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.
An overview of research on student support: Helping students to achieve or achieving institutional targets? Nurture or De-Nature?Smith, Rob (University of Wolverhampton, 2006)In the quasi-marketised environment of the new, mass HE, centralised policy continues to dictate conditions and traditionally stable sources of income are being made increasingly unreliable. An increasing emphasis on student support within HE institutions (HEIs) has been made necessary by targets for student numbers and the funding that rests on these. These tensions have been added to for ‘post-1992’ universities, by the Widening Participation initiative that brings with it particular issues around recruitment and retention. In this context, it is not surprising that the issue of student support has triggered a raft of research and scholarship geared towards providing technical solutions. This paper argues that before such solutions are fixed on, HEIs need to investigate the conceptual underpinning of such mechanisms. Rather than focusing on the models and systems of support that are being developed in different HE settings and their effectiveness, the aim of this paper is to theorise the imperatives behind these, to look again at the context that informs their inception and how the various support structures position and identify students. Through this, the tensions that exist between financial incentives, ‘bums on seats’, Widening Participation and academic achievement rates will be explored.
To investigate and then develop an ICT innovation to support students who are dyslexic when applying for Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA), thus enabling them to be more independentNorton, Liz (University of Wolverhampton, 2007)This project is in response to research carried out in 2007 with students who are dyslexic. This research investigated the barriers experienced by students in higher education who are dyslexic when accessing the Disabled Students’ Allowance. Reference is made to their comments throughout the text. The research identified one of the areas that they find difficult. This was the form they need to use to apply for the Disabled Students’ Allowance. The innovation has been designed to support this difficulty. An important thread running through the whole of this project is to help the student who is dyslexic to be in control, to feel valued and so to improve confidence and self-esteem.