About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4836-4844
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.2158

Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain

UNDERGRADUATE TRANSITION PROBLEMS AND HOW TO ADDRESS THEM

M. Ward

Dublin City University (IRELAND)
Many students struggle with the transition from second level school to third level. There are several areas of difficulty. The first is the new found freedoms of being an undergraduate student. Students often find it hard to cope with the move from the highly supervised and regulated system of secondary school to the freer, unregulated system of third level. No-one is really checking up on them and no one will chastise them if they fail to attend lecturers and tutorials – this contrasts greatly with the secondary school environment where every day their attendance is checked and their subject teachers ensure that their homework is done. Some struggle with this new-found freedom. Another issue is that at secondary school, especially in the final years, the students are often very exam focused, and rather than learning something to acquire knowledge, they just want to know what information to write in an exam to achieve high marks. This attitude causes problems at undergraduate level as students are expected to learn and understand what they are learning and be able to apply their knowledge (and not just regurgitate it for exam purposes and to be forgotten thereafter). A further issue is that students must be organised with their assignments and not to leave working on an assignment until the last minute. In a secondary school situation, a teacher would be constantly monitoring students’ progress, but in at undergraduate level, there is often little or no monitoring of intermediate progress on an assignment. There are several steps that can be taken to address these problems. The first is to make the students aware of the issues to that they can be alert to potential problems that may arise. The second is to provide them with information and resources about how to deal with new undergraduate freedoms and to let them know that help is available throughout the year, as they may often fail to pay attention at the beginning of the year when problems have not yet emerged. A third step is to provide more resources, possibly electronic, whereby the students can check their progress in an informal manner. For example, if they have access to formative quizzes (that do not count toward their module mark) they can check what they know and do not know without embarrassment and penalty. Another step is to provide milestones for students so that they know what is expected of them by when. This enables them to see if they are on schedule (or have fallen behind). This paper provides an overview of the difficulties that undergraduate students experience in the transition from secondary school and some steps on how to overcome them.
@InProceedings{WARD2016UND,
author = {Ward, M.},
title = {UNDERGRADUATE TRANSITION PROBLEMS AND HOW TO ADDRESS THEM},
series = {8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN16 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-8860-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2016.2158},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2016.2158},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {4-6 July, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {4836-4844}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Ward
TI - UNDERGRADUATE TRANSITION PROBLEMS AND HOW TO ADDRESS THEM
SN - 978-84-608-8860-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2016.2158
PY - 2016
Y1 - 4-6 July, 2016
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN16 Proceedings
SP - 4836
EP - 4844
ER -
M. Ward (2016) UNDERGRADUATE TRANSITION PROBLEMS AND HOW TO ADDRESS THEM, EDULEARN16 Proceedings, pp. 4836-4844.
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