Student Experience

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National research on the postgraduate student experience: Case presentation on the first year postgraduate student experience. Volume 1

National research on the postgraduate student experience: Case presentation on the first year postgraduate student experience. Volume 1

descriptions, and perspectives on the first year postgraduate student experience. The reported research was conducted as a strategic priority project of the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching between February 2015 and August 2016. Bond University was the lead institution, with partner institutions – University of Southern Queensland, Victoria University, and partner peak body organisations – Australian Council for Educational Research and Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations. All types and levels of postgraduates were considered (i.e., course-based, research, Masters, Doctoral). Secondary research was conducted using data from three different national surveys. Results of the secondary analysis were specifically probed through primary research. Notably, the secondary analysis of national survey data painted a much ‘rosier’ picture of postgraduate student experiences and perceptions than did this research, whereupon in-depth conversations were held with and between numerous
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Integrating Learning Development into the Student Experience

Integrating Learning Development into the Student Experience

to workloads. The completed template can highlight any omission or repetition and signpost opportunities to embed learning development into the curriculum, providing a more seamless student experience, with skills input from the most appropriate source at the most appropriate time. In analysing the templates, it was apparent that input on skills development was heavily frontloaded with most of the teaching being done in the first year. There was some input in the third year as students approached a major piece of work, such as a dissertation, but in the second year it was clear that although skills were assessed, they were rarely taught. This finding links to research done by Grump (2007) and Schreiner (2010) who found that second year students often experienced particular problems of stress and lack of engagement. Using the templates appeared to highlight gaps and areas of repetition and inefficiency, and the project leaders are now working to promote a more holistic approach to curriculum design.
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The student experience of online mathematics enrichment

The student experience of online mathematics enrichment

Following concerns about the falling number of mathematics majors at University level, consideration has being given in a number of countries to enhancing provision for those school pupils who show the potential to study mathematics at University. Prevalent amongst this provision are enrichment opportunities and material designed to provide a wider picture of mathematics. This paper reports findings from a study of internet-based enrichment material in mathematics and focuses on the student experience of such online provision. Data from questionnaires and interviews suggest that this enrichment material helped the pupils who used it to gain a wider appreciation of mathematics and raised the profile of mathematics as a subject that could be interesting enough to pursue beyond school. Issues of equity in access to the material remain.
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A snapshot of the student experience: exploring student satisfaction through the use of photographic elicitation

A snapshot of the student experience: exploring student satisfaction through the use of photographic elicitation

experience (Baird and Gordon 2009); the latter of which fits with the current use of such metrics as the NSS. It is clear that identifying a “one size fits all” approach to conceptualising and assessing student satisfaction is highly challenging (Douglas, McClelland and Davies 2008). Its complexity has led some to suggest that a composite satisfaction score may be more useful for decision-making and strategy, than a reliance on a single item of global satisfaction (Elliot and Shin 2002). It is clear that understanding satisfaction requires a multi- dimensional, flexible approach which is particularly important given previous research has found it to be determined differently at varying points across an academic year (Pennington et al. 2017), and across subject areas (Umbach and Porter 2002). This highlights the need for a holistic understanding of the key factors which are important when theorising satisfaction, and how these function in the context of a particular time-scale. These complexities in its conceptual underpinning have challenging implications towards its measurement. It remains questionable on the extent to which measures such as the NSS are adequate in capturing a holistic perspective of the student experience. This is not necessarily reflective of the “lived experience” of students and the influential aspects of their satisfying experiences. This is particularly relevant when considering that most of the items of the NSS are felt to lack context (Buckley 2012). The predominate quantitative approach of the NSS leads to the question about whether there are alternative or supplementary means of capturing these student-focused representations of university experiences (Buckley 2012; Kovacs, Grant and Hyland 2010) 2 . Additionally, some scholars caution about applying a satisfaction approach to students in HE because traditional metrics often do not take into account emotive components
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Language proficiency and the international postgraduate student experience

