics and other STEM subjects, but the project would benefit greatly from an interdisciplinary team!

Project description:

Ever struggled with topics in mathematics or statistics that were never covered fully because it was assumed knowledge? Ever needed quick and easily accessible revision materials to prepare yourself for a new module? Now you can help provide answers to these questions!

Motivated by curricular changes made in high-school education due to the pandemic, this project will see you create and curate approachable online learning resources in suitable mathematical and statistical topics for incoming entrants to the University (and beyond!). 

The core material will be written study guides, exercises, and step-by-step solutions, in a style that both encourages learning and boosts confidence of students of all backgrounds. You are encouraged to be creative when designing these resources, potentially introducing videos and interactive elements to supplement the written material. You will use a typesetting language based on Markdown that outputs to a wide range of formats, satisfying all current accessibility requirements.

These resources will then be collected and published in a student-designed website; ensuring that materials are easy-to-find and easy-to-use. It is anticipated that this project will be the basis for a wide-ranging collection of online material in maths and stats written by students for students.

Project outputs:

Website comprising of written online resources, potentially involving interactive elements, video recordings, and auto-marked questions.

Graduate attributes:

Written communication; digital communication through video; creativity through incorporation of interactive elements; digital literacy; working in a team; organisation in managing time and resources; valuing diversity and accessibility; socially responsible; research skills and problem solving; numeracy.

Creating Teaching Aids and Promotional Material for Upcoming Online Courses in the School of Art History

Sponsors: Dr Natalia Sassu Suarez Ferri, School of Art History

Student eligibility:  Selected students will be fully briefed and need not have an art historical background. In fact, an interdisciplinary approach is desirable since they will also be asked to produce a list of relevant non-academic resources and to create a promotional video or podcast sharing experiences of what it is like to be a student at St Andrews and how they have encountered our two themes in their studies.

Project description:

Starting in 2023/2024, the School of Art History will be offering two short online courses: Art and Technology, and The Image of the Woman Artist. This project aims to produce two webpages that the School will use as promotional material for prospective students, and as online teaching aid both for the participants to the new courses and for our current UG and PG students, who already study these themes as part of their curriculum. A central part of each webpage is a curated online exhibition that will allow staff to deliver classes as guided tours of these online spaces. Participating students will learn and apply digital, organisational, entrepreneurial and research skills through a creative project that will enhance the profile of the School by facilitating public outreach and learning. 

Project outputs:

Two webpages (one per course).

Graduate attributes:

Social Responsibility: integrity, ethical awareness. 
Valuing Diversity: diversity awareness, effective team contribution, interpersonal skills, influencing, negotiation.
Entrepreneurial Mindset: creativity, confidence, adaptability, research skills, problem solving.
Leadership Skills: self-awareness, reflection, organisation, leading others.
Global Outlook: networking, commercial and business awareness, digital literacy, oral and written communication, technical and specialist academic skills.

Developing and applying robust interdisciplinary tools for decolonizing teaching modules

Sponsors: Prof. Kevin N Lala (School of Biology) and Dr Stephanie O'Rourke (School of Art History)

Student eligibility: Open to all.

Project description:

Many teaching staff would like to revise their modules to render them more inclusive, but lack the time, confidence and expertise to do. This project will pilot a scheme designed to overcome this hurdle by harnessing the anti-racist motivations, insights and enthusiasm of students. An interdisciplinary team of students will collaborate with staff sponsors who sit on the Race Equality Charter Curriculum group and a coach active in antiracism initiatives to critically evaluate messages, themes, and ideas taught in Biology and Arts History modules. The students will compile a readily implementable package of concrete guidelines designed to help staff to decolonize their courses. The students will then engage closely with Module Organizers of at least two taught modules to implement these recommendations, and bring about significant tangible changes to the modules. Students will draw on current University and School-level anti-racism resources, and actively research other resources, to produce robust tools and procedures. Collaboration across Science and Arts Schools will help to render developed procedures potentially widely applicable across the University. The resources will heighten awareness of the ‘whiteness’ of the academic community, recognize the contribution of BAME academics, and challenge colonial epistemologies to prevent these messages from bleeding into teaching regimens.

Project outputs:

A summary report and associated website from which the collated tools can be downloaded. The report and online tools will be presented as a general resource or scheme that will allow future teams of students similarly to work closely with Module Organisers to decolonize specific taught modules.

