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Engaging students who are at risk of academic failure: Frameworks and Strategies. Professor Keithia Wilson GRIFFITH UNIVERSITY ALTC National Fellow for the FYE (2010-2012) 2007 ALTC Australian University Teacher of the Year . Acknowledgment to Country. In the Spirit of Reconciliation

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Engaging students who are at risk of academic failure frameworks and strategies

Engaging students who are at risk of academic failure:Frameworks and Strategies

Professor Keithia Wilson

GRIFFITH UNIVERSITY

ALTC National Fellow for the FYE (2010-2012)

2007 ALTC Australian University Teacher of the Year

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Acknowledgment to country

Acknowledgment to Country

In the Spirit of Reconciliation

Following on from Sorry Day

I would like to acknowledge & honour the Traditional Custodians of the land we are meeting on today, Turrbal and the Jagera People, and pay respect to their Elders past, present & emerging

And acknowledge the contribution of our First Nation People to Higher Education & Learning

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Overview what is our focus

Overview What is our focus?

  • ADecision-Making Framework

    Understanding the markers or predictors of commencing student potential difficulty in academic adjustment, engagement or success.

  • A Strategic Intervention Framework

    Understanding how to design an effective strategy for proportionally supporting the success of a diverse student population.

  • APractice Framework

    Understanding the culture and capabilities for optimally engaging a diverse student population.

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Overview what is our focus1

Overview What is our focus?

  • ADecision-Making Framework

    Understanding the markers or predictors of commencing student potential difficulty in academic adjustment, engagement or success.

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Understanding the complex nature of student risk

Understanding the complex nature of student risk

Risk is not an inherent quality of individual students, as in the term “at-risk student”

Risk is a function of the interaction between a student and their university

Honesty in Conception

A fuller understanding of “student risk” requires us to consider how the design and conduct of our learning environments and assessment practices may inadvertently increase students’ risk of non-engagement or academic failure

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


An educational system designed to support success

An educational system designed to support success?

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Student beliefs or behaviours designed to support success

Student beliefs or behaviours designed to support success?

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Multiple sources of student risk

Multiple Sources of student risk

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Multiple sources of student risk1

Multiple Sources of student risk

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Multiple sources of student risk2

Multiple Sources of student risk

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Risk across the lifecycle not all risks are created equal

Risk across the lifecycleNot all risks are created equal!

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Risk and success across the lifecycle not all factors are created equal

Risk and Success across the lifecycleNot all factors are created equal!

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Risk and success across the lifecycle not all factors are created equal1

Risk and Success across the lifecycleNot all factors are created equal!

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Risk and success across the lifecycle not all factors are created equal2

Risk and Success across the lifecycleNot all factors are created equal!

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Risk and success across the lifecycle not all factors are created equal3

Risk and Success across the lifecycleNot all factors are created equal!

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Distal or pre entry factors what do our students bring to university

Distal or Pre-entry FactorsWhat do our students bring to university?

Our students’ backgrounds and life circumstances:

Have relevance to the extent that they name or resonate with predictive validity for performance at university

Otherwise their use is an exercise in student labelling

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


What resources and capital do our students bring to university

What resources and capital do our students bring to university?

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Identifying distal factors

Identifying Distal Factors

Characteristics:Who am I?

Age, gender, cultural identity

History: Where have I come from?

Family academic capital, social capital, prior educational experiences and achievement, life experience capital (personal & cultural resources)

Context:What are my circumstances?

Socio-economic standing, social capital (family support, support networks), time & energy capital (family roles & responsibilities), financial capital (economic circumstances)

Expectations:What are my beliefs?

Family academic capital (grasp of uni expectations), motivational capital (aspirations, preferences) personal academic capital (academic efficacy & belief in success)

Capabilities:What are my knowledge, skills & attitudes?

