Solvin 'It started early the new working season and, as always, rolled sleeves up as early as July in preparation for the new academic year, in its 5th edition of an ambitious Project, relying for the second consecutive year on the partnership between the FMUL’s Student Support Office and the AEFML.
As initially believed, this was a stabilizing year for the Solvin 'It Project, taking into account the growth of the past year. It has stood out positively due to the increase in the number of sessions and the development of new modalities.
The main novelty to be introduced this academic year was the Chemistry Levelling Session. Aimed mainly at new students in year 1, this idea came after we realised the plain difference in prior knowledge among students who had had Chemistry as a subject in year 12 of high school and those who had not, which resulted in a significant gap among colleagues, especially in the context of the Biochemistry disciplinary area.
Surprisingly, this initiative had a lot of support, as never before, on the part of students, of whom 193 participated in the session. Of note is the positive feedback received, afterwards, from several teachers who are also our tutors, with regard to improvements in the field of chemical concepts, compared to students from previous years.
At the same time, the project was extended to Anatomy, with visible results. Although only one session was added compared to the previous year, a new intradepartmental area was created, aimed just at Nutrition Science students.
Last year, these students were invited to join the standard Anatomy sessions, which were designed mainly for medical students. The sessions contained only minor changes to adapt content to NS students. This adaptation resulted in sessions specifically conducted within the scope of the syllabus of their degree.
We consider this to be a very important step, since it allowed us to extend the Project to these students, who are also members of our Faculty. It was possible thanks to the integration of an NS member in the organizing committee, in addition to the availability and interest of the remaining year 2 students to participate actively as assistants.
In short, we ended the 1st semester with about 27 sessions held, attended by 1438 participants. These numbers make us reflect on the huge dimension of this Project which, 5 years ago, was just a small initiative created by the AEFML to promote peer-teaching and its benefits among students of our Faculty.
Currently, in this 2nd semester we are going through a new stage, marked not by development itself, but by change and the consequent need to adapt to the challenges brought about by the agent that became the central theme of our daily lives - the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the absence of face-to-face sessions, we made efforts to extend Solvin 'It to digital platforms, starting to use Zoom as the main form to continue the Project in these troubled times. With this, we continue to ensure interactivity between participants and assistants, fostering the informal, open and educational environment that characterizes Solvin ’It.
This new model would not have been possible without the important collaboration of the Assistants and the Tutors, who made themselves available for this new challenge right from the beginning.
Finally, after 4 sessions in this new method and positive feedback from the participants, we will try, enthusiastically, to face all adversities so that the remaining sessions planned for this edition are carried out, always with the aim of promoting education among peers.
The Solvin´It Project