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Physics and Astronomy Co-op

Find out everything you need to know about Physics and Astronomy Co-op using the links below. Need help? Contact us at 250-721-7713 or physcoop@uvic.ca or stop by Elliott 119.


During your work term

Work term
schedule

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

First week

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 the first month Pay your co-op program fees. 
Second or third month

When possible, 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. 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.

During your work site visit, you can use the Work Site Visit Checklist to guide your discussion with the coordinator.

End of your 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.
Two weeks after your work term Reports are due two weeks after the nominal end of the work term (Sept 15, Jan 15 or May 15). Submit your work term report as a hard copy, .doc or .pdf file to your 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 three 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 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.

What to do before your work site visit

What to do before your work site visit
Learning in Motionmid-term assessment formcompetency assessmentdescription of the 10 core competenciescompetency kit
  • 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 
  • Make sure to "submit" the form online and your supervisor will receive an invitation to add relevant comments. 
  • Check with your supervisor to discuss their comments.

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.
  • Make sure to "submit" the form online and your supervisor will receive an invitation to add relevant comments.
  • Check with your supervisor to discuss their comments.

Work term
report

For each work term, you’ll complete a work term report (approximately 3,000 words). This is a scientific report on a topic related to your work which you choose in consultation with your supervisor, and will help build your professional/scientific writing skills.

Steps to creating a work term report

Steps to creating a work term report
  • Choose a topic after talking with your employer and/or coordinator. You should select your topic by the mid-point of your work term.
  • Write the first draft of your report by about the end of the third month of your work term and submit it to your supervisor for feedback.
  • Put together a final version and submit one copy to your supervisor, and one copy to the co-op office within 15 days after the end of your work term. The deadlines are:
    • Sept 15 if your work term ended in August
    • Jan 15 if your work term ended in December
    • May 15 if your work term ended in April 
  • Your report will typically be marked by Physics & Astronomy faculty member (or your supervisor should the report be deemed confidential and not available for viewing outside of the employer's organization). The reader will usually have some expertise about the subject matter you've chosen for your report.
  • Your work term will be commented on and marked with a grade of “Satisfactory” or “Unsatisfactory.” Unsatisfactory reports need to be redone within two weeks and awarded a “Satisfactory” grade in order to receive credit for the work term.

Work term report types

Work term report types

Here's your chance to write like a professional scientist. Your report should be useful to the employer and might also be read by other co-op students.
Co-op jobs are varied, so there are a number of possible formats for your report. Reports should be about 3,000 words in length.

  • Research report: Use this type if you’re reporting on a research project. Research reports should conform with accepted journal style and be written in standard scientific format. This type of report includes:
    • Title page
    • Table of contents
    • List of tables and list of figures
    • Abstract
    • Introduction
    • Materials/data and methods
    • Results
    • Discussion
    • Conclusions
    • References
    • Appendices (optional)
  • Professional report: A combination of the strict scientific format and formal essay. This style’s often useful in consulting work, government and industry. It includes:
    • Title page
    • Abstract
    • Table of contents
    • Lists of tables and figures
    • Introduction
    • Discussion
    • Conclusions
    • References
    • Appendices (optional)
  • Procedural report: Use this format when reporting on routine work carried out in a situation where no original experimental research is performed. This is similar to the research report but will report on routine procedures and discuss the significance, applications or consequences of the results. It should include:
    • Title page
    • Abstract
    • Table of contents
    • Lists of tables and figures
    • Introduction
    • Discussion
    • Conclusions
    • References
    • Appendices (optional)
  • Employer’s report: If your employer asks for a format that’s different from the above report types, check in with your coordinator. This type of report might be in the form of an internal technical paper, a user manual, procedural documentation, online resource, etc.

What to include

What to include - elements of a scientific paper
  • Title page: Check out this sample.
  • Abstract: This is where you summarize the main point of the main text, including conclusions and recommendations—it's usually about half a page long.
  • Table of contents:  A list that identifies all the major sections with their titles and page numbers.
  • List of tables: Include all tables with their individual numbers, titles, and page numbers. Use the same format as the table of contents.
  • List of figures/illustrations: Include all figures/illustrations with their individual numbers, titles and page numbers (illustrations, tables and other supporting material not critical to the text should go in the appendices, and don’t need to appear in the list of figures).
  • Introduction: Present your background, approach and main objectives and give the reader a sense of where this work fits into the larger picture.
  • Experimental Details or Theoretical Basis: The method of approaching the problem or testing the hypothesis is presented. This may include the type and methods of data collection, a description of techniques or analysys used, or a presentation of a theory.
  • Results: Summarize the data collected and their analytical treatment.
  • Discussion: Interpret and compare the results. Information should be well organized, clearly presented, and analyzed with rigid objectivity. Include information that conflicts with your hypothesis by discussing and suggesting alternate explanations. 
  • Conclusions: A brief statement of the major conclusions of your report. It should end with a series of recommendations.
  • Acknowledgements: You should acknowledge your work supervisor and anyone else who contributed to the work term report content.
  • Appendices: These give the reader additional information that elaborates on the main text but isn’t essential to the principle theme of the report. Appendices could include calculations, illustrations, etc. Appendices should be referred to in the main text.
  • 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) but stands in contrast to the claim by Brunst, et al. (1965) that irradiation actually enhances mitosis.

    References in the reference section 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.)

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

Sample title page
THE MEASUREMENT OF OCEAN SALINITY

by

John Doe



The Canadian Scientific Centre
1000 West Road
Spuzzum, BC



Physics & Astronomy Co-op Work Term Report

in partial fulfillment
of the requirements of the Physics & Astronomy Co-op Program



Spring 1990

John Doe

Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Victoria

Work report tips

Work report tips

Your report should be:

  • concise
  • organized
  • logical
  • consistent
  • accurate and complete
  • professional
  • readable

Presentation

  • Mathematical equations: All equations should be centered horizontally between lines of text with double spacing above and below.
  • Tables: Each table should have a title and should be referred to in the text of the report.
  • Illustrations and graphs: Each figure should have a number and a clear title and should be referred to in the text of the report.
  • Footnotes: You can include footnotes to elaborate on or give background to material without interrupting the main flow of thought. Footnotes should appear at the bottom of the page, separated from the main text by a solid line from margin to margin, and be single-spaced.
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