Academic skills & Academic capital

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Understanding student diversity

Understanding Student Diversity

Traditional Students (TS)

medium-high SES

second generation

higher entry levels

full time

on-campus

elite model of HE

Non-Traditional Students (NTS)

low SES

first-in-family

lower entry levels

full-time & working

on-campus less

Indigenous

International

NESB (including refugees)

disability

home care responsibilities

from rural & remote settings

mass model of HE

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Effects of distal pre entry factors different strokes for different folks

Effects of Distal/Pre-entry FactorsDifferent strokes for different folks

Distal factors have different impacts on students’:

  • Aspirations and motivation

  • Sense of inclusion and belonging

  • Early engagement with study

  • Performance on particular tasks

  • Persistence with study

    Thus, each of these dimensions may be influenced or moderated by different distal factors

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Effects of distal pre entry factors different strokes for different folks1

Effects of Distal/Pre-entry FactorsDifferent strokes for different folks

Moderate academic performance:

  • In the domains of assumed knowledge early in the lifecycle (Academic Skills & Academic Capital)

  • In the development/negotiation of new identities (university student, professional)

  • At points of stress or high performance expectations, especially with assessment tasks (e.g., efficacy beliefs, social support, available buffers, resources)

  • In the development of higher order meta-cognitive /self-regulatory capabilities (critical thinking, independent learning)

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


What do we know about the effects of distal factors on early student achievement

What do we know about the effects of Distal Factors on early student achievement?

Lizzio & Wilson (2010) study at Griffith:

  • 2006 cohort (n = 2,587) of commencing students tracked for 3 years (2006-2008)

  • examined the effects of distal & proximal factors on semester 1 student performance & year 1 retention

  • [email protected] survey (weeks 6-8) and feedback process

  • Findings robust for age, gender, discipline & domestic/International student status

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


What distal factors predict commencing students first semester academic outcomes

What distal factors predict commencing students’ first semester academic outcomes?

Academic Capital

Low SES

First in Family

English as a Second Language

Reduces

Competing Demands

Time in employment

Time as carer

Semester 1

academic

achievement

Reduces

Prior Academic Achievement

Entry Level Scores (OPs)

Enhances

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


What is the influence of distal factors across the student lifecycle

What is the influence of Distal Factors across the student lifecycle?

Non-Traditional students with low academic capital –

  • Do less well academically in their first year than Traditional students (Lizzio & Wilson, 2010)

  • By year 2 they evidence the same pass rates as Traditional students (Lizzio & Wilson, 2010)

  • They graduate at the same rate as Traditional students (Bradley et al., 2008)

  • NT students from low SES backgrounds graduate at 97% compared to TS (Bradley et al., 2008)

  • With high levels of support, NT students out-perform their medium & high SES peers (Monash, UWA, UniSA)

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Risk and success across the lifecycle not all factors are created equal4

Risk and Success across the lifecycleNot all factors are created equal!

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Identifying proximal factors what is happening for our students now

Identifying Proximal FactorsWhat is happening for our students now?

Proximal factors

  • things that students do & feel in the university context which predict academic success, & retention

  • and are amenable to influence & development

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Understanding student transition the five senses of student success

Understanding Student Transition: The ‘Five-Senses’ of Student Success

(Lizzio, 2006)

Sense of

Capability

Sense of

Connectedness

Sense of

Student

Identity

Sense of

Purpose

Sense of

Resourcefulness

Keithia Wilson GU - May 2012


What do we know from research about proximal predictors of success in first year

What do we know from research about proximal predictors of success in first year?

Students are more likely to succeed at university if they:

Sense of Capability

Invest time on task  time spent studying each week is the strongest predictor

Regularly attend lectures & tutorials increased learning opportunities also a strong predictor

Have some sense of academic self-confidence  predicts success (self-efficacy & an expectation of success (hope) are foundational to success for Non-Traditional students)

Sense of Connection

Develop a social network at uni knowing one student & staff name is a protective factor against dropping out

Sense of Purpose

Have a clear goal or purpose for attending uni (sense of vocational direction & degree alignment especially) a strong predictor of academic success & retention into year 2

Sense of Resourcefulness

Engage with the online environment moderates success at university

Balance work-life-study commitments (working on average not more than 15 hours a week in paid employment)  making appropriate time for study predicts success

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


What do we know from research about proximal risk factors in first year

What do we know from research about proximal risk factors in first year?

