Inducting someone has a different meaning to orienting someone. Induction implies a level of passivity from the subject which is perhaps inappropriate if we expect students to be engaged and questioning, to develop and grow. If we want them to be more actively involved in the student experience, creative and thoughtful, not merely recipients of information, we must think about how we relate and what they tell us they need as much as what we think they need to know. While we may be doing this for specific student groups, there are so many ways in which this applies to all our students
Why enhance what we do? Is this because students needs something more than we are offering at present? is this because they have a greater need than other students and what are the implications of thinking this way.It's easy to perceive international students as a group, which in many ways they are not, and to see 'them' as having problems accessing the curriculum we offer, whether that is because of English language difficulties of cultural experience. Are we right in seeking to assimilate or should we be facilitating integration; recognising that the cultural differences these students bring are valuable, not least to the UK students they study alongside.Is it a question of being clear what it is we want them to know, why and why it will be useful and valuable for our students to know it, then finding ways of communicating more effectively and improving our understanding of students' expectations
what are the aims? Is it the intention to extendor enhance and why? What do we want to achieve. Is it something which takes place during the first or initial weeks, the first semester, or the whole course?
There are broadly three approaches reflected in the examples listed in the case studies. Bolt-on provision is often applied when there isn't time to think through how to integrate something more suitable and is certainly better than nothing. The problem is getting students to see the value of it at the time and sustain their engagement. This usually means making attendance compulsory , requiring some work to be assessed, even if this is formative and contributes clearly to helping students understand some key concepts, to their employability or personal and professional development. Involving existing students as mentors can be effective and this can be started with pre arrival support, blogs, e mails, Skype sessions etc.Bolt on provision often develops into a restructuring of a course, perhaps with a discreet module such as the Study Skills Professional , the Biosciences approach and the evolution from Saturday Schools to the Professional Studies module in SBS
Whatever you do it is clear from these examples that the students and their circumstances change as the world turns and economies develop. South-Asian students are more aware and more prepared for what we do than they used to be. Ensuring that we have a relationship with our students where they trust us to tell us how they think and what they know, responding flexibly and collecting feedback are vital to our continued survival as successful educators.
There are four Masterclass sessions on writing, critical thinking, and researching information See web address above - orientation pages for details
I have included this for interest. Students last year on this course conducted some interesting research and developed a critique of existing approaches to supporting international students and mentoring.
Enhancing Induction and Orientation for International Students
students need +
deficient in skill or
AIMS .... enhance :
understanding of subject
and enrich intercultural experience of all
There is a wealth of case study
information at the Teaching International
Students (TIS) resource and case studies
from within SHU listed in Case Studies
Please add yours to this resource
International Student Support
Sessions about cultural
adjustment, dealing with culture shock
New Social mentoring project for new
Restart week - piloted last year
� Reschedule student arrival and induction so that UK and
international students arrive together, and have shared orientation
� Identify what international students want from mentors.
� Avoid generalization of international students.
� Do not pay UK students for mentoring, but promote the benefits
to UK students of their participation in mentoring schemes
� Encourage a more sibling-sibling type relationship within the
mentoring scheme, rather than a parent-child type relationship.
� Make staff aware of the benefits of mentoring schemes
� Use social media to encourage a more organic approach to the
initiation of relationships between UK and international students
� Consider having more than one mentor
INTEGRATE, DON'T ASSIMILATE
Teaching International Students TIS Resource Bank
Scudamore, R. 2013. Engaging home and International
Students A guide for new Lecturers HEA
Cousin, G. 2012 Getting our students to engage: a review of 2
key contributions 10 years on, HERDSA 31:1,15-20
Fanghanel, J & Cousin, G. 2012 'Worldly 'Pedagogy: a way of
conceptualising teaching towards Global Citizenship, Teaching
in Higher Education,17:1,39-50
Teaching International Students (TIS): an engineering
perspective with a focus on group and project-based work
(Richard Dales, Andrew McLaren and Simon Steiner, May 2011)
Sloan, D & Porter, E. (2009) Contextualising, Embedding and Mapping
(CEM): A model and framework for rethinking the design and delivery of
an in-sessional academic literacy programme support. EMERGE, 1. pp. 1-
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