Language proficiency and the international postgraduate student experience

This doctoral journey started with the aim of exploring the international student (IS) experience, in order to gain a better understanding of the expectations, needs, and challenges they needed to overcome to successfully achieve a Masters degree. The driver for this were twofold; firstly as an academic member of the MSc Marketing course team who is also a non-British student, there was an identification and empathy with these students as they struggled to adapt to their new cultural, social and academic environment. This feeling strengthened following the launch of the first and subsequent cohorts of the MSc Marketing programme designed specifically for ISs, as it was felt that there was only a superficial understanding of these East and Southeastern Asian students’ needs, and the issues that affected their ability to do well in their course. Secondly was the awareness that recruiting students from the global marketplace was an important revenue source following the reduction of government funding, but with intensified competition worldwide, and higher expectations of service quality and value for money, universities really had to raise their game. It is understood that the quality of university provision, and subsequent student outcomes, will ultimately affect their reputation, overall student experience, and not to be overlooked, teacher morale (Johnes, 2004). HEIs are now very focused on the student experience, as by gaining a better understanding of the experiences and expectations of both home and international students, it will provide the knowledge to improve the design of teaching activities and assessments which promote cross-cultural competence and learning, as well as service quality, thus leading to the most effective outcomes. Following Document 1 which identified the scope of the topic area and research, Document 2 reviewed secondary literature to provide a view of the international student experience, drawn from studies on intercultural communication, language, and multi-cultural learning to identify some of the key research relevant to, and conducted on, international student sojourners. It was determined that three aspects affect the overall experience for the international student: pre-existing factors, i.e. their previous personal, educational and cultural experiences, the ability to overcome and adapt to the cultural, language and learning environments they encounter, and the learning outcomes of their study.
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Trend analysis of first year student experience in university

Trend analysis of first year student experience in university

related to the type of predictive modelling techniques efficiency (Kotsiantis, Pierrakeas and Pintelas 2004). These predictive modelling techniques range from applying machine learning to Bayesian analysis. Drawing from the research of Kotsiantis et al. (2004, 4) on “predicting student success by mining enrolment data”, the authors explained they “used key demographic variables and assignment marks in the supervised machine learning algorithms (decision trees, artificial neural networks, naïve Bayes classifier, instance-based learning, logistic regression, and support vector machines) to predict students’ performance at the Hellenic Open University”. Their study does not sufficiently establish that background is a good predictor of student experience (Kotsiantis et al. 2004). In support of ibid., evidence points to the fact that “background characteristics are not good predictors of final outcomes because they are just a starting point and there are other factors that may contribute to the difficulties students will have to deal with during his/her study” (Kovačić 2010, 3). Conversely, Yu et al. (2007) suggest that “with the use of classification tree based on an entropy tree-splitting criterion, there seems to [be] supporting evidence that cumulated earned hours was the most important factor contributing to retention” even though gender and ethnic origin are insignificant. With these findings, there is sufficient and inherent indication that demographic factors are yet to be established as having direct correlation with1 st YSE.
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Student Experience: HE in FE

Student Experience: HE in FE

The study concluded that whilst institutions saw student engagement as central to improving the student experience they viewed learners as passive consumers rather than active partners in the process and that practices varied within institutions. The National Student Survey - which is deployed in FE colleges delivering HE in FE - was recognised as having: “sharpened institutional practices for action planning.” (Little et al, 2009:4) One of the main concerns was the extent to which HEIs were closing the feedback loop and keeping students informed of actions being taken. Due to time constraints we were unable to explore student engagement in all of the focus groups, but where we did learners were able to articulate without any prompting the mechanisms their course and college used to engage with them. These included: the National Student Survey, course and module feedback questionnaires, student parliaments and HE forums. A number of learners indicated that they had participated in HE forums or served as a HE governor within their institution. Thos learners who had been most actively engaged, participating in a HE forum or serving as a HE governor, expressed dissatisfaction and frustration:
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The Part-Time Doctoral Student Experience