Students are more likely to drop-out and/or fail if they:

Sense of Capability

Don’t study & invest time on task

Don’t regularly attend lectures & tutorials (with the exception of a small group of young, very intellectually bright males)

Don’t believe that they can be successful (hope)

Sense of Connection

Don’t develop a (small) social network at university

Sense of Purpose

Don’t have a sense of purpose (espvocational purpose) in their degree

Sense of Resourcefulness

Don’t have access to or engage with the online environment

Do work more than 25 hours per week while studying full time

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Relative importance of distal proximal factors to student engagement success

Relative importance of distal & proximal factors to student engagement & success

Research findings indicate consistently that:

  • Proximal factors (viz. what students do at university) are more controllable, empowering & predictive of student success than are distal factors (viz. what students bringto university)

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


What distal proximal factors predict commencing students first semester academic outcomes

What distal & proximal factors predict commencing students’ first semester academic outcomes?

Academic Capital

Low SES

First in Family

ESL

Reduces

Competing Demands

Time in employment

Time as carer

Reduces

Semester 1

academic

achievement

Task Engagement @ Uni

Attendance at Orientation

Time on task/study

Strongly Enhances

Prior Academic Achievement

Entry Level Scores to HEd

Enhances

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


What distal proximal factors predict commencing students retention into year 2

What distal & proximal factors predict commencing students’ retention into Year 2?

Academic Capital -

Competing Demands -

Semester 1

GPA

Student

Retention

Task Engagement @ Uni +

Prior Academic Achievement +

Sense of Purpose + + +

Student Satisfaction +

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Greater importance of proximal factors to student engagement success

Greater importance of proximal factors to student engagement & success

Research findings indicate consistently over the last 9 years that –

  • Low SES students graduate at 97% the success rates of their medium to high SES peers (Bradley et al, 2008:30)

  • Provided they receive appropriate types of support at university (financial assistance & greater academic support, mentoring & counselling services) (Transforming Australia’s Higher Education System, Commonwealth of Australia, 2009:14)

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Risk across the lifecycle not all factors are created equal

Risk across the lifecycleNot all factors are created equal!

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Implications for effective intervention what might this mean

Implications for effective interventionWhat might this mean?

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Implications for effective intervention what might this mean1

Implications for effective interventionWhat might this mean?

Strategy should emphasise factors which are within both our own and our student’s control & are thus optimally amenable to development & influence

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Posting warning signs is not enough to effectively help students

Posting ‘warning signs’ is not enough to effectively help students

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


False independence the you have been told approach

False independenceThe ‘you have been told’ approach

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Zone of optimal influence and investment

Zone of Optimal Influence and Investment

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


A quick break to gather our thoughts and chat

A quick break to gather our thoughts and chat

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Overview what is our focus2

Overview What is our focus?

  • ADecision-Making Framework

    Understanding the markers or predictors of commencing student potential difficulty in academic adjustment, engagement or success.

  • A Strategic Intervention Framework

    Understanding how to design an effective strategy for proportionally supporting the success of a diverse student population.

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Framing our strategy

Framing our strategy

  • The meta-goal of early university education is purposefully “scaffolding students’ capacity for independence & self-regulation”

  • Help-rich learning environments do not necessarily “create dependence” & high levels of student help-seeking may equally indicate badly designed curriculum & assessment as much as limitations in student ability or motivation

  • Our strategy for supporting at-risk students is therefore necessarily multi-layered

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Levels of prevention intervention with student risk adapted from caplan 1964

Levels of Prevention & Intervention with student risk(Adapted from Caplan, 1964)

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Prevention is better than cure

Prevention is better than cure!

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Levels of prevention intervention with student risk adapted from caplan 19641

Levels of Prevention & Intervention with student risk(Adapted from Caplan, 1964)

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


General primary prevention what do we do for all students

General/Primary PreventionWhat do we do for all students?

