Presentation on theme: "Tony Cook Helen Richardson Strategies for Student Transition and Retention."— Presentation transcript:
Tony Cook Helen Richardson Strategies for Student Transition and Retention
STAR: what, who and why? HEFCE/ DELNI funded FDTL-4 Project To identify and disseminate effective practices to promote student retention Universities of Ulster (lead institution), Brighton, Sunderland, Manchester, Liverpool Hope Much existing literature on student attrition, but little on strategies to manage these challenges.
The STAR products Guidelines STAR Studies STAR Audit STAR Website (www.ulster.ac.uk/star) Active dissemination We will talk to anyone, anywhere if we can fit it in.
NAO recommendations Monitor retention Monitor why students leave. Routine tutorial support Improve uptake of disability allowance Identify and take up good practice.
Yorke and Longden recommendations Focus on student success rather than retention Assist students to make wise choices; Be clear about what is on offer; Make our expectations clear and support students to meet them; and Ensuring adequacy of resources. Buyers Remorse
Take home messages Students have to change quickly and in many different ways Some of the problems are of our making Solutions can be applied before and after entry Early leaving is an institutional problem but a students solution
Need to monitor but this is not a substitute for change
Dimensions of Transition What changes do we expect of our first year students? –Social changes –Work/study/student lifestyle balance –Curriculum changes –Assessment changes –Cope with staff relationship changes
Social changes People do not leave clubs where they feel they are welcome members. –Induction as a process rather than as an event; –Well managed group work, field work, social events; –Cohort identity -teach small groups together; –Student mentoring systems to assist rapid integration rites of passage- separation, limbo, inclusion –More contact with fewer staff
Pedagogic changes Broader curriculum –Support for ancillary subjects Assessment changes –Resits –Exam duration, style Teacher – student relationship Class size –How do you make the big seem small?
Why do students fail? I went into the exam blind The first year doesnt count towards your degree Failing was my wake up call I just didnt like that module
Putting it together Non continuance has two components Early leaving- characterised by poor decisions prior to entry. Academic failure- characterised by poor preparations/ false expectations.
Short term solutions Better information to applicants Courses should deliver what is advertised Developmental teaching of literacy and numeracy Better communication of standards through formative assessment. Facilitate and encourage students to return.
Longer term solutions Merge full-time and part-time students –Accounting at the module level –Are we a modular or course based system? Post Qualification Application –Start at Christmas? Design a course to suit those who attend it One size does not fit all
And finally Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome." –Isaac Asimov Of course there's a lot of knowledge in Universities: the freshmen bring a little in; the graduates don't take much away, so knowledge sort of accumulates –Lawrence Lowell
Managing transition End point Start point Independent, enthusiastic, involved, communicative, present, ? sober
Tension we put in the system Widening participation v retention. Diverging teaching practices in secondary and tertiary systems Perception of increasing financial burdens -> work/. Part-time full-time