The Part-Time Doctoral Student Experience

to accommodate working professionals (Davis & McCuen, 1995). In fact, it is the focus on the full-time professional that has brought more attention to the part-time doctoral student experience (Syverson, 1999). As access to and demand for distance education technologies increase, for in- stance, one might expect even more attention to be focused on these part-time doctoral students. From the research that has been conducted on these students, part-time doctoral students have been found to have dissimilar experiences from their full-time counterparts. Specifically, part- time students have been found to be less satisfied with their doctoral experiences (Nettles & Millett, 2006; Neumann & Rodwell, 2009), to be less scholarly engaged than their full-time peers (Biegel et al., 2006; Davis & McCuen, 1995; Nora & Snyder, 2007), and are often perceived as less committed than their full-time counterparts (Curran, 1987). The reasons for these disparities between part-time and full-time doctoral students are multifaceted. Primarily, given their often challenging schedules that require full-time employment, part-time doctoral students often find themselves struggling to balance their roles as student and professional (Curran, 1987; Davis & McCuen, 1995; Smith, 2000; Watts, 2008). As such, Smith (2000) remarked, “The crucial aspect of ‘part-timeness’ has very little to do with credits taken. Rather, the issue is one of time pres- sures because of full-time employment” (p. 362). In addition, the financial pressures that part- time students face may account for some of these disparities, particularly given their likelihood to be older, to have dependents, and be married (Choy & Cataldi, 2006). Since the majority of fi- nancial support to graduate students is often ear-marked for full-time students (Nora & Snyder, 2007; Syverson, 1999), part-time students must often find their own resources to subsidize their graduate work.
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Enriching student experience through access to novel technology

Enriching student experience through access to novel technology

This paper describes how students on a Level 6 (final- year undergraduate) Human Computer Interaction (HCI) module were given access to an eye tracker with a view to extending their knowledge of the technologies used in HCI for evaluation purposes. Learning to use this device gives students a distinct advantage in the job market as eye tracking is becoming increasingly accepted as a means of assessing users’ experience by professional usability and design experts. However, the benefits were not all one way. The introduction of the eye tracker also brought about a review of pedagogical benefits of this access in terms of the application of learning theory. Changes in the students’ performance and feedback are examined as indicators of enhanced student experience.
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Learning, Teaching and Student Experience (LTSE) Strategy

Learning, Teaching and Student Experience (LTSE) Strategy

This Learning, Teaching and Student Experience Strategy will support the University in achieving the aims of the Strategic Plan 2015 to 2024“Challenging Horizons” and developing into an inspiring University that is values- based, academically credible and financially sustainable. The Strategy relates to all aspects of the Student Experience at the University including the academic provision, the academic staff who deliver this provision, peers with whom students engage during their university education, and the wider community of professionals who ensure that the learning environment and support provided is appropriate to all students, whatever their individual backgrounds and needs. Partnership is a key aim of the University’s Strategic Plan. This Strategy will support the development of a curriculum which makes links across and beyond the University and includes local, national and international learning experiences that will facilitate the development of social capital and social agency as students build networks with future employers and develop skills for their future lives.
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Enhancing the early student experience

Enhancing the early student experience

This paper is concerned with identifying how the early student experience can be enhanced in order to improve levels of student retention and achievement. The early student experience is the focus of this project as the literature has consistently declared the first year to be the most critical in shaping persistence decisions. Programme managers on courses with good and poor retention rates have been interviewed to identify activities that correlate with good retention rates. The results show that there are similarities in the way programmes with good retention are run, with these features not being prevalent on programmes with poor retention. Recommendations of activities that will enhance the early student experience are provided.
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Enriching Student Experience Through Blended Learning

Enriching Student Experience Through Blended Learning

While blended learning may not have been student-driven at its inception, the practices can meet student preferences and expectations as they move in the direction of several consumer preferences: convenience, access, and control. Devices such as iPods and services such as “third screen” (video, computer, and phone) delivery further enable remote access and interaction. The challenge, of course, falls to institutions and faculty to meet the expectations of students for convenience and access while developing appropriate pedagogical uses and quality levels for the new technologies. Blended learning labels the shifting venue and communication patterns that have occurred in the culture. We have moved from lecture halls to homes, cars, and iPods offering anytime, anywhere delivery while increasing interaction as well. The impact of these changes on learning depends to a large extent on the faculty transformation of content and
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Independent Online Learning : Enhancing the Student Experience

Independent Online Learning : Enhancing the Student Experience

In the last five years a number of HE institutions (including MMU) have invested heavily in the development and utilisation of online learning material. MMU has instigated a major initiative in the development of online learning material, principally using WWW technology via the use of WebCT (WWW course management software). In 1999, the author was awarded an Online Learning Development Fellowship, in which an entire Chemistry module was converted into an online format. The remit was to develop and implement a complete online learning module (which provided the student with a holistic online experience), where the lecture and tutorial material was
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The Student Experience

