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Supporting Transition: From FE to HE and between academic levels A Practical Solution Carol Wilson Edge Hill University SOLSTICE & CLT Conference 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Supporting Transition: From FE to HE and between academic levels A Practical Solution Carol Wilson Edge Hill University SOLSTICE & CLT Conference 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Supporting Transition: From FE to HE and between academic levels A Practical Solution Carol Wilson Edge Hill University SOLSTICE & CLT Conference 2013 5 th & 6 th June 2013

2 History Foundation Degree Integrated Practice delivered at EHU and two partner colleges. One partner College delivers both years, the second delivers first year only, those students then join EHU group for second year. Module evaluations, student/staff consultative forums and word of mouth identified that partner college students felt ‘scared’, ‘disadvantaged’ and ‘out of their comfort zone’. Couple of ‘hot’ modules, with first time pass rates below 70% across all student groups. Anxiety from all students regarding moving up academic levels.

3 Literature The majority of Foundation Degree (FD) students come from backgrounds where HE was not an expectation. These students require a flexible approach in order to achieve success, otherwise student engagement and retention can incur a risk to the individual programme and the institution (Rowley, 2005) Although high in motivation, FD students, due to their non- traditional educational backgrounds, can be low in confidence (Tierney and Slack, 2005, Thurgate et al, 2007), especially regarding academic skills (Turner et al, 2009, Woolhouse et al, 2009).

4 Literature Schofield and Dismore (2010) agree with Rowley (2005) about the need for Universities being mindful of the pressures this particular group of students face and that this requires flexibility of approach Inadequate provision regarding the student experience encompassing support provisions, can have a huge impact on quality risks, student satisfaction is essential (Rowley, 2005, Bridge et al, 2003). This particular group of students value supportive, responsive and available tutors to enhance their progression (Tierney and Slack, 2005)

5 Literature Bliuc et al (2011) reflects the findings of Thomas (2002) and discusses the importance of nurturing a sense of identity and how this can link to deep approaches to learning and student success. The importance of developing this sense of belonging is stressed in the What Works publication of 2012.

6 Transition day Invited all FDIP students to a transition day in June 2010, which included a welcome from the Head of Applied Health and Social Care Team and sessions from the Student Union, Finance and Learning Services. Also included a session on writing at level 5 which discussed expectations and gave the students the opportunity to ‘mark’ and critique assignments and practice referencing. Evaluated extremely well.

7 Issues identified SU and LS only for on-site students Wrong financial support Partner College students only accessed College ‘moodle’ and did not access teaching materials and support/discussion forums on Blackboard. Partner College students also, in the main, did not access extra electronic resources to support their work, instead relying on books available in local College. Students felt one of the most useful sessions was around issues regarding academic writing

8 Impact Inclusivity and belonging, feel part of Edge Hill experience. ‘…great to meet other students and share experiences’. ‘After the Student Union session, we went and bought ourselves hoodies and wore them to the afternoon session. Feel like a ‘proper’ University student now!’ Students report increased confidence both academically and personally. ‘It is really good to see that others have the same fears as I do!’ ‘Those writing exercises helped me recognise that I know more than I think I do’.

9 Impact Felt more relaxed and prepared regarding level 5 expectations. ‘The writing exercises helped me recognise what I need to do to improve and I can work on that over the Summer’. ‘The lecturers were not what I expected, they were really normal!’ Top-up information increased aspirations A number students expressed that they would now consider coming to the University for their top-up year, rather than either not continuing to level 6 or ‘making do’ with what was available at a local level. ‘Putting all the teaching for the top-up into one long day seems really hard, but it makes topping up appear more possible’. ‘The support we have been told would be available makes me feel that perhaps I could do it’.

10 Impact Feedback has impacted on some module’s content Reduction in ‘hot’ modules (first time pass rates of less than 75%) The student finance team have carried out workshops in partner colleges to provide staff with some important basic information regarding finances. This has had the added advantage of raising awareness about their role and the opportunity to be used as a knowledge resource. The Student Union are more aware of the presence of off-campus students and are looking at strategies, via the student representatives, to develop relationships. FE staff encouraged to engage in professional development sessions at the University in order to promote awareness of the importance regarding encouragement of more independent learning

11 2012 Introduction of a level 5 to 6 transition morning, including ALL AHSC UG and FD students about to enter a third year of study Included a session from dedicated Faculty representative from Learning Services around academic writing at level 6 Students felt they needed more guidance regarding accessing electronic sources and searching for literature, so this was provided. Also, input from existing third year students including Q & A session, tips and advice for success.

12 2013 Level 4-5 Building on student feedback, we have included a session regarding the role of learning services to help students with academic writing. Also, input from existing second year students including Q & A session, tips and advice for success. Students to be supplied with information regarding next academic year’s modules and Summer reading lists to prepare them for 2 nd year study. Des Hope from Careers department promoting the importance of PDP and practice experience for employability

13 2013 Levels 5 to 6 Expanding the day to include:- Introduction of dissertation module. For those FD students ‘topping-up’, introduction to their Programme Leader, content of the third year and all students to be provided with Summer reading lists. Des Hope to continue PDP theme, CV writing and enhancing employability.

14 Any questions?

15 References Bliuc, A, Ellis, R, Goodyear P and Muntele Hendres, D (2011) The role of social identification as university student in learning: relationships between students’ social identity, approaches to learning, and academic achievement. Educational Psychology: An International Journal of Experimental Educational Psychology. 31:5, 559-574 Bridge, F, Fisher, R, Webb, K (2003) From Franchise Network to Consortium: the evolution and operation of a new kind of further and higher education partnership. Journal of Vocational Education and Training. 55:3, 301-318 Rowley, J (2005) Foundation Degrees: a risky business? Quality Assurance in Education. 13:1, 6-16 Thurgate, C, MacGregor J, Brett, H (2007) The lived experience: delivering a foundation degree in health and social care. Journal of Further and Higher Education. 31:3, 215-223 Tierney, S and Slack, K (2005) Learning Journeys: the experience of students working towards a Foundation Degree. Journal of Vocational Education and Training 57:3, 375-388 Turner, R, McKenzie, L M, McDermott, A P, Stone, M (2009) Emerging HE cultures: perspectives from CETL award holders in a partner college network. Journal of Further and Higher Education 33:3, 255-263 Woolhouse, C, Dunne, L and Goddard, G (2009) Lifelong learning: teaching assistants’ experiences of economic, social and cultural change following completion of a foundation degree. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 28, 6, 763-776


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