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Study Skills programmes: what difference do they make to student retention, success and achievement? Dr Tom Rogers and Annie Blair MA University Centre Peterborough
Purpose of the Workshop • Consider the methods and tools currently being used to support learning and academic development • Help to identify how best to motivate and engage students with study skills programmes, particularly in relation to your own experiences with different types of learners. • Question the value of different programmes, whether bespoke or generic • Disseminate our LTA project award findings
Introduction and Overview • LTP award to assess effectiveness of study skills provision for Anglia students at Peterborough (UCP / Guild House) • to identify most effective methods of helping students develop academic skills for success at all levels • to take into account different student backgrounds and learning needs • to support effective / collaborative working practices between UCP / Guild House, deploy resources between Anglia partners and campuses productively and efficiently. • to set-up on-going quality assurance processes • to engage students and colleagues in process of further development
What do others offer? “A random search of the web sites of 10 pre-1992 and 10 post -1992 universities in the UK revealed that all but two offer bolt-on study skills courses, either through student services, the student union, or through special skills centres. The skills most commonly addressed in these courses are time management, essay writing, presentation, note taking and revising for exams”. (Wingate, 2006: 458)
Profiling your students GROUP EXERCISE • Divide your students up into 4 categories Type 1, Type 2, Type 3 and Type 4 • Representative profile of students – range of backgrounds and prior study experience? • What kinds of challenges do you think these types of students might have? And what kind of extra support do you think they may need, which may not be able to be provided for by their subject tutors?
UCP Student Profile Traditional • ‘Classic fresher’ – former A-level student – 18+ Non-traditional • ‘International or English as 2 nd Language Learners’ • ‘Mature students –returners, eg. women with care commitments • ‘Additional support students’ UCP - Cohort Example AGE RANGE 18 - 21 21 - 30 30+ Nos. 22 18 9 English, Media and Journalism Students – Year 1 - 2010/11 Source: UCP Data – Student Profile
UCP student profile • In 2011 -12 academic year, 15% (62 out of 418) students learners declared a disability on their enrolment forms – 15 (3. 5% of FTEs) have dyslexia – 10 (2% of FTEs) have dyspraxia or ADHD • Mature students, incl. those with vocational qualifications, extensive industry experience, but few formal academic qualifications • Specialist degree programmes such as Social Work and Archaeology attract particularly high numbers of these types of students
Profile of Level 4 Archaeology students(2011 -12) – Cohort of 11 • 5 classed as mature students (25 and over) - differing lengths of time between leaving formal education and entering HE. • 3 students hold a level 3 CAVA Access certificate. • 3 students hold Btec National Diplomas in a range of subjects. • 4 students completed A-Levels, but only 2 of these achieved predicted grade • One student with disability that impacts their learning.
Identified needs of Level 4 Archeology students (from Semester 1 tutor feedback) • Critical reading, • Note taking, • Assignment writing, • Harvard referencing, • Research skills • Time management Only the 3 students with CAVA Access certificate were sufficiently competent and confident in skills needed for successful degree level study
UCP – Study Skills Matrix 2012/13 – Your views?
Dissemination of Findings UCP Study Skills questionnaire distributed with module evaluation survey Semester 1 and Semester 2 – 2012/13
UCP Courses and student numbers 2012 -13 • Year 1 = 214 • Year 2 = 151 • Year 3 = 185
Semester 2 Student Responses (n=104)
Respondents that made comment on timing of session: 80% Did not like times of sessions 18% Did not like location
Example of student responses Timing: • “Due to times and work commitments unable to attend” • “Lunch is precious few minutes in midst of day of long lectures and a well deserved break so extra study is not appealing” • “Do them during time we are at Uni days“ • “More flexible times that do not clash with lectures” • “Allocated in timetable like tutorial” • “Family and work friendly “
Example of student responses Location • “At MJC where we are based as it is hard to get to UCP on extra days and time” • “During daytime need to be at UCP” • “Hold at UCP not at Guild House”
Student responses: content/topics/resources • “The session was not specifically for the degree I am taking so the tutor couldn't focus on one particular subject, leaving myself being there for no reason” • “Essay tips, consultations and how to structure report “ • “Help on academic learning for mature students” • “Information that relates to modules” • “Academic reading, writing and note taking” • “More on VLE” • “More electronic resources” • “Would be better to have a webpage dedicated to this whole subject of SS in case people can't make them”
And finally “General drop-in sessions with lecturers, therefore freedom to drop by “
Guild House, Peterborough Study Skills Support run by ARU Student Services Drop-in Sessions • Drop-in sessions are held covering typical problems such as: time management, structuring assignments and grammar and punctuation difficulties. Day Room Time Wednesday 107 b 12 pm – 1 pm Friday 107 b 12 pm – 1 pm • The room used has individual student computer access and staff white board facilities
In Summary • The ARU adviser for Peterborough Guild House students occasionally presents [email protected] sessions • • Essay writing Reading for academic purposes Oral presentations Exams and revision
Recommendations for 2013/14 Study Skills - UCP • • Use of VLE Timing of sessions Different campus delivery More open ‘drop-in’ sessions, e. g. , essay writing • Liaise with tutors to provide tailored booked sessions • Embed in curriculum delivery • Work with student representatives and UCP embassadors
Bibliography ARU Student Services (Online) Available at: