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Biology Co-op

Find out everything you need to know about Biology Co-op using the links below. Need help? Contact us at 250-721-8637 or biocoop@uvic.ca or stop by Cunningham 105.


During your work term

Work term
schedule

On your work term, you’ll follow this schedule:

First 2 weeks Within two weeks of the start of your work term, sign in to Learning in Motion and go to the "co-op module." Click on "My competency development" and create a record for your work term. You'll see a tab called "Learning Objectives" - work with your supervisor to identify 3 to 5 competencies that you'd like to complete during your work term. Describe your goals on the learning objectives form (part 1 of the Competency Assessment). Check out the Description of the 10 core competencies and the competency kit for tips.
End of first month Choose a topic for your work term report and pay your co-op program fees.
Second month Start researching your work term report.
Second or third month Normally, your co-op coordinator will visit you and your employer at your workplace halfway through the work term. You’ll have the chance to discuss how your work term is going. A week before your work site visit, you'll receive an email reminding you to sign in to Learning in Motion to complete the mid-term assessment form (part 2 of the Competency Assessment). Your supervisor will receive a copy of your form once you've submitted it online; he or she will then complete the supervisor portion. Check out the Description of the 10 core competencies and the competency kit for tips.
End of third month First draft of your work term report is due.
Start of fourth month Submit the first draft of your work term report to your employer.
End of work term At the end of your work term, you'll receive an email reminding you to sign in to Learning in Motion to complete the final assessment form (part 3 of the Competency Assessment). Your supervisor will receive a copy of your form once you've submitted it online; he or she will then complete the supervisor portion. Check out the Description of the 10 core competencies and the competency kit for tips. Revise your work term report and leave a copy of the final version with your employer, then send copies to your marker and the Biology Co-op office.

Beginning of
work term

At the beginning of your work term:

  • Within two weeks of the start of your work term, sign in to Learning in Motion and go to the "co-op module." Click on "My competency development" and create a record for your work term. You'll see a tab called "Learning Objectives" - work with your supervisor to identify 3 to 5 competencies that you'd like to complete during your work term. Describe your goals on the learning objectives form (part 1 of the Competency Assessment). Check out the Description of the 10 core competencies and the competency kit for tips.
  • Meet with your workplace supervisor within 2 weeks of the start of your work term to discuss your goals.

Types of goals

Professional goals 

Professional goals

You are encouraged to link these to theories and concepts you have learned in the classroom as well as the competencies you hope to develop in the workplace. Your professional goals could include networking with professionals on the job, understanding the role of need assessment in program development, or developing a strategy for problem solving.

Example

  • Goal: By the end of my work term, I will learn strategies to enhance my sense of curiousity in the workplace.
  • Action: I will explore more about my supervisor's area of research, which is connected to my area of study by spending one hour each week reading my supervisor's published papers, I will prepare one question each week to discuss with my supervisor, 'present' to my colleagues at least 1 new resource or web site every 2 weeks, ask at least 5 co-workers about their work history and successes & challenges, and look for 3 organizations that we could partner with on future projects. I will report on my progress at my site visit and will write up my learning in my work term report.

Personal goals

Personal goals

These could include learning how to speak in public, becoming more organized or becoming more physically active. Your personal goals often connect with your professional goals. We suggest you look to develop 2-3 of these for each of your coop experiences.

Example

  • Goal: By the middle of my work term, I will develop at least 3 strategies that assist me to overcome my fear of public speaking.
  • Action: I will develop a 'position' on one item of interest to our working group and present this at a team meeting, ask for at least 2 opportunities to showcase my understanding of a topic we are working on, lead at least 4 activity sessions, find a Toastmasters group and attend at least two sessions and ask to teach an individual or group one skill or game that I am familiar with. I will evaluate which strategy works best for me and why.

Work site
visit

Normally, your co-op coordinator will visit you and your employer halfway through your work term. You’ll have a chance to provide feedback and talk about how your work term is going. Your coordinator will usually come to your workplace, but can also conduct the work site visit over the phone or through Skype.

What to do before your work site visit

What to do before your work site visit

A week before your work site visit, you'll receive an email reminding you to sign in to Learning in Motion to complete the mid-term assessment form (part 2 of the competency assessment). Your supervisor will receive a copy of your form once you've submitted it online; he or she will then complete the supervisor portion. Check out the description of the 10 core competencies and the competency kit for tips.

  • Use the form to assess your development of each of the 10 core competencies 
  • Describe how you've demonstrated each competency and relate this to your work term goals and learning objectives 
  • Ask your employer to complete the employer section of this form 
  • Bring a copy of the form to your work site visit and send a copy to your co-op coordinator before the work site visit

What happens on the work site visit?

What happens on the work site visit?

During the work site visit, your co-op coordinator will meet with you and your supervisor. Your coordinator will review your completed competency assessment form with you and your supervisor.

