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UCD TEACHING AND LEARNING / Projects
Module Enhancement
Learning for Success at University
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Project: Learning for Success at University
Project Team: Bairbre Redmond, Judith Archbold, Joe Brady, Barbara Dooley, Suzanne Guerin, Niamh Moore, Feargal Murphy, Geraldine O'Neill & Sara O'Sullivan
Collaborator(s): Blackboard Support, IT Services & the Library

Funding:

Strategic Innovation Fund I

Timeline:

September 2009-September 2014
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background:

'Institutions that achieve first-year excellence place a high priority on the first-year among competing institutional priorities and accept a significant share of responsibility for first-year student achievement' Krauss et al (2005, 381)

Data explored by UCD illustrates the importance of helping students organise their time better and to develop useful study skills at the beginning of their programme. The purchase by UCD Teaching & Learning of Palgrave's Skills4Study Campus product in June 2011, provides us with an excellent interactive online learning resource upon which to build a sound educational and support module for first year students.  It is envisaged that each programme will deliver such a module to level one students.  

Read the UCD Fellowships Report 2007-09  to learn more about the research of the Fellows into the first year experience and student engagement at UCD.

Improving the first-year experience is an important part of the mission of higher education in the National Education Strategy to 2030.

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goals:
  • Aim to help students make the transition into university life
  • Improve study skills at first year level
  • Ease of transition from second level to third level education
  • Greater engagement at first level
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Methods:

The Skills4Study Campus resource was introduced to 380 first Arts students in September 2011 as part of a new module called PSY10110 Learning for Success at University.   Skills4Study Campus is integrated into the Blackboard course and contains the following mini-modules:

  • Getting Ready for Academic Study
  • Reading and Note-making
  • Critical Thinking Skills
  • Writing Skills 
  • Referencing & Plagiarism
  • Exam Skills

Each  mini-module contains a wealth of information, practice scenarios and course quizzes. 

If you would like to use Skills4Study Campus on your programme, please consult the Learning for Success at University Brief Guidelines   

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Results:

The generic nature of the online package will not, in itself, adequately address the engagement and educational support needs of the student.  Krauss et al, (2005), in the major longitudinal study of 1st year engagement in Australian higher education, saw on-line delivered material as an important medium for engaging students, but only as part of an overall engagement process with peers and academics.

An improved version of the module was rolled out to all first Arts students in September 2012.  Similiar modules are being run across the university.

For more information on the results of this project you might like to read the following journal article:

"Working with the challenge of designing and implementing a stand-alone learning to learn module in a large Arts programme." O'Neill | Guerin |AISHE-J: The All Ireland Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

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Next Steps:

The module will continue to evolve and improve year on year.  Data is now being analysised to establish the impact that the module has had on student learning for students who have completed it as part of their first year studies.  These research outputs will be available shortly.

 

UCD's contract with Palgrave for Skills4Study Campus expired on 13th June 2015.