Identifying, monitoring and addressing the needs of art and design students at risk of underachievement in their incoming year of study.
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What do we mean by student support? Staff and students’ perspectives of the provision and effectiveness of support for studentsDhillon, Jaswinder; McGowan, Mhairi; Wang, Hong (University of Wolverhampton, 2006)The aim of this small-scale study is to explore the effectiveness of the support available to students registered for programmes of study in the School of Education. This includes the provision of university-wide student support and guidance services as well as the more localised study skills and academic and personal support provided by personal tutors. The perceptions of both staff and students were sampled through questionnaires and interviews. This paper presents a review of literature on the provision of student support for the increasingly diverse body of students in higher education and some preliminary findings from our survey of current students. The literature and findings from our investigation indicate discrepancies between the officially declared provision of student support services and the accessibility and use of these services in practice. There is ambiguity around the role of the personal tutor and inconsistency of practice in the level of support provided by ‘personal tutors’ which suggest that a review of the personal tutor role is needed. Student responses to our questionnaire also indicate that drop-in study skills provision in useful and being used but that other student support services, such as careers and counselling services are rarely used by students from the School of Education. This is mainly due to accessibility of these services and the lack of provision on the Walsall campus. The other major theme in the data is the process of induction to the University which students regard as being too intensive an ‘event’ and inappropriate for getting to know about support services.
Distance learning and the empowerment of students: applied statistical analysis for students of the Built Environment.Nicholas, John; Edwards, David (University of Wolverhampton, 2002)Built Environment students (including construction management, quantity surveying and so forth) generally exhibit limited understanding of mathematics and statistics, both from a theoretical and practical perspective (cf. Johnson, 1998; Llewellyn, 1999; Mtenga and Spainhour, 2000). This statement is supported by the fact that over half of the first year students (2001/2 intake) who completed an Individual Learner Profile (ILP) admitted to exhibiting poor mathematical skill. In addition, fewer than one in forty students have gained a mathematical qualification higher than a GCSE. Hence, undergraduate students are faced with a huge task when initially conceptualising the analytical component of a dissertation. Consequently, students elect to avoid robust and rigorous analysis in preference for elementary and somewhat naïve statistical methods to interpret any gathered data. This problem is further exacerbated by the reference to many ‘introductory’ statistical texts that are written for persons who have an ‘above average’ mathematical knowledge. Due to their background, Built Environment students struggle in transferring their data into a format that can be analysed and interpreted by statistical software. To do so requires time and commitment of staff combined with student initiative and drive. The problem here is that over 50% of students in the School of Engineering and the Built Environment (SEBE) attend University on a part time basis. Hence, physical restrictions limit these students’ ability to access the library and search for an appropriate textbook. Therefore, an easily accessible (internet) reference tool would provide an ideal opportunity with which to overcome this potential stumbling block. The aim of the proposed project was to develop an internet-based tool to assist undergraduate students learn ‘applied’ statistical analysis of data (relevant to typical construction problems) not just statistics per se. Such a tool would facilitate students, who actively seek to enhance their general mathematical and statistical knowledge as well as gain an insight into using commercially available statistical software simulation packages.
Students, studies and styles: an analysis of the learning styles of leisure, tourism and hospitality students studying generic modulesDale, Crispin; McCarthy, Pat (University of Wolverhampton, 2004)The aim of the research was to investigate the different learning styles of leisure, tourism and hospitality (LTH) students who were studying generic modules. Anecdotal experience of the research team has shown that students on LTH courses have a range of learning styles that influence their overall performance.