The work site visit is your chance to provide feedback about:

  • your work projects and how they relate to your competency development, academic program and goals
  • your learning objectives
  • your supervision and work environment
  • your areas of interest

Ask your coordinator to help you complete the work site visit checklist during your site visit.

Last week of
work term

At the end of your work term, you'll receive an email reminding you to sign in to Learning in Motion to complete the final assessment form (part 3 of the Competency Assessment). Your supervisor will receive a copy of your form once you've submitted it online; he or she will then complete the supervisor portion. Check out the Description of the 10 core competencies and the competency kit for tips.

  • Use the form to assess your development of each of the 10 core competencies
  • Describe how you have demonstrated each competency and relate this to your work term goals and learning objectives.
  • Ask your employer to complete the employer section of this form. 
  • Send a copy of the completed form to your co-op coordinator.

Work term
report

All students are required to complete a work term report for each work term. You'll create a scientific report on a subject you choose with your employer.

Steps to creating a work term report

Steps to creating a work term report
  1. Choose a topic by the start of your second month on the job.
  2. Choose someone to mark the report. The marker could be your coordinator or your employer.
  3. Write the first draft by the end of the third month of your work term and submit it to your employer for feedback.
  4. Create a final version and submit it your employer and the co-op office 15 days after your work term ends. Deadlines are:
    • September 15 if your work term ended in August (unless you’re graduating in November, in which case your report is due September 1)
    • January 15 if your work term ended in December
    • May 15 if your work term ended in April (unless you’re graduating in June, in which case your report is due May 1)
  5. Your work term will be marked “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory.” Unsatisfactory reports need to be redone within two weeks and awarded a “satisfactory.”

Work term report types

Work term report types

Your report should be useful to the employer and may be read by other co-op students.

Co-op jobs are varied, so there are three possible formats for your report:

  1. Professional report: A combination of the scientific format and formal essay. This style is useful in consulting work, government and industry. It includes:
    1. title page
    2. table of contents
    3. lists of tables and figures
    4. introduction
    5. discussion
    6. conclusions
    7. references and appendices
  2. Scientific report: It should conform with accepted journal style and include:
    1. title page
    2. table of contents
    3. lists of tables and figures
    4. introduction
    5. materials and methods
    6. results
    7. discussion
    8. conclusions
    9. references and appendices
  3. Employer’s report: If your employer asks for a format different from these styles, check with your coordinator. You could do a poster, website, Wiki or video.

What to include

What to include
  1. Title page: Check out this sample
  2. Table of contents: A list that identifies all major sections of your report with titles and page numbers.
  3. List of tables: Include all tables with their individual numbers, titles and page numbers (same format as the table of contents).
  4. List of figures: Include all figures with their individual numbers, titles and page numbers (illustrations, tables and other supporting material not critical to the text should go in the appendices; they don’t need to appear in the list of figures).
  5. Introduction: Present your background, approach and main objectives, and explain how this work fits into the bigger picture.
  6. Materials and methods (for the scientific report): Describe the experimental procedure and apparatus by:
    • describing the procedures in sequence, including information about the data and discussion
    • naming and referencing any procedures followed from a manual, journal or other publication
    • using the past tense
    • naming chemicals with their generic name, followed in parentheses by the trade name, e.g. sodium pentobarbital (Nembutal)
  7. Results (scientific report only): The results form the basis for your analysis or conclusions. Organize qualitative results into subheadings and observations. Present numerical data in tables or graphs. Present measurements in metric units.
  8. Discussion: This is the main body of your report. Information should be organized, clear and analyzed objectively. Include information that conflicts with your hypothesis by discussing alternate explanations. If possible, include references to relevant literature.
  9. Conclusions: A brief statement of the major conclusions of your report. It should end with a series of recommendations.
  10. References: In-text references should follow the format of a recognized journal (e.g., “This agrees with conclusions drawn by other workers (Bacq and Alexander 1961) … that irradiation actually enhances mitosis.”

    References should be listed alphabetically by author. Include the author, year, title, journal, publisher and relevant pages (e.g., Bacq, A.M. and V. Alexander, 1961. Fundamentals of Radio-Biology. 2nd edition. Pergamon Press, New York, 300pp.)

  11. Appendices: These give the reader extra information (calculations, illustrations, etc.) that elaborates on your report’s text but isn’t essential.

Not sure where to start? Contact your co-op office to see samples of past reports.

Sample title page

University of Victoria

DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGY

THE EFFECTS OF LOW DOSAGE   RADIATION ON HUMAN TISSUE IN CULTURE

WORK TERM REPORT

in partial fulfillment of the requirements

of the Biology Co-op Program

Winter 2009

Work Term 3

by

Jane Doe

Performed at: Royal Jubilee Hospital
Victoria, B.C.

Job Supervisor: Dr. A.B. Smith

Job Title: Laboratory Assistant

Work term report requirements

Work term report requirements

Your report should be:

  • approximately 2,000 words and must include a title page
  • concise, organized and logical
  • accurate, consistent and complete
  • professional and readable
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