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Beginning the ^ Journey Foundation Students’ Expectations and Experience. Dr Lalage Sanders, Dr Annette Daly & Katherine Regan SEET Project Cardiff School.

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Presentation on theme: "Beginning the ^ Journey Foundation Students’ Expectations and Experience. Dr Lalage Sanders, Dr Annette Daly & Katherine Regan SEET Project Cardiff School."— Presentation transcript:

1 Beginning the ^ Journey Foundation Students’ Expectations and Experience. Dr Lalage Sanders, Dr Annette Daly & Katherine Regan SEET Project Cardiff School of Health Sciences Uncertain

2 Rationale - H.E. Perspective Retention & Widening Participation (Yorke & Thomas, 2003; Cook, 2004; WAG Report, 2009) Transition to H.E. (Mercer, 2004; Lowe & Cook, 2003; Hockings, 2007) Support (Bevitt, et al. 2009; Wilcox et al., 2005; Williamson et al., 2011) 2

3 Rationale – Students’ Perspective Expectations (Smith & Wertlieb 2005; James & Becket, 2006; Horstmanshof & Zimitat, 2007) Engagement (Kinderman, 2007; Kraus & Coates, 2008; Trowler 2010; Thomas & May, 2011) Uncertainty (Haleta, 1996; Forbes-Riley & Litman, 2008, Nevalainen et al., 2009)  Generalised rather than domain specific 3

4 Foundation (FDN) Courses Preparation for degree level study Guaranteed place for successful students Study Skills & subject specific content Candidates: –Mature learners returning to study –Learning specialist skills –Poor A level grades 4

5 Foundation Courses Cardiff Met - Social Sciences: Health & Social Care, Youth & Community Education and Psychology. -Health Sciences: Biomedical Science, Applied Biomedical Science, Environmental Health, Food Science & Technology, Public Health Nutrition and Sports Biomedicine & Nutrition. UWE-Science Biology, Biomedical Science, Psychology, Chemistry, Conservation, Sports Medicine and Environmental Sciences -Health Professions Midwifery, Radiotherapy & Oncology, Diagnostic Imaging, Occupational Therapy, and Physiotherapy) Nursing 5

6 Students’ Expectations and EngagemenT (SEET) Pilot – Focus groups Summer 2010 Time 1– Survey & Focus Groups Autumn 2010 Time 2 – Survey & Exam Board data Summer

7 Sample Survey (N=203) Cardiff Met –Health Science 65/67 –Social Science 58/58 UWE –Science 61/81 –Health Professions 19/19 T1 & T2 N=89 Focus Groups –12 (3 groups: M, F & mature) –18 “ –14 (2 groups: M&F) –14 (2 groups: mature) 7

8 Survey (from Sanders et al. 2003, 2006, ) Demographic data ABC Scale Academic Behavioural Confidence -17 items Subscales: Grades, Verbalising, Studying, Attendance PEL Performance Expectation Ladder – (VAS) Expected mark for Self and for Year Group Reference value of ‘National Average’ at 57% 8

9 Expectations about Marks– Autumn and Spring Terms (Medians) Great Expectations! ** Time *** Career point ***Time x Career Point Great Expectations! ** Time *** Career point ***Time x Career Point 9

10 Expectations about Marks by End of Year Success (Medians) In addition Outcome interacts with: *** Self-Year Group ** Time x Self-Year Group * Career Point x Self- Year Group In addition Outcome interacts with: *** Self-Year Group ** Time x Self-Year Group * Career Point x Self- Year Group 10

11 ABC Subscales – Autumn and Spring Terms (Medians) *** Time (*** Subscale) *** Time x Subscale *** Time (*** Subscale) *** Time x Subscale 11

12 ABC Subscales by End of Year Success (Medians) In addition: *Subscale x Success And ** T1 Attendance by Success In addition: *Subscale x Success And ** T1 Attendance by Success 12

13 Overview Performance Expectation Ladder –Unrealistic expectations of marks –Drops with experience but still unrealistic –From Autumn onwards: Self in relation to year group appears to indicate success vs failure Academic Behavioral Confidence –Attendance & Studying (motivational factors) dropped for both groups –Grades & Verbalising (ability factors) dropped for Not-Passed only –Autumn: Attendance appears to indicate success vs failure 13

14 Focus Groups’ Agenda  Students’ expectations of foundation course  How these matched their current experiences  Expectations of anticipated degree course.  Challenges  Perceived support  Reasons for persisting  Looking towards the future 14

15 Expectations about the Course I just thought long term, I don’t even think now ‘oh it’s still 4 years’ … I don’t really think of that I just think of a means to an end sort of thing, I’ll fill it in and apply. I needed something to kind of bridge the gap…get into like an academic style of writing um just fill in the gaps really, just prepare myself for the degree. I didn’t look (at this Foundation course) because I thought I was going to get on the full course It’s pretty obvious, you put the work in you get the grades. So it’s quite good because we do this year and we are guaranteed a place next year, I think that is quite a good thing to have in place, another route in. 15

16 Experiences of the Course You can use this year to build a basic knowledge of everything and know that we have a place..will be really helpful to get us off on a really good start on the degree With the course, you get the essay skills and whatever, if I’d come straight into a degree course I’d have no idea, I would have failed the first assignment or whatever ‘cos I wouldn’t know how to write it (Next year will be) choosing what you’re interested in rather than being forced to I don’t really want to be doing a foundation course, I don’t think anyone would if they had the choice, they’d be straight onto the degree And then it just irritates me when other people just think it’s only a foundation year I won’t attend, it’s a doss. It’s just like well you know…I’m putting in the time why can’t you? 16

