Presentation on theme: "School of Earth and Environment FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT Inspiring Pre-entry Undergraduate Students in Research & Teaching – an interactive approach Countdown."— Presentation transcript:
School of Earth and Environment FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT Inspiring Pre-entry Undergraduate Students in Research & Teaching – an interactive approach Countdown to University Study Dr Andrea Jackson
My background Motivation Project development View the resource Evaluation of the pilot year Next steps School of something FACULTY OF OTHER Outline of presentation
the engagement of students with HE is influenced by a number of factors, with their expectations of the teaching and learning environment being partly driven by : –their previous educational experiences –their life experiences –their level of pre-university preparation mismatch in expectations & lack of preparation means that students can find the transition from secondary education to HE difficult working at Leeds to try and align prior expectations and perceptions of students with the reality of the academic experience School of something FACULTY OF OTHER Motivation
Experience & focus groups with incoming undergraduate students –Induction information overload – cant process most relevant info –Lack of institutional awareness – teaching & research –Lacking of independence / responsibility for self –Lack of critical thinking & problem solving skills –Unaware of the many opportunities available –Unaware of all support networks –First year exam results School of something FACULTY OF OTHER Transition issues in our School
Preparatory work - Roundhay School focus groups 6 A-level students questioned in May 2008 about their expectations of University. How do you think University is different from School? What worries you about going to University? What are you looking forward to about going to University? What would you like to know about before you went to University? School of something FACULTY OF OTHER Understanding expectations & perceptions?
How do you think University is different from School? More freedom / more responsibility / cost / being busy / lots of money / more attractive men / no uniform / no small annoying people / chance to meet new cultures More opportunities / specific learning / independent learning / less contact time / harder subject / less rules / longer exams / less structure to days / better resources / dont know all teachers – less personal / shorter terms, more holidays / more independence / bigger / more trips / different ways to learn / people want to learn / less spoonfeeding / less intense / School of something FACULTY OF OTHER Responses
What worries you about going to University? not settling in / not having a security network / money / people wont like me / stress / getting fat / not time for self or friends / not enough time to party / not making friends not being able to work independently / work being too hard / getting lost / not having a security network / not enjoying the course / What are you looking forward to about going to University? Cooking / living away from parents / find new places / new friends / social life / having fun / getting drunk / new activities / new city / shopping / Studying / getting a degree / studying a subject I enjoy / working towards my career / learning / independence / being able to tell people Im studying for a degree (prestige) School of something FACULTY OF OTHER Responses
What would you like to know about before you went to University? Cost / price of food and drink / plans for freshers week / where nearest supermarket is / price of a pint / ratio of male to female / help in case of emergency / advice on transport How many field trips I get / teaching methods / student honest thoughts / whos teaching us / how many tutors / module choices each year / what support is there? / teachers specialist subjects / suggested reading / how much contact time / how much suggested reading / breakdown of course / what exams you have / what grades you need / opportunities for study in another country / size of tutorials and lectures / contact time / any books lecturers have written / career advice School of something FACULTY OF OTHER Responses
If there was a web-based resource to introduce you to your subject and the University before you arrived, what would you like to see on this? Facebook (meet people on course ) / tips on how to survive / forums (to ask students questions) / checklists / hear from students already on course / interviews with current students and tutors / maps / podcasts Exam examples / statistics on how people enjoy the course / advice on independent learning / visual tour of resources / reading lists / video-clip of lectures / FAQs / timetable of plans for freshers week / outline of course content / statistics on pass rates and employability School of something FACULTY OF OTHER Responses
January 2009 obtained Academic Development Funding from the University Aimed to produced an on-line resource, available to students from the time their place was confirmed at Leeds : both supportive and informative interactive and visually appealing could be tailored for use by any School within the University (generic and subject specific elements) would also be of use to prospective students Available to pre-entry undergraduate students (approx 400+) within the Faculty of Environment (Schools of Earth and Environment, Geography, and Transport Studies) from autumn 2009 An aid for students….