Graduate attributes:

The project encourages development of many stated graduate attributes, including 'social responsibility' (e.g., in recognizing and addressing institutional racism), 'valuing diversity' and 'global outlook' (e.g., in promoting inclusive teaching). The scheme provides a means by which not only these students, but future students, can show leadership in decolonizing their teaching.

Investigating student requirements to find study space

Sponsors: Emma Wisher, Libraries and Museums

Student eligibility: Open to all.

Project description:

The University has a wide variety of different study spaces, many of which are managed by Libraries and Museums. However, with the exception of the Main Library, there is currently no real-time information available on how busy different locations are to help inform students about where to go. This project will investigate student needs and student behaviour when looking for study space. What do students typically do when they need to study and what information or functionality (e.g. ability to book) would help them to find the type of space that they need? You will design and carry out a feedback gathering exercise to learn more, including looking at what other libraries and universities do to help students find study spaces, as well as asking students at St Andrews what they do and would like to see. The outputs from the project will be used to help inform future service planning, potentially as part of the requirements for an occupancy monitoring solution for library-managed study spaces. 

Project outputs:

A report or presentation for the Libraries and Museums Senior Management Team detailing how other universities/libraries approach this issue, and the findings of feedback gathering from students at St Andrews about what they currently do and would find helpful going forwards. 

Graduate attributes:

Students will be able to develop: interpersonal skills through working with each other and the student body more generally. Research skills and problem solving through designing the feedback gathering. Organisation through planning and carrying out the project. Oral and written communication through carrying out feedback gathering and writing the report. 

Student Collaboration in Decolonising the Management Curriculum

Sponsors: Dr Xi Xi and Dr Lucy Wishart, School of Management

Student eligibility: Open to all

Project description:

The practice of decolonising the management curriculum challenges the historical legacies of colonialism to promote a more equitable and fair representation of diverse voices in the field of management. Decolonising the curriculum can provide a more diverse and inclusive view of management, which is essential for preparing students to become active citizens in a globalised world. Students can gain a deeper understanding of management practices in different cultures and contexts, which is crucial for effective leadership in diverse workplaces.

But the benefits of decolonising practices cannot be achieved without the participation of students. This project aims to explore: (1) What are students' expectations of decolonising the management curriculum? Do they expect more case studies from global souths, management theories from non-Western scholars, or a changed worldview?  (2) How can students contribute to decolonising the curriculum? What actions should be taken by lecturers in designing and delivering modules which support student’s engagement with decolonising the curriculum? What actions could be taken by students to build an inclusive learning environment? 

The output of the project will be submitted to the School of Management Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee to provide evidence for future initiatives which support an inclusive teaching and learning environment. 

Project outputs:

A report submitted to the School of Management Equality Diversity and Inclusion committee, which includes recommendations for both staff and students on practices which contribute to decolonising the management curriculum.

Graduate attributes:

In this project, students will be able to develop a variety of graduate attributes, especially in the areas of Valuing Diversity (e.g. diversity awareness, effective team contribution, interpersonal skills, influencing and negotiation) and Entrepreneurial mindset (e.g. research skills and problem solving). 

Investigating student requirements for Library Management and Reading List Systems

Sponsors: Jennifer Louden, Libraries and Museums

Student eligibility: Open to all

Project description:

We want to understand how students access and use our search and reading list systems, what features and functionality they value (and those that they don’t) and what they would like to see in a new system(s).  This project will investigate user needs and behaviour when accessing Library services and content via the Library Management (LMS) and Reading Lists systems. You will design and carry out a feedback-gathering exercise to learn more, looking at what other libraries and universities do, as well as asking students at St Andrews what they do and would like to see. The outputs from the project will be used to help inform requirements gathering for the re-procurement of these systems. The LMS is the core system which underpins all Library workflows and content and its discovery layer provides the interface through which Library users access our resources. We also have a Reading List system which enables students to access their required and recommended reading. Both systems are approaching their contract end date and we are keen to ensure that the needs of Library users are at the forefront of our requirements gathering for their replacement(s). 

Project outputs:

A report or presentation for the Libraries and Museums Senior Management Team detailing how other universities/libraries approach this issue, and identifying and prioritising the features and functionality of LMS and Reading List systems which are important to student Library users. 

Graduate attributes:

Students will be able to develop: interpersonal skills through working with each other and the student body more generally. Research skills and problem solving through designing the feedback gathering. Organisation through planning and carrying out the project. Oral and written communication through carrying out feedback gathering and writing the report. 

