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ERIC Number: EJ950326
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 36
ISSN: ISSN-0309-877X
"I Don't Really See Where They're Going with It": Communicating Purpose and Rationale to First-Year Students
van der Meer, Jacques
Journal of Further and Higher Education, v36 n1 p81-94 2012
Although there is much research related to the first-year student in higher education and first-year retention, a dominant focus of this has been on students' assimilation into higher education. However, there is a noticeable increase in higher education researchers who advocate for a more active role of institutions to adapt to first-year students who enter higher education. This can be seen as reflecting an increased understanding that university teachers need to be explicit in explaining to new students what is expected of them, what the rationale is for, what is expected of them and how the university "works". Being explicit and clear is important if all students are to have a chance of succeeding in higher education. This article reports on findings related to first-year students' understanding of the objectives, purpose and rationale of their courses. These findings result from a research project in one New Zealand university that sought to map the academic challenges first-year students faced in their first semester. The results suggest that respondents were not always clear about what they were supposed to learn, and what the rationale and purpose was for particular teaching formats and/or learning activities. It is argued that, if universities are serious about equitable participation, teachers need to pay particular attention to being transparent and explicit about the organisation and objectives of the courses they are teaching, especially first-year courses. Moreover, irrespective of students' backgrounds, all first-year students benefit from this clarity: transition into higher education is a new experience for all students. (Contains 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand