22 SES 12 A, Evaluation as a Basis for Policy and Practice in Higher Education: International Perspectives
Students’ entry into higher education can be challenging (Reay, 2002); with a student’s ability to negotiate the academic demands of a programme of study and integrate into peer networks essential to their retention and success (Krause et al., 2005). Here we report findings arising from an evaluation of a programme of change in a UK University; student induction is being restructured to prepare and support them more effectively. Integral to this restructure is the idea of ‘immersing’ students in their discipline from their arrival at university. These changes align with the ideas of Tinto (2006), who advocates an institutional level approach to induction and to reshaping the student learning experience to promote integration (Tinto, 2006). This evaluation was informed by Cousin (2009), who states the strength in evaluative work is in identifying the worth, and capturing evidence, to inform the on-going development of initiatives. This evaluation has been designed to build evidence on a formative and summative basis, thus ensuring the study remains responsive to the changing conditions created through this initiative. An in-depth ethnographic study has been conducted on two immersive modules in contrasting disciplines to capture the experiences those studying and running the immersive modules. Further data is to be collected from first year students and academic staff involved with immersive induction modules to gain insights into the impact on their early experiences of university study and developing a sense of belonging at university. We also intend to examine attainment and retention rates across the current cohort of first years and compare these to previously academic years. As well as summarising the main findings from this study we will consider how this institutional-level evaluation is providing recommendations to shape future policy and practice.
Cousin, G. (2009). Researching Learning in Higher Education: an introduction to contemporary methods and approaches. Routledge: London. Edward, N.S. & Middleton, J. (2002). The challenge of induction! Introducing engineering students to higher education: a task-oriented approach, Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 39, 46–53. Krause, K. Hartley, R. James, R. & McInnis, C. (2005). The first year experience in Australian universities: Findings from a decade of national studies. Canberra: Department of Education, Science and Training. Reay, D. (2002). Class, authenticity and the transition to higher education for mature students, Sociological Review, 50, 398-418. Tinto, V. (2006). Taking student retention seriously. Keynote presentation and paper at Maricopa Community College District.
Search the ECER Programme
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.