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1 Selecting the best students. Undergraduate student selection Aims To recruit those students best able to benefit from the education the College offers,

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Presentation on theme: "1 Selecting the best students. Undergraduate student selection Aims To recruit those students best able to benefit from the education the College offers,"— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Selecting the best students

2 Undergraduate student selection Aims To recruit those students best able to benefit from the education the College offers, irrespective of social background. Intellect Motivation Application To secure the correct numbers of such students for each of our courses

3 The problem Most departments are over subscribed with highly qualified applicants: Numbers have been difficult to control AAA applicants must be rejected »Must be objective, transparent and without gender/race etc. bias »Test the candidate not the school Some departments take students with lower grades: Is it possible to spot weaker school students who will excel in a University environment?

4 How can we identify the most able students Past achievements Profile of academic achievements and activities Multiple entrance qualifications Grade inflation Equivalence of schemes? Do they test understanding? Extracurricular activities Specific references Potential Specific tests Interviews

5 Potential options Raise the goal posts? A-level module offers (e.g. A’AA, A’ = all modules A) Objective,  transparent,  without bias  Available now  Could favour some schools X A* offers Objective,  transparent,  without bias  Could favour some schools X Not available until 2010 X

6 Potential options Introduce supplementary tests? Subject specific entrance exams (e.g. Maths for scientists/engineers) Objective,  transparent,  without bias  Do they give the information that we need ? Aptitude tests (e.g. thinking skills) Objective,  transparent,  without bias ? Claimed to be difficult to coach for  Do they give the information that we need ?

7 Selecting the best students – The TSA exam Claimed correlation with University performance (probability of gaining 1 st )

8 Aims of the study To build on existing data to explore the potential value of the Cambridge Thinking Skills Assessment Test as a measure of potential by correlating the performance of »first year students with the examination results at school and their performance while in the College »current 6 th formers with their performance in school examinations, working with a wide range of schools (to start in Spring 2009)

9 Selecting the best students – The TSA test A trial test was given to this year’s first year Of 2103 students, 674 (32%) took part. Very patchy across departments (e.g. Mech. Eng. 99%, Physics 2%)

10 Next steps Correlate results with School performance (by Christmas) Analyse data for bias (by Christmas) Review data and communicate Correlate data with assessment results in College (progressive with time)

11 Selecting the best students- Interviewing Professor David Nethercot

12 Interviews What should we be looking for? How do we recognise this? How do we ensure (reasonable) consistency? What to do about students resident overseas? Can we defend our process? If we wish to improve/develop, what do we do?

13 Identifies entrants to Sandhurst – 95% “pass out” Long history We went to observe the 2-day process. Ideas from the Army Officer Selection Board

14 Possible lessons for Imperial Independent interviewers - personal background, achievements, motivation and aspirations - academic background, intellectual ability Group task Lecture to investigate readiness for selected subject Mental aptitude profile test Questions on a received lecture Collation of matrix of assessments Rigour of process screens out the poorly motivated Possible to fit into a single day.

15 Separate use of observed evidence and background information Observers not provided with prior data Observations assess current standing Additional background information assesses potential Features of AOSB- 1

16 Features of AOSB-2 Use of multiple and independent assessors Group assessed for : - tasks and lecturettes - tasks and interviews - Interview and background information - Interviews, background information and mental aptitude/intellectual profile

17 Features of AOSB-3 Use of evidence Matrix Different tests/tasks assess qualities in personality, practical and intellectual ability Matrix of scores as input to discussion Revisit evidence and scores in case of conflicting views

18 Possible Imperial Interview/Assessment Day Groups of 8 candidates – prior selection Each group assigned a GTA and an Academic Some tasks (A1-A3) could be run outside Departments more generally Common template for scores/observations Working lunch to maximise available time

19 Morning (Possibly outside Departments) Welcome Assignment to groups, introductions, College tour Meet Academic, group task 1, (“who am I?”) A1 Written aptitude tests, possibility of assistance from GTA/Academic

20 Over Lunch A2 presentations, (“My views on…” specified by academic from information in personal statements) A3 Group Task (“A taste of studying Engineering”) – problem solving, inference and planning, identification of required information, identification of required resources, current engineering challenges

21 Afternoon (Department Led) Tours and interviews to be run concurrently Welcome A4 Interviews -Academics (from morning) focus on motivation, career aspirations, relevant experience and preparation -Academics (from Department) focus on academic background and achievements, discipline related questions

22 Post Visit Academic Board meet and consider each candidate Academics involved on day and Admissions Tutor and Advisor on aptitude scores Collate and discuss components and decide on candidates

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