Dimensions of Student Transition

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					        Dimensions of Student
             Transition
                  Tony Cook
               STAR@ulster.ac.uk



STAR@ulster.ac.uk
           The STAR project
  • Documenting and dissemination good
    practice associated with student
    transition.

     – Guidelines
     – STAR Studies
     – Active dissemination


STAR@ulster.ac.uk
         Take home messages
• Students have to change quickly and in
  many different ways
• Some of the problems are of our making
• Solutions can be applied before and after
  entry
• Solutions are short term (changed
  practice) and long term (systematic
  changes)

STAR@ulster.ac.uk
            Managing transition
               Independent, enthusiastic,
End point      involved, communicative,
               present, sober




                                               ?
                                            Start point



STAR@ulster.ac.uk
                         Why do students leave early?
                                                                                 health              8
                    50                                                           money               9
                    40
                                                                                 personal            69
                                                                                                     143
Nos. of students




                                                                                 course unsuitable
                    30

                    20

                    10

                     0
                                            ar


                                                      ay




                                                                            p
                                   n




                                                                                     ov
                        ov




                                                                  l
                                                                ju


                                                                          se
                                 ja


                                           m


                                                   r/m
                     t/n




                                                                                  t/n
                                                             n/
                               c/




                                                                        g/
                                         b/




                                                           ju
                             de
                   oc




                                                                                oc
                                                                      au
                                                 ap
                                       fe




                                         Data from University of Ulster 2001/2 (institutional data)


STAR@ulster.ac.uk
        Why do students fail?
 • ‘I went into the exam blind’’
 • ‘The first year doesn’t count towards
   your degree’
 • ‘Failing was my wake up call’’
 • ‘I just didn’t like that module’



STAR@ulster.ac.uk
What characteristics predispose
   students to leave/ fail?
  • Pre-entry qualifications
  • Age
  • Socio-economic background
  • Gender
  • Full-time/ part time


STAR@ulster.ac.uk
                           The effect of A level score

                          35
A level points on entry




                          30
                          25
                          20
                          15
                          10
                                           R2 = 0.9754
                          5
                          0
                               0   2   4       6         8     10   12   14
                                           % non-continuance
STAR@ulster.ac.uk
          Retention of mature students
                     100
 % mature students




                     80
                                                       R2 = 0.6145
                     60

                     40

                     20

                      0
                           0   5   10       15    20        25   30   35
                                        % non-continuance
STAR@ulster.ac.uk
         Retention from low
    participation neighbourhoods
                     100
  neighbourhoods
  % from low part.




                      80

                      60
                                        R2 = 0.5121
                      40

                      20

                       0
                           0   5   10   15    20      25   30   35

STAR@ulster.ac.uk                  % non-continuance
The Effect of Part time students
                            100
     % part time students



                            80
                                                          R2 = 0.1702
                            60

                            40

                            20

                             0
                                  0   5   10   15    20        25   30   35
                                           % non-continuance
STAR@ulster.ac.uk
                          Effect of sex
                100


                75
     % female




                50

                                                   R2 = 0.0148
                25


                 0
                      0   5   10   15    20        25    30      35
                               % non continuance
STAR@ulster.ac.uk
           Putting it together
   Non continuance has two components
   • Early leaving- characterised by poor
     decisions prior to entry.

   • Academic failure- characterised by
     poor preparations/ false expectations.



STAR@ulster.ac.uk
              At risk groups
  • Poorly qualified students
  • Mature students
  • Students from non-traditional
    backgrounds
  • Students who do not understand the
    expected standards

STAR@ulster.ac.uk
      Dimensions of Transition
  • What changes do we expect of our
    first year students?
     –   Social adjustment to independence
     –   Work/study/student lifestyle balance
     –   Intrinsic motivation
     –   Curriculum changes
     –   Assessment changes
     –   Cope with staff relationship changes


STAR@ulster.ac.uk
         Short term solutions
• Better information to applicants
• Courses should deliver what is advertised
• Developmental teaching of literacy and
  numeracy
• Better communication of standards through
  formative assessment.
• Facilitate and encourage students to return.


STAR@ulster.ac.uk
        Longer term solutions
• Merge full-time and part-time students
• Accounting at the module level
   – Funding
   – Student success
• Post Qualification Application
   – Start at Christmas?
• Design a course to suit those who attend it
• Develop transitional entry qualifications
STAR@ulster.ac.uk
                    And finally
  • Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's
    the transition that's troublesome."
                                   – Isaac Asimov

  • Of course there's a lot of knowledge in
    Universities: the freshmen bring a little
    in; the graduates don't take much away,
    so knowledge sort of accumulates
                                  – Lawrence Lowell




STAR@ulster.ac.uk

				
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