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Transition to university - Perera & Sinclair


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Presented at LILAC 2019

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Transition to university - Perera & Sinclair

  1. 1. Independent Learners’ Toolkit Transition to university; information literacy through gamification and peer-learning Sharon Perera Andrew Sinclair
  2. 2. Do we need another learning resource? Who are our students?  60% students from WP backgrounds; first in the family; low income households; BAME  Skills gaps – transition to university; academic skills  87% student retention What does the research say?
  3. 3. How does learning at university differ from learning at school? A massive change in learning style towards independent studying (even spread between negative, positive and neutral) 58% Less support and guidance (even spread between negative, positive and neutral) 19% A change in teaching styles (even spread between negative, positive and neutral) 17% Difference in essay structure and writing style used in university (neutral) 14 % Greater need to manage time and motivation (neutral) 9.5% Lectures as opposed to classroom delivery (positive) 8% Difference in cohort size (neutral) 6.8% Perceptions on Independent Learning Skills (focus groups with 1st Year UG students)
  4. 4. Perceptions on Independent Learning Skills (focus groups with 1st Year UG students) Is there anything you think your school/college could have done better? Include tasks which would teach students how to learn and work independently 34% Preparation for university by exploring academic criteria for undergraduate work in preparation for university 25% Introduction to Harvard referencing 11% Tasks focussed on research 11% Tasks focussed on developing critical thinking skills 11% Better feedback on essay structure and writing style in order to develop skills for university work. 9% No improvement needed 11%
  5. 5. Dr David Smalley Research Fellow in Psychology, University of Greenwich What Sixth Form tasks were effective in preparing you to learn independently? Students created their own work-task, based on topics set within the classroom or of their own choosing 46% Teacher set tasks within the classroom to be worked on during school hours and/or during their own time 46% Resources provided by teacher to aid the student with their work task 11% Perceptions on Independent Learning Skills (focus groups with 1st Year UG students)
  6. 6. What does the research say?University of Greenwich 1st year questionnaire (Smalley, 2015)  Students do not feel prepared for university  Students have unrealistic expectations of academic demands  Students want to be independent but do not have the skills Independent Learning; Students’ Perspectives and Experiences, (Thomas, Hockings & Jones, 2015)  Students value independence as a life skill but are unaware of what is expected of them Transition focus group for BTEC learners (UOG, 2018)  Revisit Level 3 skills  Focus on academic writing  Develop independent learning skills  Additional induction for BTEC learners
  7. 7. Can a skills course be engaging?  2012 – 2014 Paper Resources  2017 electronic resources developed The Virtual Campus Tour is an engaging learning activity, With gamification providing an immersive experience of campus life. This enables students to apply abstract skills in a practical way.
  8. 8. The “people-in-practice” perspective Lloyd’s (2013) concept sees information literacy skills as a wider set of more meaningful activities that people can engage with across different settings e.g. work, education and life. A socio-cultural system of practices Negotiated practice Students learn new behaviours in a given setting Practice architectures The university campus setting Enacted activities Students participate in well-versed practices that other students observe Ways of knowing Tacit knowledge and culture within the university setting
  9. 9. Independent Learners’ Toolkit What is it? A virtual campus game experience to raise awareness of university life and its constituent parts Who is it for? Year 11, 12, 13; FE1, FE2, HE Year 0, Extended Year What is the cost? No cost How can people register? Self-enrolment on Moodle Additional support Teachers’ Guide and Webinars on “How to use the Independent Learners’ Toolkit”.
  10. 10. In groups, students explore a part of the campus Using the resource with learners  They answer the “Big Questions” in their section  How do their experiences at university compare with their game experience?  They are asked to make a list of things that they feel new students should know (Teachers’ Guide available) Task
  11. 11. “Big Questions” from Teachers’ Guide (Library) 1. What are academic skills and who can support you with these at university? 2. What questions should you ask when selecting appropriate sources? 3. Why is it important to have several viewpoints in your writing? Task
  12. 12. Using the resource  Secondary, FE and HE Level 3 to 4  Self-study, blended or flipped learning  Form time discussions (big ideas/myth busting)  Introduction to a topic in a lesson e.g. careers and employability
  13. 13. Evaluation and Impact Independent Learning Skills Pre Post Know who to ask for help when they need it. 37% 47% +10 Manage their time so that they don't leave things to the last minute. 39% 47% +8 Review and set personal goals regularly. 36% 48% +12 Study with their friends. 15% 37% +22 Ask questions during lectures. 41% 45% +4 Work on their own all the time. 15% 12% -3 Question the reliability of extra sources of information from the library. 32% 41% +9 Plan their week to ensure they get enough time to eat, sleep and relax. 39% 46% +7 Questionnaire completed by student before and after the workshop. Case Study
  14. 14. Evaluation and Impact How confident are you that you understand what skills you will need to have to be successful at university? (1 = least confident and 10 = most confident) 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Scores Scale 1-10 (1 = least confident and 10 = most confident) Confidence Level Summary Pre-Survey Post-Survey Case Study
  15. 15. Student feedback  This course is good – it doesn’t “tell” you what you need to know – you discover it yourself.  The course talks about the things they don’t really teach you but expect you to know.  It doesn’t talk down to you.  It discusses the things that help you in university. I found it very useful  You should have this course on our Moodle site. Extended Year (Year 0) Case Study
  16. 16. Explore Greenwich
  17. 17. Any Questions?
  18. 18. References: Jameson, J., Joslin, H. and Smith, S. (2014) Breaking through Groundhog Day; Making sense of Progression Conference Paper available at uNjAuNzguNDI%3D&s=swp-splash-paper-cover Lloyd, A. (2012) Information literacy as a socially enacted practice: sensitising themes for an emerging perspective of people-in-practice, Journal of Documentation, Vol. 68 Issue: 6 pp.772- 783 available at Thomas, L., Hockings, C. and Jones, R (2015) Independent Learning; Students Perspectives and Experiences, HEA available at file:///C:/Users/ps93/Downloads/independent_learning_final.pdf
  19. 19. Contact Sharon Perera Academic Support Team Manager University of Greenwich Andrew Sinclair Academic Skills Tutor University of Greenwich