ERIC Number: EJ1032047
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Jul
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 26
Enhancing First Year Undergraduate Student Engagement via the School of Biological Sciences Tutorials Module
McDonald, James E.; Robinson, Rosanna L.
Bioscience Education, v22 n1 p54-69 Jul 2014
The transition to undergraduate study is often a challenging step for students as they progress from relatively smaller school/college classes with a high degree of contact time with familiar staff to a university department where one-on-one interaction with staff members is significantly reduced. The first year tutorials module offers one of the few opportunities for students to interact with a member of academic staff in a small group setting. However, many students struggle to cope with this change in circumstances and do not adapt to university life. They may feel isolated, and rather than seek help, fail to attend tutorial sessions; particularly when attendance is not strictly monitored or enforced. Consequently, students may become disengaged and demotivated, resulting in failure of modules and poor student retention. The aim of this project was to enhance the experience of first year students, by promoting student engagement with staff and peers at the start of their undergraduate degree to increase student retention, pass rates and engagement with their degree programme. This was achieved by adding several new elements to the existing tutorial module, including introductory lectures, icebreaker and group activities, skills development sessions, student presentations, research seminars and preparation of a portfolio for skills development and reflection. In addition, attendance monitoring was used as a trigger for the identification of students that required support. These interventions resulted in an increased module pass rate and mean module mark, and fewer students scoring zero. Student feedback also suggested an overall enhancement in student engagement.
Descriptors: Biological Sciences, Learning Modules, Undergraduate Students, College Freshmen, Tutorial Programs, Learner Engagement, Transitional Programs, Student Experience, Student Adjustment, Intervention, Attendance, Lecture Method, Group Activities, Individual Activities, Evaluation Methods, Feedback (Response), Program Descriptions, Instructional Development, Dropout Prevention, Foreign Countries
Centre for Bioscience, The Higher Education Academy. Room 9.15 Worsley Building, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK. Tel: +44-113-343-3001; Fax: +44-113-343-5894; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.bioscience.heacademy.ac.uk/journal
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Postsecondary Education; Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom