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Wolverhampton Intellectual Repository and E-Theses > Institute for Learning Enhancement (formerly CELT) > Institute for Learning Enhancement (ILE) > Do "Top Up" students on computing courses think deeply?

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2436/3803
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Title: Do "Top Up" students on computing courses think deeply?
Authors: Davies, Jenny
Goda, David
Citation: CELT Learning and Teaching Projects 2001/02
Publisher: University of Wolverhampton
Issue Date: 2002
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2436/3803
Additional Links: http://www.wlv.ac.uk/celt
Abstract: For the last four years the School of Computing and Information Technology (SCIT) has offered a degree conversion programme from HND to degree, which is becoming increasingly popular, especially with students from local FE colleges. In addition about 15% of the students are recruited from overseas. However, the students on the ‘Top Up’ programme have demonstrated difficulty with the more academic aspects of their course, especially the individual project, which is taken in semester 2. Although the students rarely failed the project, the marks achieved were substantially lower than those they obtained for other modules, in particular modules that were more practically focussed. This was to be expected given the vocational nature of these students’ previous studies. In their first semester of the degree conversion programme, the students take a core module in Professional Aspects of Computing (PAC). As well as introducing them to professional issues associated with work in an IT environment, this module was designed to improve their key and intellectual skills, especially those required to complete the project successfully such as literature search, referencing and critical evaluation. An improvement in the project marks had been recorded in each of the three previous years through increasing emphasis on those skills in the PAC module. Consideration of current educational research about learning styles led the award team to reflect on whether the students’ learning styles could be an underlying issue in their struggling with the more academic aspects of the course. Marton and Saljo (1976) identified two contrasting approaches to learning: deep and surface, subsequently extended to include a third, strategic, approach (Entwistle, 1987). It is accepted, however, that strategic learners may also be either deep or surface learners. A deep approach to learning is believed to correlate with increased academic success. Entwistle (2000) defined a successful student as one who adopts a deep, strategic approach with no surface, apathetic elements. Initially, in this field of research, assessment of student learning style was by means of interview but that was superseded by inventory, ‘Approaches to Studying Inventory, ASI’ (Entwistle and Ramsden, 1983). Refinement of ASI led to the development of ‘ASSIST, Approaches and Study Skills Inventory for Students’ (Tait et al. 1998).
Type: Book chapter
Language: en
Description: Report of a CELT project on supporting students through innovation and research
Keywords: Learning style
Computer science
Conversion courses
Undergraduate students
Higher education
HND
ISBN: 0954211618
Appears in Collections: Institute for Learning Enhancement (ILE)

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