Researcher: Dr Avril Buchanan
Institution: Manchester Metropolitan University
Research Year: 2021
The importance of successful transition into Higher Education (HE) has been well documented (Thomas, 2012; HEA, 2016). In response to the circumstances of 2020, Manchester Metropolitan University’s Learner Development Team brought forward proposed induction plans to better support entrance into studying at university level. This included providing live online workshops prior to the commencement of the academic year, as well as producing screen-casts accessible at any point of the student lifecycle. This content was designed to demystify HE: helping students recognize their transferable strengths, whilst increasing awareness of the required step-up in study and establishing a sense of belonging.
There is a need to evaluate the screencasts and accompanying material to understand if they are perceived as beneficial by students, and therefore ensure they are fit for purpose for ongoing transition support in coming years. This project will complement the completed evaluation of the live online workshops, and thus assist in providing a holistic understanding of student transition experience. Celebrating the diversity of our students, necessitates inclusion of student representation from all five faculties within the focus groups to share their perception of the transition support, and identify any omissions in content.
The timing of this evaluation means students will have studied for, and received feedback on, summative assessments, so they will have an increased awareness of the expectation of learning in HE. Their reflections and commentary will allow student-led refinements to our provision, which is crucial to enhance the transition success for the incoming students of 21-22 and beyond.