HERE Project Nottingham Trent University University of Bradford Bournemouth University
Introduce 2 research strands
Share findings from first year of study
Play Family Fortunes (badly)
Provide opportunity to spend some time looking at review/ audit tool
Background & Strand 1 Research
HERE Project set up as part of What Works? Programme
Based on first principles
What do we know makes a difference?
Didn’t start by seeking to prove a particular piece of work?
Although strong interests in
Student doubters (first years)
Higher number of students have doubts than leave
Some research into difference between doubters and leavers (Mackie, 2001 & Roberts 2003)
Survey conducted at each partner NTU, Bournemouth & Bradford
Actual withdrawals analysed in December 2009
Programmes with better than peer rates of retention
Based on the observations of significant differences in rates of retention between ostensibly similar programmes
Student Transition Survey (March – May 2009) NTU UoB Sample Size 656 128 % doubters 37% 27% % male doubters 31% 27.5% % female doubters 41% 28.2% Age Slight rise as students age Slight rise as students age Disability 50% 46.7% Part time 43% 50%
Differences between Doubters & Non-Doubters
Tested against 17 statements
“ I’m confident that I can cope with my studies’
Asked students to report on importance and experience
In most areas there was a gap between importance & experience
Importance being higher
Largest gaps (all students)
Finance, quality of feedback and course organisation
But in some, the experience was actually better
Social life, supportive students & family
Universally doubters rated the experience more lowly
Who are the students who withdrew?
16 students from 370 withdrew (4% of respondents)
8 female (3% of respondents)
8 male (6% of respondents)
11 were aged 18 – 21
1 student withdrew from 24 (4% of respondents)
Mode of Study
5 part time students withdrew (50% of respondents)
Impact of Doubting
16 withdrawals from 370 students
12 were doubters (8.8% withdrawal rate)
4 were non-doubters (1.7% withdrawal rate)
Non-doubters 5 times more likely to persist
Start with head-to-head
Then get the chance to collect all the points and stuff
A THING THAT FLIES…
MAIN REASONS WHY STUDENTS DOUBT
MAIN REASONS CITED BY DOUBTERS FOR STAYING
What made students doubt?
The Review/ Audit T o ol
Producing the Review Tool Findings Strand One Research Method Strand Two Review Tool
Devise interview questions based upon findings of Strand One to explore retention in programmes Use findings from programme research to develop the audit tool
First data set: different reasons given for leaving than staying
Second data set: doubters more likely to leave than non-doubters
Review tool structured around
Using data from larger data set (doubting/non-doubting)
Findings Strand One
Focus groups May 2009 (NTU)
4 focus groups (1 hour workshops, 13 students in total)
Control group of non-doubters
Selection of doubters
STEM subject doubters
Mature student doubters
All students that we spoke to were female.
Of the doubters we spoke to, four students were mature students, one student was a mature international student, one student was an international student and one student was a home student with English as a second language.
This is not representational of the profile of the total respondents.
Focus group findings
Spectrum of reasons to stay
From positive decision to ‘ no choice ’
Key differences between non doubters and doubters
Relationship with staff
“ I don’t seem very involved with the University to be honest… probably if I see my tutor on the road, he wouldn’t recognise me” .
Quantitative analysis of survey data
Pargetter et al (1998)
Used analysis of quantitative survey and focus groups to develop four scales that influence transition
Limitations of our method
Not a representative sample
Fairly small sample
Current Course Experiences: Doubters vs. non-doubters
% is the number of students who agreed or strongly agreed with each statement
12 th October 2009 Base = 656 (doubters = 243, non-doubters = 413)
Tests the association between doubting and variables
I feel confident that I can cope with my coursework
My subject is interesting
I feel valued by teaching staff
Factor analysis: 3 main underlying factors
Aspects of the course
Support networks in place (eg friends and families)
Aspect of life outside of study (accommodation, finances, social life)
Logistic regression – indication of a doubter or non doubter?
Aspects of the course
Aspect of life outside of study
Support networks in place
Since coming to university has anyone at NTU explained to you the difference between learning at university and your prior learning, particularly learning since age 16 (e.g. A’ Levels, BTEC)?
Do you feel that you understand the differences between learning at university and earlier learning? % of students in each group who had considered leaving Yes, in some detail 30% Yes, a little 38% No 62%
Research Method Strand Two Reducing leaving Increasing staying COURSE RELATED SUPPORT FROM FRIENDS & PEERS RELATIONSHIP/COMMUNICATION WITH STAFF ADAPTING TO UNIVERSITY ADAPTING TO THE COURSE LIFE OUTSIDE OF STUDY DETERMINATION AND INTERNAL FACTORS STUDENTS MORE LIKELY TO DOUBT FUTURE GOALS
Research interview format will form the basis of review tool
Programme research will explore these areas in programmes
What can we learn from programmes?
Is what has been identified by students as helping them to stay actually what helps them to stay? (can we find this out?)
Gather activities, examples and practices to share
Results from programme research will be used to further develop the review tool
Please work in small groups/ pairs and take a look at the review tool
We’d be grateful on any thoughts about the design/ structure of the tool
What examples do you have of good practice in the areas identified in the audit tool?
Where does this chime with your experiences?
Thanks very much for your time Any Questions?
PARGETTER, R., McINNIS, C., JAMES, R., EVANS, M., PEEL, M., DOBSON, I., 1998. Transition from Secondary to Tertiary: A Performance Study [online]. Available at: http://www.dest.gov.au/archive/highered/eippubs/eip98-20/contents.htm [Accessed 1 March 2010].