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Appears in:
Pages: 7051-7055
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2018.1666

Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain

PREVENTING FIRST YEAR DROPOUTS IN HIGHER EDUCATION BY EDUCATIONAL TRIAL DAY

L. Wijngaards-de Meij

Utrecht University (NETHERLANDS)
A lot of prospective students find it hard to decide which bachelor programme suits them best, and some of those students drop out during the first year. This is disappointing for the student, but also leads to numerous Higher education institutions who have to cope drop outs during the first year of their studies. The difficulty in choosing the right bachelor's programme is partly due to making a realistic estimation of the content and level of the programme, as well of the professional perspective afterwards.

Utrecht University has set up a process that is compulsory for every prospective student who wants to enrol for a bachelor's programme. During this process, the prospective student is encouraged to reflect on the choice of study in three areas; on the content of the study programme, the level of the programme and the sense of belonging. The so-called matching process consists of filling in a questionnaire and then participating in a trial day. For the trial day, the prospective student has to do homework, and during the day, the prospective student takes part in lectures and labs or computer labs. At the end of the day, a joint feedback discussion will take place. Only participation in this process is mandatory, so if a student does not perform well during the trial day, they can still decide to enrol for the program.

The evaluation research was aimed at evaluating:
(1) the introduction of this educational change and creating support within the organisation, and
(2) what the change has brought the student and the institution. During the implementation process, focus discussions were held with lecturers, educational directors and first-year students to investigate the results of the introduction of the so-called matching process.

Important results of the focus discussions were the following:
(1) In order to create support within the organisation, it was important that the purpose of educational innovation was clearly communicated and that support for educational innovation is organised by the institution. Feedback from the evaluation results of both students and teachers also contributed to creating support for the introduction of the matching process within the various programmes.
(2) Students indicated that it was nice to get a realistic picture of what the programme includes concerning level and content, before they start their studies. For this experience, the following aspects were most important for the student: participation of second or third year students, offering of a test during the trial day, and offering feedback (preferably personal feedback).

To improve the experience, and help students in choosing their bachelor programme, all suggested improvements were incorporated. In addition to the already existing parts of the trial day, a compulsory test was included, as well as automated personal feedback via email. Furthermore the engagement of older year students was included as standard in the organisation of the trial day.
@InProceedings{WIJNGAARDSDEMEIJ2018PRE,
author = {Wijngaards-de Meij, L.},
title = {PREVENTING FIRST YEAR DROPOUTS IN HIGHER EDUCATION BY EDUCATIONAL TRIAL DAY},
series = {10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN18 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-02709-5},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2018.1666},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2018.1666},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Palma, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {7051-7055}}
TY - CONF
AU - L. Wijngaards-de Meij
TI - PREVENTING FIRST YEAR DROPOUTS IN HIGHER EDUCATION BY EDUCATIONAL TRIAL DAY
SN - 978-84-09-02709-5/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2018.1666
PY - 2018
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2018
CI - Palma, Spain
JO - 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN18 Proceedings
SP - 7051
EP - 7055
ER -
L. Wijngaards-de Meij (2018) PREVENTING FIRST YEAR DROPOUTS IN HIGHER EDUCATION BY EDUCATIONAL TRIAL DAY, EDULEARN18 Proceedings, pp. 7051-7055.
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