About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 242-250
Publication year: 2013
ISBN: 978-84-616-3822-2
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2013
Location: Barcelona, Spain

SUPPORTING PART TIME STUDENTS THROUGH TRANSITION FROM FURTHER EDUCATION TO HIGHER EDUCATION: FOSTERING CONDITIONS FOR A CARING COMMUNITY

K. Duffy

University of Sunderland (UNITED KINGDOM)
The aim of this ethnographical study was to illuminate the experiences of mature part time degree students in the use of online social media. The media was used as a means of supporting students in their transition from their respective Further Education (FE) colleges to their ‘on campus’ University (HE) year. The transition involved students moving between institutions to study in a new location and in new peer groups which had historically contributed to dips in confidence and performance and sometimes led to students withdrawing from the programme. The open access, online site was introduced to allow students to engage with learning activities as a stimulus for online discussion and dialogue with each other through a series of non-assessed ‘blog’ postings (Dawson 2008). Its purpose was to encourage both the students and the teacher to share their ideas and views and begin ‘talking’ to each other prior to meeting in the new term. Noddings (1984), Gholami and Tirri (2012) recognise the importance of strengthening positive relationships between students and teacher and advocate that this is an essential element towards fostering conditions for learning and building a sense of community (Lave & Wenger 1991, Castells 2004, Yang 2009). It also aimed to address Oloffsson’s (2007) suggestion for the design of online communities in the 21st century, that any pedagogical approach to online learning must rely on the ‘…social and collaborative and ethical aspects of learning as a starting point for design’ (pg 28). A thematic analysis (Gobo, 2008; Bold 2012) was undertaken with the ‘blog’ postings over the course of the academic year, by a cohort of 35 students. This data was supported by conversational and thematic analysis (Bold 2012, Denzin 2000) of two video recorded focus groups, held at the end of the year, to evaluate the site and its effectiveness to support student’s transition and develop relationships and community. Analysis suggested that students still stated issues of trust as being central to their engagement, however there was clear support for the informal and non-assessed nature of the online community.

References:
Bold, C (2012). Using Narratives in Research. London. Sage
Castells, M (2004). The power of identity. Blackwell Publishing. London
Dawson, S (2008). A study of the relationship between student social networks and sense of community. Educational Technology & Society. 11 (3) 224 – 238
Denzin, N (2000). Interpretive Ethnography. Ethnographic practices for the 21st century. London. Sage.
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Gholami & Tirri (2012). Caring Teaching as a moral practice: An exploratory study on perceived dimensions of caring teaching. The Moral Core of Teaching. Vol 2012, Article ID 954274, pp 1-8
Noddings, N (1984). Caring: A feminine approach to ethics and moral education. California. University of California Press
Olofsson, A. D. (2007). Participation in an Educational Online Learning Community. Educational Technology & Society, 10 (4), 28-38.
Yang, S.-H. (2009). Using Blogs to Enhance Critical Reflection and Community of Practice. Educational Technology & Society, 12 (2), 11–21.
@InProceedings{DUFFY2013SUP,
author = {Duffy, K.},
title = {SUPPORTING PART TIME STUDENTS THROUGH TRANSITION FROM FURTHER EDUCATION TO HIGHER EDUCATION: FOSTERING CONDITIONS FOR A CARING COMMUNITY},
series = {5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN13 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-3822-2},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {1-3 July, 2013},
year = {2013},
pages = {242-250}}
TY - CONF
AU - K. Duffy
TI - SUPPORTING PART TIME STUDENTS THROUGH TRANSITION FROM FURTHER EDUCATION TO HIGHER EDUCATION: FOSTERING CONDITIONS FOR A CARING COMMUNITY
SN - 978-84-616-3822-2/2340-1117
PY - 2013
Y1 - 1-3 July, 2013
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN13 Proceedings
SP - 242
EP - 250
ER -
K. Duffy (2013) SUPPORTING PART TIME STUDENTS THROUGH TRANSITION FROM FURTHER EDUCATION TO HIGHER EDUCATION: FOSTERING CONDITIONS FOR A CARING COMMUNITY, EDULEARN13 Proceedings, pp. 242-250.
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