  • Strategies which are designed to benefit all of our students, and are thus foundational and universal

  • andfunction to reduce the types of risk that result from a mismatch or misappraisal of study demands and student resources.

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


General primary prevention strategies

General/Primary Prevention Strategies

Examples include curricular & co-curricular strategies

  • Universal curriculum design

  • Scaffolding self-help

  • Programmed help

  • Peer help

  • Staff developmental help

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


General primary prevention strategies1

General/Primary Prevention Strategies

1. Universal Curriculum Design The design of FY courses & related assessment practices to enable successful transition to university study

  • Well judged, well-paced, well aligned curriculum

  • Making assumed entry level knowledge explicit

  • Programs & courses that strengthen students’ sense of purpose & build sense of connection

  • Design of early, formative, low stakes assessment tasks to build skill & confidence

  • Active scaffolding of student engagement with assessment tasks & provision of resources

  • Developing program level mechanisms for increasing consistency between first year courses

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


General primary prevention strategies2

General/Primary Prevention Strategies

2. Scaffolding Self-Help Supporting students to self-manage in the early stages of their academic life to develop the meta-goal of self-regulation

  • Providing timely information about forthcoming choices and decisions (e.g., key dates).

  • Providing ‘attention getting’ cues and prompts for timely completion of tasks (e.g., Have you done....? By now you should have....if you haven’t we encourage you to.....)

  • Offering task/time relevant or appropriate help (e.g., If you would like to talk to someone about........then....)

  • Legitimating and normalising concerns and giving permission to seek help (e.g., It’s common around this time for students to be feeling......)

  • Building self-efficacy by offering assurance, encouragement and hope

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


General primary prevention strategies3

General/Primary Prevention Strategies

3. Programmed Help Providing students with scheduled opportunities to access support and information. These types of generic activities can range from –

  • Strategic welcome, orientation & induction process, involving realistic “job appraisal” for the student role

  • preparatory workshops (academic skills)

  • common time processes with just-in-time interventions (lifecycle orientation & transition across the first semester),

  • academic advising

    These may be offered ‘centrally and generically’ and/or ‘locally and specifically’. Just-in-time activities are generally more widely used and therefore more effective.

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


General primary prevention strategies4

General/Primary Prevention Strategies

4. Peer Help Peers represent an underutilized capacity in our schools and programs. Senior students are particularly credible and accessible translators of ‘the university experience’ to commencing students. Peer processes can be –

  • formal (e.g., using peer mentors, and/or peer tutors as per the PASS model)

  • informal (e.g., establishing learning groups), or

  • incidental (e.g., providing opportunities for discussion in class) or community-based (e.g., discussion boards). The focus can be academic (e.g., PASS) and/or social (e.g., peer mentoring) integration.

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


General primary prevention strategies5

General/Primary Prevention Strategies

5. Staff Developmental Help Encouraging, predictable and systematic arrangements for staff-student contact are a key aspect of a universal success enabling and problem prevention strategy. Staff help can take many locally appropriate forms:

  • responsive (e.g., consultation sessions),

  • community-based (e.g., moderated discussion boards),

  • systematic (e.g., feedback summaries to whole class),

  • opportunistic (e.g., chatting to students) or

  • just-in-time (e.g., linked to major assessment tasks).

    The availability of staff is a key protective factor against student withdrawal in the face of difficulty.

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


General primary prevention what is the role of assessment in student success

General/Primary PreventionWhat is the role of assessment in student success?

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Assessing the explicit and hidden curriculum

Assessing the explicit and hidden curriculum

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


How do our commencing students understand their early assessment wilson lizzio 2012

How do our commencing students understand their early assessment? (Wilson & Lizzio, 2012)

Assessment Manageability

How accessible and clearly explained are our assessment tasks?

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


How do our commencing students understand their early assessment

How do our commencing students understand their early assessment?