To enhance Institutional awareness –Difficulty in adapting to University life: overwhelming size of the institution; anonymity of large class sizes; not understanding the wide range of support networks available; induction information overload etc. What is it like to be a student studying here at Leeds? Who will I meet? What will I need to do before, and then when I arrive? To inspire independent learning / critical thinking; –Misunderstanding of the different academic style; not understanding what is meant by independent learning; misconceptions about the discipline; unfamiliar learning patterns etc; What is expected of me within my discipline? How and what will I learn about on my course? To enhance academic community awareness; –Limited understanding of academic research: a need to convey the excitement of research, the contributions it makes to society, and how it translates into teaching; What does research mean? What goes on in my School? How does that impact on me and my learning? What are the opportunities available within my discipline & the institution? School of something FACULTY OF OTHER An aid for students…..
November 2009 to July 2009 –Working with staff across University to write, film and develop content School & Faculty staff, Students, Skills centre, Media Services 2 versions produced (School of Earth and Environment, School of Geography) Trials of resource (staff and students) August / September 2009 –Incoming students to School of Earth and Environment were sent an on August 26 th inviting them to join up to a School Facebook site which included a link to the resource –ALL students received invitation to visit the site either via web or VLE in letter sent at end of August / beginning September October 2009 –Focus groups with incoming students to evaluate usefulness and effectiveness of the resource School of something FACULTY OF OTHER Resource development
School of something FACULTY OF OTHER What we produced………
What to do now
Learn about Research
–Please log on and visit a web based version of the resource School of something FACULTY OF OTHER View the resource
School of something FACULTY OF OTHER Evaluation – number of visits (Aug 21 st until Dec 31 st ) School of Earth and Environment (212 UG intake) 181 unique visitors have visited 390 times and viewed 2656 pages, 6.8 pages per visit. School of Geography (203 UG intake) 102 unique visitors have visited 178 times and viewed 1355 pages, 7.6 pages per visit.
School of something FACULTY OF OTHER Evaluation – origin of visits School of Earth and Environment Visits from 13 countries including UK, Malaysia, US, Thailand, Brunei, Canada, Sweden, Germany, Portugal. School of Geography Visits from 4 countries including UK, Oman, Ireland, Australia.
School of something FACULTY OF OTHER Evaluation – top content School of Earth and Environment What Now Course Freshers Week Kit List Research School of Geography What Now Freshers Week Course Research Kit List
School of something FACULTY OF OTHER Evaluation – Facebook Conversation focused around where students were going to be living. Current students used the site to advertise RocSoc and helped answer questions that students had about fieldtrips, choosing modules etc
School of something FACULTY OF OTHER Evaluation – Focus groups What students liked Key dates Kit list What to do now Freshers Week page Personalised message from programme manager Seeing the staff that were going to be teaching them Case studies / what students say University life pages Galleries and storyboards Information on peer mentoring It was good for Foundation Year students, didnt feel excluded.
School of something FACULTY OF OTHER Evaluation – Focus groups What students would have liked additionally Subject based Information –Link to modules / more information about specific modules –More photographs of fieldtrips so know what to expect –Videos about research projects / make research pages more interactive –Day or week in the life of a student and an academic Skills and employment –What to expect in lectures e.g. how to take notes, and tips for preparing for a change in teaching style –Example of a lecture e.g. Dynamic Earth –more information on employers and hear from graduate students –Examples of jobs that students do outside of their study
School of something FACULTY OF OTHER Evaluation – Focus groups Social –Facebook (Geography) & link to GeogSoc –Greater EnviSoc and RocSoc involvement –Photos depicting more social and community aspect of the school –Virtual tour of School building Generic information –A set of pages dedicated to the first two weeks of term and what to expect –More information on the Freshers Week page – actual links to shopping, tourist locations rather than just images –More information about accommodation and fees –More explanation of credits & modules – how they add up –Explanation of the week numbers and of the timetable (what means what) –Elective fair information as dont really understand what this is
School of something FACULTY OF OTHER January 2010…next steps….. Advertising to prospective students –Leaflet produced PGT version? –Step up to Masters Greater involvement of students in creating content –Student interns Build upon as induction guide providing support beyond initial transition period UTF project
School of something FACULTY OF OTHER Finally…… Interested to hear from & work with others working in similar area Transition / Induction Academic community building Thanks for listening! Any Questions?