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Pre-entry qualifications – staff perceptions versus reality Sarah Maguire Derry Corey.

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Presentation on theme: "Pre-entry qualifications – staff perceptions versus reality Sarah Maguire Derry Corey."— Presentation transcript:

1 Pre-entry qualifications – staff perceptions versus reality Sarah Maguire Derry Corey

2 2 Context Increasing university attention to first year progression Increasing university attention to first year progression Concern amongst teaching staff regarding students skills and knowledge Concern amongst teaching staff regarding students skills and knowledge Current staff development work was having limited impact Current staff development work was having limited impact Growing awareness that we lacked current knowledge about students prior educational experiences Growing awareness that we lacked current knowledge about students prior educational experiences

3 3 Understanding their prior experiences How well do we know? Nature of qualifications: Nature of qualifications: How they are taught and assessed How they are taught and assessed What they cover What they cover What they think a degree in XXX means? What they think a degree in XXX means? How do we dovetail their prior and current experience? How do we dovetail their prior and current experience?

4 4 Pre-entry qualifications A levels Qualification sub-divided into 6 modules, 3 at AS level and 3 at A2. These have equal weighting in the final award classification, although they are at different levels. Qualification sub-divided into 6 modules, 3 at AS level and 3 at A2. These have equal weighting in the final award classification, although they are at different levels. Subject criteria are very clearly defined: aims; specification content; key skills; assessment objectives; scheme of assessment; grade descriptors. Students would be well aware of these and assessment is very clearly linked to the specification. Subject criteria are very clearly defined: aims; specification content; key skills; assessment objectives; scheme of assessment; grade descriptors. Students would be well aware of these and assessment is very clearly linked to the specification. Internal (coursework) assessment can be no more than 30% of marks. Internal (coursework) assessment can be no more than 30% of marks.

5 5 Cont % of the marks are for synoptic questions at the end of the course. These questions are clearly sign-posted for students % of the marks are for synoptic questions at the end of the course. These questions are clearly sign-posted for students. Modules can be repeated to improve marks. Modules can be repeated to improve marks. AS exams can last no more than 3 hours in total for each subject. AS exams can last no more than 3 hours in total for each subject. Students can access marked exam scripts for formative feedback. Students can access marked exam scripts for formative feedback.

6 6 Summary: Teaching at secondary level Highly specified courses Highly specified courses Students will have specification Students will have specification Teacher will explain exact meaning of specification Teacher will explain exact meaning of specification Reading outside text book not encouraged Reading outside text book not encouraged

7 7 Assessment Mark schemes available and highly specified Mark schemes available and highly specified Grade descriptors available Grade descriptors available Coursework is drafted and feedback given by teacher before final submission (probably several times) Coursework is drafted and feedback given by teacher before final submission (probably several times) Modular assessment –exams limited in time and modules may be retaken Modular assessment –exams limited in time and modules may be retaken AVCE and BTEC – limited number of exams AVCE and BTEC – limited number of exams

8 8 What does this mean for student learning? Students are very teacher-dependent Students are very teacher-dependent Their learning is structured and focused by the teacher Their learning is structured and focused by the teacher Only the best students will read around the subject Only the best students will read around the subject Feedback on assignments is frequent with opportunity for student to improve original submission Feedback on assignments is frequent with opportunity for student to improve original submission

9 9 Task 1 –Compare content of both qualifications and reflect on current 1 st year curriculum for that subject Task 2 –Reflect on students previous experience and compare to lecturer expectations in 1st year Group work - Tasks The above is a sample of group work activity that we have used in workshops with staff

10 10 Group work - Tasks Task 1 Task 1 Compare content of both qualifications and reflect on current 1 st year curriculum for that subject Compare content of both qualifications and reflect on current 1 st year curriculum for that subject Task 2 Task 2 Focus on the assessment of both qualifications particularly the style of questions. Compare against current assessment of 1 st year modules Focus on the assessment of both qualifications particularly the style of questions. Compare against current assessment of 1 st year modules Focus on marks and levels of each qualification and student effort required. See Chief Examiners Reports Focus on marks and levels of each qualification and student effort required. See Chief Examiners Reports This is another example of group work activity that we have used in workshops with staff

11 11 Evaluation this should be compulsory for all staff now I understand that its not all the students fault

12 12 Changes in SD Practice Pre-entry workshops Pre-entry workshops First year experience workshops First year experience workshops Academic Induction Academic Induction PGCHEP modules PGCHEP modules Advisory work Advisory work PDP PDP


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