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Your teaching

Being able to assess your own development is a crucial part of professional practice.
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We have two ways to help you reflect on your teaching practice: a weekly reflection grid and a self-audit task.

Reflecting on what you are learning

Trying to take in new ideas and embed them into your practice is not easy. However, we stress the importance of critical reflection if you want to translate these ideas into practice, and also if you want to be effective in making changes in what you do. We recommend that you keep a personal record of all your work on the course, as a resource for refreshing your memory and continuing to refine your practice in the future.
Exactly how and where you do this is up to you. It could be a private ‘digital scrapbook’ file. If you have a blog or other online space where you share ideas, you may choose to put selected work there (always respecting the privacy and confidentiality of others, of course). We’ve provided a Reflection Grid to help with your reflective professional development.

Using the Reflection Grid

Each of the cells has a particular name and function, explained in the video above.
For your convenience, here is a blank copy of the Reflection Grid you can edit and an example [PDF] of how you might complete the grid.
On some occasions we will prompt you to use the Reflection Grid, but feel free to use it whenever you want. We hope you find it a useful tool to help you in your learning journey – so that when you go online and you start to talk with others, you’ve got ideas to share.

Self-audit of your current practice

Being able to assess your own development is a crucial part of professional practice. To help you gauge your current thinking about teaching practical biology and your confidence with it, we’ve created a self-audit for you to complete before you do more on the course.
Read these notes before you complete the self-audit survey. You will need to download a copy of your responses for use later in the course.

How to approach the self-audit

  • There are no right or wrong answers.
  • Answer honestly about where you are now, not where you want to be.
  • Your answers will help you to identify what areas of practice you need to focus on the most as you progress through the course.
  • Save a copy of your responses.
At the end of the course we will ask you the same questions: you can then compare your responses and see how much progress you have made. This will also help the course team understand the impact of the course more generally.

What’s in the self-audit

The self-audit asks you to look at your practice using the statements below:
  • I regularly build progression into my lessons.
  • I plan my practical lessons so that I can assess students against specific learning objectives.
  • I am confident in using a range of different practical equipment in biology lessons such as preparing and viewing microscope slides.
  • I plan my lessons to include contexts familiar to students so they can relate their learning to the real world.
  • I consider the practical skills my students have when planning practical activities.
  • I feel confident in evaluating the practical skills of my students.
  • I plan lessons to make links between different topics.
  • I collaborate with peers in my planning.
  • I reflect on my practice in practical lessons.
  • I use a range of approaches to demonstrate abstract concepts to my students.
Feel free to discuss the statements via the comments on this step.


  1. Access the self-audit task and complete it.
  2. At the end of the survey, click My responses.
  3. Click Download as PDF.
  4. Save the PDF where you will be able to retrieve it to review at the end of the course.
GDPR statement: The self-audit task is hosted on JISC Online Surveys. STEM Learning will be the data controller for any personal data submitted, not FutureLearn. Further details on the opening page of the self-audit task.
© STEM Learning
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Teaching Practical Science: Biology

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