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Off to a flying start - Helen Howard


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Off to a flying start - Helen Howard

  1. 1. Off to a Flying Start! Supporting student transition Helen Howard Skills@Library Team Leader University of Leeds
  2. 2. What is Flying Start? What have we found out about student transition? What are the key findings for all of us supporting transition?
  3. 3. Flying Start Aims to raise undergraduate student awareness of the importance of building a foundation of academic skills to enhance their studies and improve their grades and employability An online interactive resource for students making the transition to University, available prior to their arrival, with general content and School-specific information
  4. 4. Content divided into: o General (for everyone) o School-specific
  5. 5. 2011 Pilot year: 11 schools 2,417 visits 1,513 unique visitors 2012 Rolled-out: 34 schools 12,552 visits 6,363 unique visitors 2013 Repeated: 34 schools 7,808 visits 5,559 unique visitors
  6. 6. Our findings about student transition to University • Pre-development research oSurvey and focus groups with year 12/13 students oSurvey of first year undergraduate students • Feedback from users
  7. 7. What is your biggest concern about going to university? Finance “not having enough money” 44% Meeting new people / fitting in “not getting along with people I’m living with” 15% Not doing well “failing”, “it being too hard” 15% Lack of ability / not coping “struggling academically” 34% Meeting new people / fitting in “being able to find myself comfortable there” 27% Financial worries “my finances and expenses” 7% Year 12 /13 students UG students with no FS
  8. 8. What is the biggest difference between study at school & university? Independent learning “I will be expected to organise myself” 53% Greater volume of work “the amount of work required outside lessons / lectures” 15% Style of teaching “the amount of contact time & how it is used” 15% Independent learning “the expectation to know where and how to find relevant info and resources” 34% Self-motivation and time management “lots of free time for me to manage” 14% Writing, reading and critical thinking skills “the need for strong essay responses, nuanced arguments, originality, referencing” 10% Year 12 /13 students UG students with no FS
  9. 9. What 3 things would be useful to know before you arrive? Course format Structure, timetables, assessment 43% Finance Budgeting, fees, debt 41% How to succeed Support on offer, how to develop skills, avoiding plagiarism 30% The need to be an independent learner “how much work you have to do by yourself” 14% How to make the most of resources (VLE, Library) “the basic skills to study such as how to use the Library” 13% How to make the most of time here (study / social) “you need to actively learn from lectures and for this you need certain skills” 11% Year 12 /13 students UG students with no FS What do you wish you had known?
  10. 10.  Meeting people, conversation skills  Time management, online resources, reading lists  Feedback, assessment, groupwork, exams  Research skills, using the Library  What is referencing, and avoiding plagiarism  Types of contact, lectures, note-taking Being an effective learner, reflection
  11. 11. Our findings about student transition to University • Pre-development research • Feedback from users o3 surveys (immediately after use) o1 post-use survey (Easter) o1 non-user focus group
  12. 12. What did you find most useful? Independent learning & study skills, esp. referencing & plagiarism Making the grade: feedback & assessment Student videos: hearing directly about their experiences Contact time & making most of lectures
  13. 13. What did you think was missing? Practical info: what to bring, issues around accommodation More fun / interactive activities Local info: the city, University, buildin gs & setting Experiences: students sharing their experiences / typical day or week More promotion and reminders to use it
  14. 14. Would you recommend we produce a similar resource for next year’s students? 96.8% 2011 98.5% 2012 98.3% 2013 “I felt I was at an advantage over those who had not accessed it. I had a headstart in understanding referencing, plagiarism, using the Library etc.” (Healthcare student, 2013 survey)
  15. 15. Key findings and 7 suggestions for all of us supporting transition
  16. 16. Key findings and suggestions Students get an overwhelming amount of information during transition and induction Getting information beforehand is useful and prepares them Too much information is off-putting Drip-feeding is good if you can
  17. 17. Key findings and suggestions Students miss information / links which get sent to them Promotion through all available channels is key Reminders are useful Using social media can help
  18. 18. Key findings and suggestions Format and resources should be engaging Visual images help students know what to expect Videos are generally popular Content shouldn’t feel heavy but fun!
  19. 19. Key findings and suggestions Settling in generally (not just in terms of study) is important Use examples / images of social aspects and local settings These can support learning or study-related content Collaborate with other University sections engaging with students during transition
  20. 20. Key findings and suggestions Content in transition resources can be useful through the year Keep content available for students after they arrive at University Attitudes and priorities change as they settle in and understand the context better
  21. 21. Key findings and suggestions Tone, voice and level of the resource is important Using current students to deliver information is appreciated Resources which are too basic or patronising are off- putting
  22. 22. Key findings and suggestions Content which is new to the user is the most useful In this context, content related to the step up to studying at the HE level was the most popular Explain unfamiliar terms / phrases or those used differently in the HE context Students sharing their own experiences gets the message across
  23. 23. What do we do next? Run again for 2014 new students Review for 2015, adding new elements, in particular student experience videos See how we can collaborate with others in the University to bring transition information together
  24. 24. Questions or Comments? Skills@Library Click new students tab for list of all Flying Start sites