Assessment Manageability

How accessible and clearly explained are our assessment tasks?

Assessment Motivation

How engaging are our assessment tasks?

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


How do our commencing students understand their early assessment1

How do our commencing students understand their early assessment?

Assessment Manageability

How accessible and clearly explained are our assessment tasks?

Assessment Motivation

How engaging are our assessment tasks?

Assessment Purposes

What are the useful purposes of our assessment tasks?

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


How do our commencing students understand their early assessment2

How do our commencing students understand their early assessment?

Assessment Manageability

How accessible and clearly explained are our assessment tasks?

Assessment Efficacy

How well do I feel that I can successfully manage our assessment tasks?

Assessment Motivation

How engaging are our assessment tasks?

Assessment Purposes

What are the useful purposes of our assessment tasks?

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


How do our commencing students understand their early assessment3

How do our commencing students understand their early assessment?

Assessment Manageability

How accessible and clearly explained are our assessment tasks?

Assessment Efficacy

How well do I feel that I can successfully manage our assessment tasks?

Assessment Motivation

How engaging are our assessment tasks?

Assessment Learning

How effective are our assessment tasks in helping me learn?

Assessment Purposes

What are the useful purposes of our assessment tasks?

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


What do our commencing students say about their early assessment

What do our commencing students say about their early assessment?

Assessment Manageability

Agree 60%

Assessment Efficacy

Agree 65%

Assessment Motivation

Agree 67%

Assessment Learning

Agree 75%

Assessment Useful Purposes

Agree 67%

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


What do our commencing students say about the useful purposes of assessment

What do our commencing students say about the useful purposes of assessment?

DisciplineSocialisation

Help me to appreciate my chosen field

Peer Learning Networks

Help me to work with other students

Academic Capability

Develop my academic skills

Academic Confidence

Develop my academic confidence

StudentRole

Better understand uni expectations

Scaffolding Self Management

Help me study regularly and keep up to date

Developmental Feedback

Give me early feedback about how I’m going

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


What do our commencing students say about the useful purposes of assessment1

What do our commencing students say about the useful purposes of assessment?

DisciplineSocialisation

Agree 50%

Peer Learning Networks

Agree 63%

Academic Capability

Agree 76%

Academic Confidence

Agree 57%

StudentRole

Agree 78%

Scaffolding Self Management

Agree 62%

Developmental Feedback

Agree 46%

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Take away message a rising tide lifts all boats equally

Take-Away MessageA rising tide lifts all boats equally

Well-designed and well-managed assessment is a ‘high-return’ primary prevention strategy for all of our students.

It dramatically reduces the need for co-curricular support interventions.

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Another quick think and chat

Another quick ‘think and chat’

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Levels of prevention intervention with student risk adapted from caplan 19642

Levels of Prevention & Intervention with student risk(Adapted from Caplan, 1964)

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Targeted selective primary prevention strategies

Targeted/Selective Primary Prevention Strategies

Targeted primary prevention strategies are population-specific, targeting students identified from university databases using distal factors (e.g., first-in-family, low SES, slow degree preference ranks, high achievers, Indigenous, international students)

Intended not a substitute for, but as a complement, touniversal strategies

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Engaging students who are at risk of academic failure frameworks and strategies

Griffith students at risk of discontinuation 1/2012 on Distal risk markers(Low entry scores x Low degree preference x LOTE x Low SES)

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Targeted selective primary prevention strategies1

Targeted/Selective Primary Prevention Strategies

Targeted primary prevention strategies

  • Can be relatively informal (e.g., a welcome phone call to Indigenous & country students, early introductions to tutors), or

  • More structured (e.g., dedicated workshops or ongoing contact/support)

  • Include online ‘just-in-time and just-for-me’ support programs which provide messages (information, invitation or outreach) specifically tailored to the likely needs and experiences of particular groups of students who may be potentially at-risk

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Levels of prevention intervention with student risk adapted from caplan 19643

Levels of Prevention & Intervention with student risk(Adapted from Caplan, 1964)

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Secondary prevention

Secondary Prevention

Secondary Prevention strategies aim to create a safety net for students experiencing difficulties to support their academic recovery utilising proximal data

  • Commencing students face a number of predictable lifecycle tasks and milestones in their first-semester at university which provide us with timely information on students’ early academic engagement and performance, and can thus function as useful early-alert or early-warning ‘risk markers’.