17 Investment Future Vision I think most of us are here because we know that we are going to get qualified, we’ll be like qualified to do a job for life It’s literally a means to an end, the job at the end, is the only reason I am here. Value for money In doing this course I’ve already started learning new things that they didn’t teach us last year, so I’m thinking that the 3 grand is a blessing in disguise... For me personally this is costing me a lot of money to do this um and it’s a lot of sacrifices, it’s four years out of my life, so for me it’s very important. You’ve spent the money now, might as well stay We should just turn up to lectures and get taught a really good syllabus…and get what we pay for…and pass 17

18 Identity - as a Student Where I am I’m the only person doing a foundation year and it sort of invalidates you a bit They sort of think she’s not going to university properly, she’s doing a foundation year. It makes you feel like you weren’t good enough to get onto it So I don’t want them to think I’m stupid so I’ll just say that I’m doing biomedical science for 4 years If I was doing a proper degree would they help me a bit more? 18

19 Community Cohesion Close knit as a group; you can share ideas and work together I’ve got to say if I hadn’t had had that sort of [support] network I would have really, really struggled, if I was honest I probably would have gone home We haven’t gelled as a group which is a little bit difficult ‘cause if you are stuck on something....you can’t really ask anyone unless you know them. Diversity I think because it’s quite a diverse group, so many different backgrounds and age ranges, um it’s quite good in terms of a debating scenario as well but also what I’m finding is to work with each other and pool your resources like. Friends are (a source of support) because obviously that is sort of part of the university package, isn’t it? 19

20 Confidence -Internal I was concerned that the pace, how fast the course was going to move... that was one of my main concerns, will I be able to keep up with the pace of learning? I thought I was going to find it difficult going back into education from having time out... and I thought I’d find it hard - the amount of study and having to do it off my own back as well. I was really scared of not being able to do it and failing… but really on the contrary, I’m far exceeding any expectation I had of myself. I’m continuously trying to reassure myself and asking other people like ‘how much science have you done before?’ to see if they find it as hard as I do. 20

21 Confidence -External That’s what I’m looking forward to next year like, when we all start the course, we are all going to have, like, one-up on all the freshers. We’ll be a step ahead of the rest because we’ll know about referencing, the library etc. while the 1st years may be struggling. I think it is more of a sense of achievement really, and I want to go back to those teachers and say I can do it now, you told me I couldn’t. We’re proving we can learn aren’t we? 21

22 Juggling Uncertainty 22 Investment Confidence Identity Community

23 Key issues from data  ABC & PEL may indicate tendency to fail  Confidence is key to development and engagement  ABC & PEL show drop in scores over time  Conundrum??  Maybe:  PEL Relative position = confidence  ABC scales = diligence 23

24 Student Insight It’s the ones that come into the lesson and go ‘I don’t know this’ and it’s like a self-fulfilling prophecy: you come in you think ‘I don’t know it’, he explains it, you sit there and say you still don’t know and you just give up and walk off. And then you go to the workshop next week where they can sit down with you one to one and explain it to you, that’s an opportunity, and I don’t go to them coz I’ve been fortunate in understanding it. There’s like a friend of mine, for example, who says constantly ‘I don’t get this’ and I’m like ‘Are you going to the workshops?’ and they’re like ‘No’ and I’m like ‘Why?’ and they’re like ‘‘cause I don’t get it’. 24

25 Beginning the ^ Journey Foundation Students’ Expectations and Experience. Dr Lalage Sanders, Dr Annette Daly & Katherine Regan SEET Project Cardiff School of Health Sciences Uncertain

26 ABC Items - Ability Grades Produce your best work under examination conditions Attain good grades in your work Produce coursework at the required standard Write in an appropriate academic style Pass assessments at the first attempt Produce your best work in coursework assignments Verbalising Respond to questions asked by a lecturer in front of a full lecture theatre Give a presentation to a small group of fellow students Engage in profitable academic debate with your peers Ask lecturers questions about the material they are teaching, during a lecture 26

27 ABC Items - Motivation Studying Study effectively on your own in independent / private study Manage your work load to meet coursework deadlines Plan appropriate revision schedules. Remain adequately motivated throughout. Attendance Attend most taught sessions Be on time for lectures. Attend tutorials 27

28 “Does it do what it says on the Tin?” The effectiveness of foundation courses as measured by student progression and reflections Lalage Sanders, Annette Daly and Katherine Regan, Cardiff Metropolitan University E_Fund_2011_Wales_Sanders_CFMET_UWIC.pdf Briefing paper:

29 Study: ‘Does it do what it says on the tin?’ Level – foundation graduates –Psychology, Social care, Biomedical Science, Health Professions –4 Focus Groups (N=16) & Survey –Respondent Validation Examining Board June 2011 –N=899 (Foundation N=199) 29

30 Outcome No effect of Student type (p>.05) Significant difference between Disciplines(p<. 001) No interaction (p>.05) 30

31 What works? Student Retention and Success What we can conclude about FDN courses –Lacking entry qualifications –Positive reflections –Equivalent achievement What we can’t conclude –Up to speed? –Or screening tool 31

32 FDN Courses on UCAS 819 courses from 106 HEIs 92 Foundation degrees 727 FDN courses 60 descriptors (BSc/BA/Fdn etc) Duration –12 one-year FT ; 2 two-years FT –27 four-years; 10 five-years; 4 six-years 32


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