Software Carpentry for Ukraine

Sponsors

Dr Olexandr Konovalov (School of Computer Science)

Student eligibility

The project is open to students who know Ukrainian, but would be especially attractive to those with an interest in translation or coding and data science. However, the students do not need to have expertise in the topic lessons, since they are being designed for beginners

Project description

The Carpentries is a global volunteer-based organisation whose members teach foundational coding and data science skills to researchers worldwide, usually by means of in-person or online 2-day Software Carpentry workshops to teach the Unix command line, version control with Git, and one of the programming languages.

In 2022, the sponsor of this project (who is an instructor and a trainer for the Carpentries) initiated the translation of Carpentries materials into Ukrainian language. The translation of the Python lesson is now being reviewed (preview available on the Plotting and Programming in Python site). This is done using a collaborative web-based platform Transifex.

Next, we plan to translate further lessons from Software carpentry, in order to have enough materials for a standard Software Carpentry workshop. We invite new translators to this project. For this, you should know Ukrainian and understand the lesson content. You do not have to be an expert in the topic: lessons are for beginners, and you will learn more about these tools in the process of translation. 

The impact of this project will help to rebuild Ukrainian science and will help Ukrainian researchers to integrate into international research networks by learning modern skills needed for collaborative computational research.

Project outputs:

Online resource (similar to Plotting and Programming in Python being a translation of the Software carpentry Plotting and Programming in Python site). 

Graduate attributes:

Through understanding the translated content, students will learn skills for modern computational research, applicable to anyone working with code and data. Reviewing each others translations will give experience of collaborating and giving feedback. Contributing to the rebuilding of Ukrainian science will make a real contribution to society.

The Psychology of Ritual Magic

Please note, this project is in high demand and the application process is therefore more competitive. Students are encouraged to consider all projects before applying.

 

Sponsors: Dr Martha Baldon (School of English) and Dr Kate Cross (School of Psychology and Neuroscience)

Student eligibility:

Project description

Medieval texts of ritual magic offer the user an array of benefits, including (but not limited to) beatific visions, divine knowledge, material gains, illusions, and revenge. To reap these benefits, however, the practitioner must follow a series of complex ritual processes that are designed to test, manipulate, and distort their sensory perceptions. Although the Church was against such practices, it is notable that not only were manuscripts of ritual magic housed within religious institutions, but many of the steps and actions recommended within these texts also appear in the religious rituals dictating life within the cloister. The anxiety that surrounded ritual magic centres on one significant fact: manipulating the senses works.

This STEP project involves deconstructing the instructions given in texts of ritual magic and the actions taken by individuals living within religious establishments into steps that can then be catalogued according to the sensory modality that they target (e.g. sight, smell, etc) and the potential for harm (e.g. fasting, sleep deprivation). This catalogue will inform future research and public engagement events on how sensory manipulations create demands for critical thinking skills if the senses are to guide reasoning.

Project outputs

The project will produce two types of primary outcomes:

  1. Research into medieval texts of ritual magic will inform the editing and writing of several Wikipedia entries
  2. A catalogue of sensory manipulations (organised according to sensory modality), which will be used as the basis for designing experiments in the next stage of the project.

Graduate attributes

  • Ethical awareness/integrity: The use of ritual magic practices has clear ethical implications.
  • Effective team contribution: Students will be contributing to a shared project.
  • Research skills and problem solving: Students will identify sources and develop a coding scheme.
  • Digital literacy: Students will gain training and experience in editing wiki articles

Saving Wemyss Ancient Caves Society: How to promote and preserve Pictish history

Sponsors: Dr Shiona Chillas, School of Management

Student eligibility: Open to all, but this project might be especially attractive to students from Social Anthropology, Management and History.

Project description:

Save Wemyss Ancient Caves Society (SWAC) is a community-led charity that works to protect, promote and preserve the culturally important Pictish carvings in East Wemyss. Students will aid the preservation of culturally-important, local sites of Scottish heritage through the development of outreach materials, as well as the creation of business models and consultation with the charity and the target audience to ensure the sustainability of the charity. Students will be consulting with the SWACS committee members in the production of these materials throughout the program.

