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Title: The use of Level 1 skills-based intervention strategies to influence expectations and improve the student learning experience
Author: Harris, Neil
ISNI:       0000 0001 2443 9788
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2004
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This thesis explores student and staff expectations and experiences of student learning, and specifically skills developments, during 2002-03. It determines whether influencing expectations, through a skills-based intervention strategy, can improve student learning and hence retention. Two alternative Level 1 strategies are considered: a stand-alone skills unit and a skills unit integrated with other Level 1 units. Data triangulation is employed using student and staff interviews, student questionnaires and telephone interviews with withdrawn students. A hermeneutic phenomenological paradigm is used to develop an interpreted and integrated analysis of the underlying connected themes of skills development, the student experience and student retention, and of their contexts. This is based on a modified version of Biggs' (1999) Presage-Process-Product model, the current literature and the researcher's experiences in higher education. Several inter-related themes emerge from the research. These are the extent of the match of student and staff expectations and experiences and the implications of mismatches; the mature student learning experience; motivation; the Level 1 intellectual challenge; the student work-life balance; the extent of skills development; and student retention. What develops from these themes is an holistic model of dominant Level 1 student types: Workers; Mature; Socialisers; Leavers; and Returners. Students can and do migrate between these categories. When beginning this research it was assumed that a fully integrated skills unit would be more effective than a stand-alone skills unit in influencing student expectations and providing the tools to be an effective learner. In fact, students perceive both to be effective. However, a skills-based intervention strategy alone is insufficient. The contribution to knowledge from this research is the model of dominant student types; an holistic intervention strategy, encompassing expectations and skills, to move students to the Workers category in this model; identifying the lack of initial student predictive expectations but their formation during the early weeks; and the need for the University of Wessex to re-examine the impact of its assessment regulations on the interconnected themes of skills development, the level 1 student learning experience and retention.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available