Published on February 26, 2014
Student retention and success - finding out “What Works” Dr Kate Irving Director of Learning and Teaching
What Chester did - the University’s SRS Programme • Initial identification of students/programmes – use of data; • Engagement with staff – using “What Works” materials; • Support – Access Agreement funding and sharing practice; • Evaluation and reporting mechanisms.
Learning from Year 1 • Discipline related? Media; Criminology; Sports & Exercise Science; Art & Design; Marketing, Tourism and Events Management; • Staff perceptions of determinants of retention; • Adherence to institutional policies; • Data – availability, accessibility and usage; • Engagement and leadership of programme teams.
Activity 1 – which programmes and why? • Thinking about retention and success at your institution, are there any patterns or links between programmes where this needs to be improved? • How could you/have you found out about why there is lower retention and success in these programmes? • What strategies have been adopted to improve retention and success so far? “What Works” for you?
Year 2 - joining the “What Works?” programme • Opportunity to extent existing programme and explore Single/Combined Honours retention; • Three programmes: Criminology; Psychology and Computer Science; • Focus on monitoring and evaluation valuable; • Incorporated learning from year 1 of University programme to improve impact of initiative. • External support – improved engagement.
Activity 2 – monitoring and evaluation Thinking of one or two initiatives that you are planning at your own institution…. • What will be the opportunities and challenges of putting these activities into practice? • How might each be monitored and evaluated?
Assessing impact • • • • Decision to “stay” is complex Improvements may take several years… Set realistic targets. Match monitoring and evaluation to activity/intervention – utilise existing mechanisms when appropriate; • Support projects through local and institutional commitment.
Activity 3A – monitoring and evaluation What might the opportunities and challenges be of the following initiatives to support retention and success? How might each be monitored and evaluated? • A curriculum-related half-day visit for students and staff; • Introducing peer assisted support for students; • Additional workshops for students on “troublesome concepts” in the discipline.
Activity 3B - local and institutional leadership • In your experience, what are the leadership characteristics of successful programme/department teams? • List ways in which academic, service departments and institutional level teams can work together to enhance retention and success.
Activity 4 - next steps… • Share a list of actions for you to take back to your institution. • Please ask if we can help by discussing your ideas: Kate Irving email@example.com • Thank you very much for your contributions!
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