Project outputs:

One teams output will include the creation of educational resources for the SWACs museum and an educational package of lesson plans, activities and games to enthuse children about Pictish history; whilst educating them about the carvings in the Wemyss caves. With the possibility of delivering these materials at a local primary school. The other team will produce various promotional materials for SWACS to highlight the caves, increase the awareness of them, look at how to make the charity more sustainable and methods to market the caves to targeted demographics for a consistent volunteer base and footfall.

Graduate attributes:

Creativity in the production of engaging activity sheets/ events for children, Environmental sustainability (social responsibility), effective team contribution, active listening to the SWACS members and asking questions - being curious about the charity and their wants and finally developing commercial and business awareness.

Information for disabled students at the University of St Andrews - review and recommend

Sponsors: Ros Walker (Digital Accessibility Adviser)  and Sheila Baillie (Disability Adviser) 

Student eligibility: Open to all, but students who have declared a disability are particularly encouraged to apply.

Project description:

Close to 25% of the students at the University of St Andrews declare a disability. It is essential to the University that we provide excellent information for both applicants and current students. The University provides information for disabled students and we have recently produced new guides for 

We are seeking students with lived experience of disability to carry out a user-experience review of the some key disability resources (ADHD toolkit, autism mini-site and study skills site) and to make recommendations for further development of bespoke resources - ensuring the student voice is heard in further development. You will be able to comment on existing resources and make recommendations for new materials, which could involve looking at what information is available from other institutions. Ways of promoting these resources to students should also be considered as part of the final output.  

We are using the definition of disability as being a condition or impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. These could include specific learning difficulties (eg dyslexia, dyscalculia), Autism spectrum condition, physical disabilities, mental health condition, visual or hearing impairment. 

The University strategy (2022-2027) states that we wish to ‘foster an inclusive and compassionate culture and become more diverse’ and disability services plays a key part in this plan. But, where could we improve our communication to the disabled community in our work? 

If you feel that you could contribute to this important developmental work, would like to share your experience, opinions and ideas, then we would love you to be a part of this STEP project. 

Project outputs:

Recommendations for further development of bespoke resources for St Andrews students, along with an action plan for the promotion of the resources to students. The format of the output can be defined by the students, but the team would value a chance to meet (virtually) and discuss the findings and suggestions. 

Graduate attributes:

  • Diversity awareness
  • Effective team contribution
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Influencing and negotiation
  • Creativity
  • Research skills and problem-solving
  • Organisation and resilience
  • Networking
  • Digital literacy
  • Written communication
  • Specialist knowledge relating to disability and accessibility

Untold Visions: Researching, classifying, and presenting hidden gems of film history from the Scottish Moving Image Archive.

Sponsors: Anushrut Ramakrishnan Agrwaal, Film Studies

Student eligibility: Open to all, but would be especially attractive to students from Art History, History, Film Studies, International Relations, Museum Studies and those interested in archival research and primary historical research.

Project description:

The Moving Image Archive of the National Library of Scotland houses treasure troves of history about the country, its people, and the surroundings. Along with the films, the archive contains extensive paper documentation – film programmes, production notes, publicity material etc. – that help us learn about the varied cinema practices and cinema cultures here. This project will require the students to pick one selection of written archives, in consultation with the Moving Image Library, come with a catalogue or classification system for the collection, and based on a presentation format of their choosing, highlight key areas of interests that they feel are (as yet) underexplored. The classification will be based not only on recurring trends in the material that the students notice, but also their idea of what bits of history within these archives need to be foregrounded. In addition to studying the collection itself, students will require to conduct other bits of archival research – newspaper and journal searches, viewing historical footage etc. – that would add greater context to the specific archival collection.

Project outputs:

The students need to come up with an updated classification for the archival collection. Are there recurring regions/cultural references/people that pop-up in the discussions. Are there less explored roles in film production that need to be highlighted? Essentially the students need to think what a future historian would find useful when accessing the collection via this classification. In addition, the students need to choose a presentation format – lecture, research poster, a small museum exhibit etc. that highlight key areas of interest that they discovered during the research. Finally, a short report would need to be put together, highlighting what was the research process, and some suggestions for where one might look for further research.

Graduate attributes:

As graduate attributes, students develop teamwork and leadership, oral and written communication, and creativity (in re-classifying an archival collection). In looking at history, you will also learn civic engagement and social responsibility. These attributes are based on the project's focus on historical and archival research (both written and visual), curation, writing, and public speaking. Further, the combining of research ability with public engagement, as they think about creative ways of community engagement.