F20CL Computing in the Classroom

Dr Fiona McNeillDr Tessa Berg

Course co-ordinator(s): Dr Fiona McNeill (Edinburgh), Dr Tessa Berg (Edinburgh).


This module runs under the Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme (http://www.uas.ac.uk/) and provides an opportunity for students to act as ambassadors for their disciplines.

Aims are:

  • To develop a range of skills in the student and to offer an early taste of teaching to those interested in pursuing it as a career.
  • To help students gain confidence in communicating their subject, develop strong organisational and interpersonal skills, and understand how to address the needs of individuals.
  • To learn to devise and develop projects and teaching methods appropriate to engage the relevant age group they are working with.
  • To help inspire a new generation of prospective undergraduates by providing role models for school pupils.
  • To help teachers convey the excitement of their subject to their pupils by showing them the long-term applications of school studies.
  • To help teachers by providing an assistant who can work with and support pupils at any point on the ability spectrum.

Detailed Information

Course Description: Link to Official Course Descriptor.

Pre-requisites: none.

Location: Edinburgh.

Semester: 1.


This format is standard within the Undergraduate Ambassadors :

  • Initial training to provide the student with an introduction to working with children and conduct in the school environment
  • Competitive interview system to ensure students’ suitability for the module.
  • Student will be matched with an appropriate school and a specific teacher in the local area.
  • Student will spend the equivalent of half a day a week in the school every week for a semester.
  • No formal lectures.
  • A supporting tutorial for one hour once a week for students to share experiences.
  • Initial contact with the teacher and pupils will be as a classroom assistant – observing the teacher and offering practical support.
  • The teacher will assign the student teaching tasks which will vary depending on the teacher’s needs and the ability of the student.
  • The student will design and deliver 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.
  • End of unit presentation of special project

Learning Outcomes: Subject Mastery

Understanding, Knowledge and Cognitive Skills Scholarship, Enquiry and Research (Research-Informed Learning)

  • Communicate and present computing topics to others.
  • Develop a better understanding of, appreciation of, and confidence in computing through teaching it to others.
  • Gain a broad understanding of many of the key aspects of teaching computing in schools

Learning Outcomes: Personal Abilities

Industrial, Commercial & Professional Practice Autonomy, Accountability & Working with Others Communication, Numeracy & ICT

  • To experience working in a challenging and unpredictable environment.
  • Be able to assess and devise appropriate ways to communicate a difficult principle or concept

To master the following specific and transferable skills:

  • Understanding the needs of individuals.
  • Employ effective interpersonal skills when dealing with colleagues.
  • To understand and support teaching staff responsibilities and conduct oneself accordingly.
  • To be able to improvise and adapt to the responses of students in a classroom.
  • To give (and take) feedback.
  • To make effective use of organisational, prioritisation and negotiating skills.
  • To handle difficult and potentially disruptive situations.
  • To be able to use public speaking and communication skills, both one-to-one and when speaking to an audience
  • Team-working.
  • To understand and be able to make use of standard teaching methods.
  • To prepare, use and reflect on the effectiveness of lesson plans and teaching materials.
  • To be able to reflect on the effectiveness of methods of teaching and learning both personally and in review with tutors.

Assessment Methods:

Assessment:  Coursework: (weighting – 100%)
Re-assessment: None

SCQF Level: 10.

Credits: 15.