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Free, Focused and Flexible: A Suite of Online Transition Tools for Supporting Student Success

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This paper describes an externally funded research and development project designed to address the problem of effective flexible learner transitions into higher and continuing education. More specifically it targets adults engaged in part-time or online/distance-learning during the initial stages of the study-lifecycle. Enhancing retention and completion rates of this group of life-long learners is an acknowledged concern both globally and within the Irish context. The literature suggests this crucial transition period may be enhanced by the availability of appropriately designed, freely available and strategically focused digital readiness/preparation tools, which scaffold both prospective students and those about to embark on study for the first time. Drawing on the literature, the experience of major international online/distance providers, and a set of overarching guiding principles, this project adopts a design-based methodology to develop eight digital readiness/preparation tools, along with a guide to supporting new flexible learners, which will inform institutions/discipline teams on how to effectively deploy the tools. The paper describes each of the tools and discusses the rationale for their development and how they can be used under a Creative Commons License (CCL) to support flexible learners through key transitions in the early stages of the study lifecycle.

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Free, Focused and Flexible: A Suite of Online Transition Tools for Supporting Student Success

  1. 1. Free, Focused and Flexible: A Suite of Online Transition Tools for Supporting Student Success Dr. James Brunton, Prof. Mark Brown, Dr. Eamon Costello, Lorraine Delaney, Seamus Fox, Ciara Galvin & Nuala Lonergan National Institute for Digital Learning, Dublin City University
  2. 2. Dr. James Brunton, Prof. Mark Brown, Dr. Eamon Costello, Lorraine Delaney, Seamus Fox, Ciara Galvin & Nuala Lonergan National Institute for Digital Learning, Dublin City University Free, Focused and Flexible: A Suite of Online Transition Tools for Supporting Student Success
  3. 3. studentsuccess.ie @FLSuccess
  4. 4. Project Plan
  5. 5. Analysis of Literature & Analysis of Existing Tools • Methodology –Analysis of Literature: Systematic Review (Torraco [2005], Boote and Beile [2005], EPPI-Centre [2010]) –Analysis of Existing Tools: Intensive search of institution websites
  6. 6. Analysis of Literature & Analysis of Existing Tools Thematic Tool Clusters 1. Course match 2. Preparation for Higher Education 3. Orientation 4. Addressing personal circumstances 5. Community 6. Satisfactory student experience
  7. 7. The Toolbox
  8. 8. Am I Ready for Study?
  9. 9. Am I Ready for Study?
  10. 10. Am I Ready for Study?
  11. 11. Am I Ready for Study?
  12. 12. How Much Work is it?
  13. 13. How Much Work is it?
  14. 14. How Much Work is it?
  15. 15. How Much Work is it?
  16. 16. Who Can I Ask?
  17. 17. Who Can I Ask?
  18. 18. Where to From Here…
  19. 19. Thank You!

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