The Student Experience

offering positive criticism that can support the learning of their fellow writers and thus in turn their ability to apply such positive critique to their own work, but it does help to ameliorate the power context of the pedagogy. It helps all in the situation to see the text as the object of scrutiny rather than the person, which is not possible when sitting in a room with the group and being the focus of their comments. In most cases, an online workshop critique circle will not be synchronous, and thus there is a space and time distance offered to the student/writers both the one under scrutiny and the ones who are offering the comment. An example of an EDPL for online creative writing pedagogy is included below.
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Supporting student experience of undergraduate research and inquiry

Supporting student experience of undergraduate research and inquiry

• Explore the problem-based, experiential and cooperative learning activities where the undergraduate students from Electrical and Mechanical Engineering courses have performed real rese[r]

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A micro note taking approach : the student experience

A micro note taking approach : the student experience

Based on the content analysis of the negative comments of students at the end of the questionnaire, four main disadvantages of the micro note taking M2NT application were identified: mobile device constraints, distraction, unfamiliarity, and note-size limitation. Further, our analysis demonstrated that the aforementioned disadvantages differ in terms of their weight of importance from the perspective of students. In fact, it was found that learners perceive that mobile device constraints and unfamiliarity are the main disadvantages of the developed micro note taking M2NT application with weights of importance equal to 32% and 28% respectively. Indeed, it was clear from the comments of the learners that they found that the small screen size and tiny touch keyboard stressful. Further, students indicated that their lack of familiarity with the device, application, and mobile-device texting negatively affected their experience. However, another two disadvantages of using the micro note taking M2NT application were demonstrated by the students, these being distraction (8%) and note-size Limitation (4%). The weights of importance of these two disadvantages show their insignificance in comparison to the first two, namely mobile device constraints and unfamiliarity. These results also match the ones obtained earlier and the discussion of why the M2NT application in comparison to word processor can have some less preferred features.
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A lonesome journey? Internationalisation and the postgraduate research student experience

A lonesome journey? Internationalisation and the postgraduate research student experience

postgraduate context. Drawing on my own journey as postgraduate student at Leeds Metropolitan University, I am particularly interested in the contingent of international PhD/research students whose ‘experience’, with few recent exceptions (Trahar, 2011; Higher Education Academy, 2010; Pyhältö et al, 2009; Trigwell & Dunbar- Goddet, 2005), has received fairly little attention from writers on both higher education and internationalisation, and likewise from practitioners involved in programme development and strategic planning at institutional level. In view of the lack of sufficient research undertaken in this field, this piece offers few answers to how to tackle the decisive ongoing shifts in postgraduate education. Rather, it raises a number of questions which need to be addressed for the future international
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A snapshot of the student experience: exploring student satisfaction through the use of photographic elicitation

A snapshot of the student experience: exploring student satisfaction through the use of photographic elicitation

Student satisfaction is complex, multifaceted and a personal experience NSS seen as “ok” by the students but does not capture all their experiences Important themes to take forward include connectedness and identity, social aspects of support, community spirit or learning environment – things we are very good at.

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Examining the Minority Student Experience in Hospitality Education

Examining the Minority Student Experience in Hospitality Education

shows that involvement on campus, and perceived support from faculty, may lead to higher levels of persistence among students (Astin, 1984; Pittman & Richmond, 2008). Students lacking a good perception of belongingness, and who are less involved, may experience both stress and emotional distress (Pittman & Richmond, 2008). Hoffman et al. (2003) indicated that, “the greater a student’s sense of belonging to the university, the greater is his or her commitment to that institution (satisfaction with the university) and the more likely is that he or she will remain in college” (p. 228). This supports the notion that access is not the only barrier within higher education for minority students. When all things are held constant, sense of belonging may still have an effect on student
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Social Media and the Student Experience

Social Media and the Student Experience

Mooting was taken as the baseline for student engagement with co-curricular activities, due to its long standing presence both within the School and legal education (Keys & Whincop, 1997). This activity has run on an annual basis for almost twenty years, as well as in a variety of forms. In its earliest format, this was a non- credit bearing extracurricular activity that attracted an annual enrolment of 60 students (The following numbers were recorded: 2010 – 58 students, 2011 – 67 students, 2012 – 51 students). However, by mid- November, this number had usually dwindled to less than 20 students, (Precise numbers for 2010 through to 2012 are not available for these time periods). In an attempt to increase interest in this activity, the School converted it into being a zero-credit co-curricular activity, which would appear on a student’s transcript. This had no impact on initial student engagement with the activity, or indeed retention of numbers throughout the year.
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