Student transitions in higher education

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Student transitions

James M Dunphy8 December 2014

Starting universityNervous energy


Feeling slightly squeamish

Not wanting your family to leave / wishing theyd dropped you off a block or two from campus

Hungry and wondering what youre going to eat tonight

Most importantly signing in to the Wi-FiThe Importance of IntegrationAcademicSocialLearning what it means to learn at universityValidating subject choiceGaining confidenceBecoming socially comfortable at universityRecognising positive change within yourselfHaving a non-academic spaceMeeting people and making connectionsTinto, 1975The Quality of Learning and TeachingGood learning and teaching practices:

foster engagementplace a value on attendancemake use of students knowledge and experiencesprovide regular feedbackpromote dialoguebuild confidence 1. Encourages contacts between students and faculty2. Develops reciprocity and cooperation among students3. Uses active learning techniques4. Gives prompt feedback5. Emphasizes time on task6. Communicates high expectations7. Respects diverse talents and ways of learningChickering and Gamson 1987The Role of Effective SupportRole of our student unions in reaching out to all their members

Range of student-facing services all designed to make student life better

Asking a question as to how and where small or low cost support can make a difference?

Utilising students to develop and deliver support

Need for colleagues to work together to:-increase the impact of the resource we invest-develop new approaches and solutions

Data can help greatly to inform our thinking, as can student feedbackThe Challenge of us all togetherStudents feel well prepared and appropriately supported

Delivery of information is replaced by learning

Students develop understanding of what is expected and feel able to meet this expectation

We understand who is leaving and why

Accept that early-departure can be the right decision for some studentsWhat might success look like?Seamless v. Fact of LifeWhat do we say about transition?No need to worry, itll all be fantasticSometimes things can be tough and were here to help

Can we do more to prepare students?

Viewing transition as a fact of life and resilience as a skilldiscussionWhat are we doing well in this area?What role can quality processes have in supporting successful transitions?

Scotlands Quality Enhancement Framework includes the Enhancement Theme programme

An opportunity for the sector to come together to investigate an area of practice:-share information- discuss enhancement solutions

Also an opportunity to take enhancement forward within the institution:-strategic- course and discipline based

Driving a national focusStudent Transitions Theme Leaders Group

Two sectoral tracks of work:-into higher education- through and out of higher education

Key focus on work within institutions

Also a Student Network, comprised of our student officers

Student transitions 2014-17Institutional Theme Leaders Group

Focus on three levels:-Cross-university, areas identified by Strategy or quality processes- Discipline, areas of relevance to colleagues at school or course level-Student, aiding students to become better prepared and more resilient

Theme scoping exercise informed by a student internship

RGUs APproachAssociate Student Scheme

The scheme is free to all HN students planning to progress to RGU through the Degree Link programme

Associate students benefit from access to:

CampusMoodle RGUs virtual learning environmentOnline databases, journals and electronic booksthe University Library RGU: SportRGU: Union

Identified challenge regarding students writing

Study Skills and Access worked with academic staff to unpack and understand the challenge

The development of a joint response, in the form of learning activities and student support

Critically, linking these activities back to the course and subsequent feedback to studentsPartnership working to enhance Students Writing

DegreePrep ProgrammesDesigned to support the transition from studying at college to studying at university throughessential course information and study skills, as well as familiarising students with the staff, campus and facilities

133 students attended a DegreePrep Programme prior to commencing their studies in Session 2014/15133 entrants joined the programme in 2014/ 201599% felt more confident about continuing their studies at university100% Were more aware of the help and resources available at university

Changing Our Delivery Models

Students Always in Transition?

James M Dunphy8 December 2014


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