• An 'Individual Learning Profile' (ILP)

      Salter, Pam; Peacock, Diane (University of Wolverhampton, 2001)
      A short diagnostic learning support questionnaire was designed and issued to ascertain individual and generic levels of key skills of all incoming level 1 students in the School of Art and Design (SAD). This was completed at induction with the intention of providing an indication of an ‘Individual Learning Profile’ (ILP) for each student. It was anticipated that the ILP would assist both staff and students in their understanding of their strengths and weaknesses and how best they might achieve their potential. It would also indicate at the earliest opportunity the need to implement support for study. Recent emphasis upon widening access into Higher Education (HE) has highlighted variations in student profiles. The very terms non-standard entry, mature, returner, disadvantaged, precede the notion of concealed social and educational inequality. Primary concerns centre upon lack of IT skills and the number of students with dyslexic difficulties in the School. Early identification of students requiring and/or requesting help, and those ‘at risk’, is expected to be ‘cost-effective’ for all concerned. The ILP is intended to underpin the goal of achieving true equal opportunity for learning, in addition to maximising student retention and achievement across the School. Initial research into the development of the Individual Learning Profiles (ILP’s) centred upon the need for a brief overview from each student rather that detailed information, which, if necessary, could be extended later during individual counselling. Reference to previous models of good practice included the work undertaken in other UK HE Institutions, in particular that of De Montfort University (DMU) who were contacted (June 2000) in relation to their HEFCE funded work on a national Key Skills survey of entrants.
    • Identifying and addressing the needs of art and design students at risk of underachievement in their incoming year of study

      Salter, Pam; Peacock, Diane (University of Wolverhampton, 2002)
      Following the piloting of the ILP (Individual Learning Profile) in the previous academic year (2000/1), the project aimed to consolidate the mechanism for identifying needs and supporting students during their incoming year of study. Through refining the processes by which students at risk are identified and assisted, the intention was to empower individual students to recognise and build on their strengths, and enable weaknesses, or perceived weaknesses, to be addressed. The project also aimed to raise awareness of both students and staff to the importance of customized and timely learning support, designed to enable a greater number of students to reach their creative and academic potential. The school can cite numerous anecdotal examples of how targeted Learning Support has had a direct impact on the quality of the student learning experience. The project aimed systematically to test the hypothesis that there is a correlation between additional learning support and student retention.