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Title: The student experience of Foundation Degrees : a case study of a cohort in a Foundation Degree in Educational Administration
Author: Thelwell, Helen Wendy
ISNI:       0000 0001 3516 7482
Awarding Body: University of Huddersfield
Current Institution: University of Huddersfield
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis is the result of a qualitative case study of a group of ten part-time, mature, non-traditional learners enrolled on a Foundation Degree. The thesis identifies how students think, communicate with one another and manage the learning processes. It explores the attitudes of students who are a new type of cohort entering Higher Education. The thesis commences by identifying entry barriers to Higher Education and how these were overcome. Despite earlier failures, students retained a belief in their abilities, were motivated and maintained aspirations to achieve a Higher Education qualification. The research then identifies how this group of adult learners developed strategies to support them in their quest for continuing success and achievement, including developing supporting relationships with other students. Students were also very pragmatic in the way they handled the complexities of learning whilst at the same time coping with multiple roles. E-learning contributed to the learning experience and achievement and the research identifies new patterns and modes of learning for this group of students. Insights into human adaptation to a new learning environment are revealed and the research shows how students utilised technology in order to be successful in their learning. For example, students used discussion boards and email to continue social interaction, communication and relationships formed at day schools. Other issues that arose from the research are gender issues as well as student change. For example, students reported they felt they had gained confidence. This increased confidence manifested itself in the way they approached their academic work and approached their jobs. In addition, students also believed employers saw their value as enhanced. Students were goal driven yet highly interested in the process of learning, very much in line with mature female goals. This is a study, therefore, not only of a new type of degree but of new kinds of students following the huge expansion of entrants into Higher Education
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LB2300 Higher Education ; L Education (General)