Kingston Keynote

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Keynote presentation delivered at Kingston University on 13 January 2009. Focussing on issues of transition and student engagement.

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  • Kingston Keynote

    1. 1. What preparation do our students do before they come?
    2. 2. Understanding the Student Journey: Analysing the Issues and Identifying Potential Solutions Becka Currant Head of Learner Development and Student Engagement University of Bradford
    3. 3. How do we manage the student journey from applying for a place through to graduation? Central Question…
    4. 4. We need to help students understand… <ul><li>What modes of transport are available </li></ul><ul><li>Which mode is the most relevant for that stage of the journey </li></ul><ul><li>How they can revise their travel plans accordingly in the event of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Accidents and emergencies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Roadworks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adverse conditions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Last minutes changes to plans </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Setting the Context <ul><li>What does modern Higher Education look like? </li></ul><ul><li>How do students feel about this? </li></ul><ul><li>What do we need to do to respond to differences? </li></ul>
    6. 6. Recent headlines highlight issues of engagement Why are students leaving? Is a traditional 3 year degree pathway really the most effective option for modern students?
    7. 7. Students 2.0? <ul><li>Who/what are modern students? </li></ul><ul><li>A vision of students today Wesch (2007) </li></ul><ul><li>What issues do they face? </li></ul><ul><li>What challenges does this pose for us? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we respond to differences from the ‘norm’? </li></ul>
    8. 8. Why Do Students Leave University? <ul><li>Because they are not engaged </li></ul><ul><li>Not engaged academically </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ I am not clever enough” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ The course is not what I thought it would be” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Not engaged socially </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ I feel lonely” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ I am homesick” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ The other students are not friendly” </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. What about Universities 2.0? <ul><li>Diversity of entry routes </li></ul><ul><li>Issues of dealing with developing autonomy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Moving from ‘spoon fed’ to independent learners </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Older – with additional responsibilities/issues? </li></ul><ul><li>More local, many with existing established peer groups </li></ul><ul><li>Earning whilst learning </li></ul><ul><li>Disengaged learners seeking qualification </li></ul><ul><li>Unsure what University life is about </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Moving from modular, assessment based units to ‘reading’ for a degree? </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Mass reflects a higher education system where the curriculum fits the scale and nature of demand Limits on the System… Elite 15% Mass 15-40% Universal More than 40%
    11. 11. 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 YEAR Curriculum requirement Student preparedness for the curriculum
    12. 12. 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 YEAR Curriculum requirement Student preparedness for the curriculum
    13. 13. 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 YEAR Curriculum requirement Student preparedness for the curriculum
    14. 14. Do we know… <ul><li>What ‘transition’ means to different individuals? </li></ul><ul><li>What does ‘transition’ mean to you? </li></ul><ul><li>What have you done to address issues of student transition and engagement? </li></ul><ul><li>What impact has this had? </li></ul>
    15. 15. <ul><li>Transition is a key issue with regard to the First Year Experience (Tinto, 1987, 1993; Pitkethly & Prosser, 2001; Longden and Yorke, 2008; the STAR project, 2008) </li></ul><ul><li>Transition starts before students arrive – from the moment they think about applying </li></ul><ul><li>Transition continues throughout their University lives – between semesters, modules, concepts, years/stages and upon exit </li></ul>Transition
    16. 16. Student Life Cycle Model Layer et al, 2002 Better preparation Fair admissions First steps in HE Flexible progression Student success
    17. 17. Transitions Life Cycle Model Currant, 2009 Clear expectations Explicit requirements Support during first year Flexible assessment, regular feedback Student success
    18. 18. <ul><li>How students manage the process of transition? </li></ul><ul><li>What mode of transport are they using? </li></ul><ul><li>What do they expect to happen? </li></ul><ul><li>What are their hopes, fears and aspirations? </li></ul>Do we know…
    19. 19. Why Come to University? <ul><li>Balance of power between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation </li></ul><ul><li>Why have they decided to come to University at all? </li></ul><ul><li>What do they expect… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>of University itself? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to do once they leave? </li></ul></ul>
    20. 20. Why Are You Here? <ul><li>Because “ I have nothing else to do” </li></ul><ul><li>Because “ my parents/siblings told me to come” </li></ul><ul><li>Because “ I don’t want to get a job” </li></ul><ul><li>Because “ I want to study the subject” </li></ul><ul><li>What impact will this have on engagement? What does it mean for our learners’ journey? </li></ul>
    21. 21. What does all this mean? <ul><li>Challenges with engaging students in their studies </li></ul><ul><li>Conflicting pressures and concerns taking focus away from University </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of ‘academic maturity’ </li></ul><ul><li>Poor decision making </li></ul>
    22. 22. <ul><li>What we can do to make it easier/more effective? </li></ul>Do we know…
    23. 23. What Can We Do? <ul><li>Identify student expectations of University </li></ul><ul><li>Make explicit institutional requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Provide holistic induction experience </li></ul><ul><li>Support assessment process </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide early formative assessment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Engage with curriculum to inspire learners </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Define curriculum engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Academic and Social integration </li></ul>
    24. 24. <ul><li>Induction, transition and initial engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Engaging students in University life - building a real, sustainable and workable University community </li></ul><ul><li>Research into the student experience – listening to the student voice and making changes </li></ul>Some areas of focus…
    25. 25. Develop Me! Meet and chat online <ul><li>Expectations survey </li></ul><ul><li>First Year Experience questionnaire </li></ul>Meet and chat, pre-entry activities developme.ning.com Online resources www.bradford.ac.uk/developme Skills tracking Mobile guides www.braduni.mobi Student voice
    26. 26. Enhancing the Student Experience: Issues   <ul><li>How do we promote engagement? How can we truly enhance the student experience?  </li></ul><ul><li>How can we develop a workable ‘contract’ with students? How do we identify appropriate amounts of contact time, define what academic and pastoral support is available, promote positive behaviour and respect, enhance our students’ social life, build a University community?   </li></ul><ul><li>How should we deal with concerns and issues faced by our students – e.g. safety on campus, access to University, opportunities to be involved in wider University contexts, support for decisions and help for students dealing with life issues. </li></ul><ul><li>How can we build on what we have already achieved ? Celebrate what is happening, share good practice, embed innovation? </li></ul>

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