Browsing Health, Psychology and Social Care Research Centre by Subjects
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Development and evaluation of student transition writing mentoringFlying Start, an inter-institutional NTFS project, developed and evaluated programmes in which university students mentored A-level and other pre-university students in academic writing. Feedback showed that the pre-university mentees found the mentors easy to talk to and believed the programme would help them write better at university. Focus groups revealed that mentees would have liked better preparation for the programmes; that interpersonal mentor-mentee interactions affected both sets of students’ experiences; and that mentees valued working with mentors on the aspects of writing that were programme targets. Before-and-after measures showed limited changes in approaches to learning, no changes in understanding of the core criteria for university writing, but small improvements in quality of writing. The evaluation provides the basis for recommendations about wider use of pre-university interventions in academic writing, and about ways the approach could be adapted for different settings.
What changes in the transition to learning at university?This paper reviews evidence about factors affecting student transitions to learning at university. We first review theoretical models of student transitions, and consider their different emphases and end-points. We then examine evidence about academic factors (eg approaches to learning and beliefs about knowledge), social factors (eg engagement and integration) and pedagogic factors (eg teaching methods) as potential influences on student learning transitions. We then attempt a synthesis of the findings and theory, and propose a transitions model in which quality of learning is the key central factor.