Parallel sessions 2

Session 1: Academic skills: language - A1

- [paper 141] Academic language skills: necessary but not sufficient for academic achievementLieve De Wachter, Jordi Heeren (KU Leuven - ILT)

Material: presentation

To provide at-risk first year students with an early warning signal, several faculties and institutions of the KU Leuven implemented an academic language skills test. Our research shows that academic language proficiency is a necessary, though not a sufficient condition for academic success.

Key wordsLanguage (academic), Transition from highschool/college to HE 

Session 2: Staff and students - L01.11

- [workshop 7] Defining..., Describing..., Developing..., approaches to 'Institutional Dialogue': students and staff in progressive partnerships and conversations to inform change - William Carey (The University of Manchester)

Institutional Dialogue'? What is it?/How can you do it? Find out at this interactive workshop and leave with actions! We’ll discuss the practical approaches Manchester is developing for students/staff to inform institutional/curriculum activity and your ideas/experiences to support and enable student/staff feedback, consultation and partnership.

Key words Active learning, Belonging (socially, academic), Curriculum, Institutional development, Learning communities, Social cohesion, Students as partners

Session 3: Diverse groups - L01.07

- [show and tell 135] Transition to Independent Learning: Academic Skills Workshops for Under-Represented Students - Lisa Padden, Julie Tonge (University College Dublin)

Materials: presentation, poster

We will outline the development of a suite of Academic Skills workshops provided to under-represented student cohorts supported by UCD Access & Lifelong Learning. The paper will include an outline of what is covered, feedback from students and analysis of the correlation between attendance and success/failure in their first semester.

Key words: Student diversity, Study Skills

- [Show and tell 71] How can you prepare high-skilled immigrants for Higher Education? Insights from Ghent’s Preparatory Program - Sibo Kanobana (Ghent University)

Several instances in Ghent joined forces to create a one-year preparatory program for high-skilled immigrants with an interest in higher education. The design of this pilot program is unique in Flanders.

Key words: Belonging (socially, academic), Counselling, International students, Language (academic), Student diversity, Transition from highschool/college to HE

- [Show and tell 75] Coaching and Diversity. How a diversity mentoring project became part of Ghent University’s curriculum. Marieken De Munter (Ghent University)

Minority students are underrepresented in higher education. An old Mentoring Project transformed into a new course, in which master students become mentors of first year students from risk groups. Learning from engagement at its best. Mentees improve their academic and social integration. Mentors become active, engaged and critical alumni.

Key words: Belonging (socially, academic), Curriculum, Peer mentoring, Service learning/volunteering, Student diversity, Students as partners, Transition to second year/masters

- [Show and tell 44] Pathways to Success @ University ProgrammeDeirdre Moloney (Dublin City University)

Material: poster

In DCU, we looked at Life Coaching as a new approach to enable students build confidence and resilience throughout their time at university. We developed the ‘Pathways to Success @ University’ programme which is targeted to First Year students and those who want to improve their Health & Wellbeing.

Key wordsBelonging (socially, academic), Health and well-being, Retention, Transition from highschool/college to HE, Transition to second year/masters 

Session 4: Feedback - L01.10

- [paper 136] Effectiveness of Feedback in First Year PhysicsIan Bearden, Karen Voigt, Helle Mathiasen, Jens Dolin (Niels Bohr Institute, Department of Science Education)

How can we provide better and more effective feedback to our students? How can we encourage students to use feedback effectively? We will present results of a study of first year physics students addressing these questions and comparing the effectiveness of written and screencast feedback.   

Key words: Active learning, Study Skills, Technology, Transition from highschool/college to HE

- [workshop 96] Feedback Path for First Year Students Engineering Science: a data-based approachRiet Callens, Tinne De Laet, Koen Paes, Jef Vanderoost, An Vanfroyenhoven, Jasper Witters (KU Leuven)

In the workshop we present an approach deployed by the Tutorial Services of Engineering Science to use extensive data to provide high quality feedback to first year students. We invite the participants to discovered pros and cons of such an approach and to address issues still present.

Key words: Counselling, Transition from highschool/college to HE

Session 5: (Re)orientation and induction - L01.08

- [workshop 76] Re-Orientation: Defining and Delivering the Ideal Student Welcome Karen Badat, Hannah Matthews (University of Manchester)

Materials: results

A successful orientation provides students with a warm welcome to university and strong foundation from which to develop individual well-being, foster a sense of community and enable a successful academic career. This workshop deconstructs the concept of orientation to identify what is crucial, and the best way to deliver it.

Key words: Belonging (socially, academic), Health and well-being, Induction (Orientation), International students, Retention, Social cohesion, Student diversity, Social Media, Transition from highschool/college to HE

- [workshop 39] Induction events organised exclusively by students Freja Elbro, 4 student organisers (University of Copenhagen, Department of Mathematical Sciences)

Material: presentation

Our induction events are 100% organised and carried out by student volunteers. How is that organised? Why are the students willing to put in all that work without even getting paid? And what are the resulting induction events like? These are the questions we will address in our talk.

Key words: Belonging (socially, academic), Induction (Orientation), Peer mentoring, Student perspective, Students as partners, Transition from highschool/college to HE

Session 6: Motivational learning environment - L01.05

- [workshop 72] Mind the gap ‘prior knowledge in the first year’: the development of a motivational learning environment Charlotte Soenen, Els Van Waes (Artevelde University College Ghent)

Every year students with a large diversity in prior knowledge are welcomed into our bachelor programme. Creating a motivational learning environment that feeds the intrinsic motivation of each student throughout the educational cycle is a challenge for the teacher staff. This workshop focusses on how to accomplish this for first year bachelors.

Key words: Curriculum, Student diversity, Transition from highschool/college to HE

Session 7: Mentors - L01.09

- [workshop 43] Developing a community of learning for first years through peer supportMs Louise Frith, Dr Gina May (Kent University)

Material: presentation

Fostering a community of learning (Lave and Wenger, 1991) within an academic school can help first year students to feel supported and also give experienced students opportunities to develop their skills and confidence. This session is for both experienced practitioners and people newer to peer support practice. It reviews the peer support training offered to students at institutions in the UK and worldwide. It then presents Kent’s experience of peer support training as a case-study for participants to examine and compare with their own offerings. Elements which will be discussed include; compulsory training and a new non-compulsory peer support module. The features focused on will include; students' motivations and aims, the skills students need to have or to develop, the role which learning developers play in the support relationship, providing formal recognition for peer leaders, constructing a peer support culture within schools and empowering student leaders to evaluate their activities.

Key words: Learning communities, Peer mentoring, Students as partners, Study Skills