About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4236-4246
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

ENCOURAGING STUDENT PERSISTENCE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF THE HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS

I. Morrison, A. Clifford, S. Engstrand, K. Eunson, J. Grant, J. Thurlbeck, R. Tinsley

University of the Highlands and Islands (UNITED KINGDOM)
The University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) delivers higher education throughout the north of Scotland. UHI needs to ensure that students are supported to progress and achieve their full potential yet has been reported as having one of the lowest retention rates in Scotland. A multidisciplinary project team sought to approach the issue from a positive angle by identifying the factors which influence student persistence to allow the construction of interventions to enable students to succeed.

The final paper has extended literature review, findings and conclusions sections.

The findings section of the final paper has charts, qualitative comments by students and analysis grouped under the following themes: Profile of respondents; Profile of programmes; Choice of programme; Challenging times during study; Causes of difficulties in studying; Overcoming challenges; and Institutional interventions to promote persistence

Recommendations include a model of the following factors to consider in improving student persistence:

Helping students to understand the programme requirements
Provide clear and full details on all aspects of programme delivery, content and study expectations in promotional documentation, interviews, induction and student handbook.

Supporting a student home / life balance
Recognise other pressures on students - personal, employment and family responsibilities.

Provision of timely information on changes to or cancellations of timetabled sessions.

Good quality tuition with support from tutors
Facilitate high quality teaching and learning experiences with passionate, engaged and committed tutors.
Monitor the quality of teaching and learning across the whole programme; provision of tutor mentoring, sharing of good practice, observation, evaluation and course team discussion to evidence quality monitoring.

Individualised support from a personal academic tutor
Ensure students receive a high standard of individual support from trained personal academic tutors.

Assessment periods and exams
Support students through periods of assessment and examinations - being mindful of the effects of anxiety and stress.
Embed assessment and exam support sessions into tutor delivery and personal academic tutor role.

Student achievement is a strong motivator
Encourage and enable the highest possible standard of achievement for each student. Evidence of achievement can reduce doubt and increase a student’s commitment.
Provision of constructive feedback on progress
Provide continuous support of progress and improvement (formative and summative)
Encourage all tutors to give students timeous and constructive feedback on assessments and exams.

Increased provision of peer mentoring and support
Provide guidance and opportunities for students to create formal and informal peer support sessions.

Increased provision of careers advice and guidance
Assist students to gain clarity on goals, outcomes and next steps after programme completion (light at the end of the tunnel).
Prevention of student isolation

Create opportunities for ongoing student interaction and engagement. Raise awareness of academic and social opportunities, enabling wider student experiences e.g. opportunities for online support activities.

Increased awareness of financial support for students
Raise awareness of relevant guidance and available financial support mechanisms.


@InProceedings{MORRISON2013ENC,
author = {Morrison, I. and Clifford, A. and Engstrand, S. and Eunson, K. and Grant, J. and Thurlbeck, J. and Tinsley, R.},
title = {ENCOURAGING STUDENT PERSISTENCE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF THE HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS},
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 = {4236-4246}}
TY - CONF
AU - I. Morrison AU - A. Clifford AU - S. Engstrand AU - K. Eunson AU - J. Grant AU - J. Thurlbeck AU - R. Tinsley
TI - ENCOURAGING STUDENT PERSISTENCE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF THE HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS
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 - 4236
EP - 4246
ER -
I. Morrison, A. Clifford, S. Engstrand, K. Eunson, J. Grant, J. Thurlbeck, R. Tinsley (2013) ENCOURAGING STUDENT PERSISTENCE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF THE HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS, EDULEARN13 Proceedings, pp. 4236-4246.
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