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Enhancing the First Year Experience at UCD Dr. Amanda Gibney DIT First Year Initiative – 10 Steps to engage your First Year Students 30 th March 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "Enhancing the First Year Experience at UCD Dr. Amanda Gibney DIT First Year Initiative – 10 Steps to engage your First Year Students 30 th March 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 Enhancing the First Year Experience at UCD Dr. Amanda Gibney DIT First Year Initiative – 10 Steps to engage your First Year Students 30 th March 2010

2 Outline of Presentation Fellowship in Teaching & Academic Development Education Strategy Development Programme Planning Focus on First Year Semester 1 Engagement and Skills Development Summary

3 Scheme commenced 2007, 8 Fellows Funded by HEA Strategic Initiative Fund (SIF1&2) Creation of network of emerging leaders with T&L track record Research key institutional education issues Model: Group project and individual project Dissemination of research findings and improvement of student experience Fellowship in Teaching & Academic Development

4 Group Project: First Year Experience Fellows Team: Niamh Moore, Sara OSullivan, Feargal Murphy & Amanda Gibney Fellowship in Teaching & Academic Development Findings Gibney, A., Moore, N., Murphy, F. & O'Sullivan, S. (2011) 'The First Semester of University Life; 'will I be able to manage it at all?'. Higher Education, 62 (3):351-366, DOI 10.1007/s10734-010-9392-9 (Web link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/2788) Recommendations Initiatives to support transition development of skills, engagement, drop-in writing centre Initiatives to support community building group work, peer mentoring, social networking

5 Consultation and development process 2009-2010 Development of Strategic Objectives Development of University, College and Programme actions Strategy launched in April 2010 as integral part of UCD Strategic Plan to 2014 Education Strategy Development

6 Strategic Objectives Foster early and lasting student engagement Grow and develop graduate education Strengthen and enhance academic disciplines and programmes Stimulate creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and active citizenship Widen participation and support lifelong learning Internationalise the student experience Excel in teaching, learning innovation and academic development Education Strategy Development

7 University Level Planning (2009-2010) (Registrar, Deputy Registrars, College Principals, VPTLs, Programme Deans, Graduate School Directors, Marketing and Recruitment Managers, Finance Managers) Clear unified presentation of programmes, simplification of entry routes Identification of common themes across programmes Articulation of pathways from undergraduate to graduate programmes Programme Planning

8 Programme Level Planning (2009-2010) Oversight and Working Group (Programme Deans, College Principals, VPTLs, Graduate School Directors, School Heads, School Heads of T&L, Programme Office Directors, College Finance Officers) Programme vision Programme outcomes and graduate attributes Programme Structure/Map Action plan and timelines Programme Planning

9 University Level Initiative (2010-2011) University and Programme Orientation Academic Programme Structure Assessment and Feedback Transition to Independent Study Engagement with UCD Focus on First Year

10 Semester 1 Engagement and Skills Development Programme Specific Modules Business: Effective Learning and Development Engineering: Creativity in Design Computer Science: Computer Science in Practice Science: Principles of Scientific Enquiry Nursing: Transitions: Engage to Success Arts: Learning for Success @ University (Module Descriptors: http://www.ucd.ie/students/course_search.htm)

11 Semester 1 Engagement and Skills Development Engineering:Creativity in Design (coupled with Innovation Leadership) Active-learning engineering experience through which students develop their: observation skills problem solving skills lateral thinking abilities visual and verbal presentation skills information literacy skills.

12 Innovation Process UnderstandIdeationPrototypeRefineImplement Points of Inspiration Observe Opportunity Statement Ideas to Pursue Possible Solutions Innovative Solution Current Situation User Experience Idea Generation Working Models A Few Possibilities Solution Data Issues Successes Problem Def. Shadowing User Journey User Interviews Story Telling Brainstorming Lateral Thinking TRIZ Mock-ups Go Fast No Frills Create Scenarios Focus Prototypes Engage Clients Ruthless Decisions Focus on Outcomes Resourcing Diverse Skills Create Launch Small # Probable Solutions Semester 1 Engagement and Skills Development

13 Assessment Formative and summative assessment in-studio wks 3 to 12 5 key concepts Understanding (evidence-based, comprehensive) Observation (planning, photos, sketches) Idea generation (no. of ideas, good themes) Prototyping (planning, testing, context) Communication (verbal and visual) Group (85%) Individual (15%) Sketchbook submission, sketch exercises Semester 1 Engagement and Skills Development

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17 Creative Design Solutions Exhibition Innovation Dublin 2010 & 2011 Semester 1 Engagement and Skills Development

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19 Students were provided with a module handbook Students obtained weekly feedback (both formative and summative) Students not attending studio sessions were contacted Students exhibited sustained, substantial effort across the semester Students understanding of the process and their prototyping, communication skills and confidence improved across the semester General Points Semester 1 Engagement and Skills Development

20 Aspects that appealed: Teamwork, studio setting, solving real problems, getting to know classmates, fun, active Student Feedback Aspects that helped learning: Giving presentations, teamwork, interactive studio Suggest changes: More time per project, more drawing, earlier information literacy session, clearer project briefs, better chosen groups Semester 1 Engagement and Skills Development

21 Science:Principles of Scientific Enquiry Aims Engage students with scientific literature research Encourage critical and analytical thinking Encourage passion for discovery and with that self-motivated learning Develop group work and communication skills Provide a personalised contact with academics in the scientific community Aid transition to university

22 Semester 1 Engagement and Skills Development Delivery Lectures: to full cohort of 400+, lecturer-led Workshops: groups of 75, tutor led Tutorials: groups of 5-6, academic as facilitator Group Work: groups of 5-6 scheduled unsupervised time

23 Semester 1 Engagement and Skills Development Assessment DescriptionIndividual/ Group Submission % of module grade Timing Individual Research Paper Summary Individual13Week 4 Group Research AbstractGroup12*Week 6 Group PresentationGroup15*Week 8 Group Project ReportGroup30*Week 11 Learning JournalIndividual10 Throughout semester Engagement and Participation Individual20 Throughout semester * Group marks weighted by peer marking and attendance and contribution mark

24 Semester 1 Engagement and Skills Development Observations and Feedback Students engaged with scientific literature and aware of research activities in UCD and beyond Students used research and critical thinking skills developed in other modules Students communication skills improved as did their confidence Students recognise longer-term benefits of skills developed

25 Summary Co-ordinated, planned institutional activity in T&L supported at high level can effect real change Institutional Research and research-based evidence will dispel anecdotal evidence and spur change Cross-disciplinary dissemination/interaction pitched at appropriate level promotes wider adoption of innovative effective practices Effective Fellowship model has: - engaged academics in policy making - developed cross-disciplinary networking - resulted in emergence of academic leaders


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