Fitzgerald, R. and Crehan, M. (2010) What works? Student retention and success. Workshop presented to: University of Northampton Learning and Teaching Conference: Learning Dialogues, University of Northampton, UK, 13 May 2010.
The first year of tertiary level study provides an influential script for the development of an engaged learner. Transition issues at point of entry and the impact of course selection affects individual expectations and levels of commitment. The first few weeks also have much impact on the ability to acclimatise to tertiary level study and to achieve comfortable person-environment fit (Tinto 1993). The first year requires students to engage with and take responsibility for their learning quickly. Integrated and holistic curriculum planning is a key factor in the successful management of student transition and the enhancement of retention strategies. This workshop aims to facilitate participants' consideration of the key elements involved in design of the First Year Experience. As "good teaching means seeing learning through the learners eyes" (Ramsden 1998), the "student voice" can bring valid and valuable perspectives to learning and teaching practice. Using first hand video accounts from students, this workshop will guide participants' through a consideration of the first year from the perspective of lecturer, institution and student. Areas of focus will include the need to adopt student-centred active learning strategies; formative assessment and feedback; peer mentoring and learning support. References Tinto, V. (1993). Leaving college: rethinking the causes and cures of student attrition (2nd ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press Ramsden, P. (1998). Learning to lead in higher education. London, NY: Routledge.