  • Students who trigger these predetermined indicators (e.g., non-attendance, failure of early assessment) may have an increased level of risk of subsequent academic failure.

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Secondary prevention1

Secondary Prevention

Based on the premise that ‘early engagement is a good predictor of later success’ and

the corollary ‘early non-engagement is a good predictor of risk of failure’,

....it is proposed that universities ‘front-load’ monitoring and outreach to emphasise the first semester of commencement.

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Griffith risk markers across first semester lifecycle

Griffith Risk Markers across first semester lifecycle

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Operation student success trial early patterns for 1 2012

Operation Student Success Trial: Early Patterns for 1/2012

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Secondary prevention2

Secondary Prevention

What do we do for identified at-risk students

Use a series of proximal or just-in-time risk markers to identify under-engaged or under-performing students & provide focused outreach

  • Early contact to welcome incoming students who missed Orientation & provision of resources

  • Early contact to encourage on-line access & class attendance

  • Opportunities for late submission of first assessment tasks

  • Limited opportunities to re-submit first semester assessment tasks to achieve a passing grade

  • Advising for academic recovery

  • Diagnostic testing & follow-up supplemental instruction

  • Normalising contacting of students as an expected part of supporting student success

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


First assessment first feedback academic recovery intervention

First-Assessment First-Feedback Academic Recovery Intervention

Key Idea:

Efficacy building for students who ‘fail’ or ‘marginal pass’ first assessment in a core/threshold course (Wilson & Lizzio, 2008; Lizzio & Wilson, in press)

Key Aspects:

  • Students complete a self-directed workbook

  • Individual structured session with tutor leading to an action plan

  • Follow-up phone or email contact

  • 40% uptake

  • Participation results in a 10% increase in submission rates & 20% increase in pass rates for 2nd assessment item, & 40% increase in passing the course overall

  • Trialled at other Australian universities (USC, UWS, JCU, UTAS)

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


First assessment first feedback academic recovery intervention1

First-Assessment First-Feedback Academic Recovery Intervention

At-risk students’ self-reported evaluations of the process were uniformly positive (7-point scale):

  • Academic related learning (5.7)

  • Personal development (5.0)

  • Insight into reasons for under-performance (5.6)

  • Increased efficacy & optimism (5.6)

  • Process rated as non-aversive (5.3)

    Tutors reported stronger relationships with students, higher attendance at tutorials by those students, & greater student engagement

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Combination of targeted selective primary prevention secondary prevention strategies

Combination of Targeted/Selective Primary Prevention & Secondary Prevention Strategies

What do we do for specific risk profiles?

Use demographic (distal) & early lifecycle risk markers (proximal) to identify particular groups of students & to provide ongoing targeted support or developmental activities

Outreach to highest at-risk student profiles (e.g., low OP x low preference x LOTE x Low SES)

  • Distal data Intrusive academic outreach to offer early, pre-semester, study and assessment planning & support

  • Proximal data Facilitating the academic recovery of those same students (e.g., non-submission/failure on early assessment) throughout the student lifecycle in the first year

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Levels of prevention intervention with student risk adapted from caplan 19644

Levels of Prevention & Intervention with student risk(Adapted from Caplan, 1964)

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Tertiary prevention

Tertiary Prevention

What do we do for failing students?

Providing outreach to commencing students who have failed first semester courses/units & involves a smaller group of students usually with challenging circumstances –

  • Contacting students at the end of semester to offer academic recovery planning

  • Helping students to understand reasons for their failure

  • Helping students to develop appropriate actions ranging from minor adjustments (time m’gt, study skills), re-positioning of priorities (shift to part-time enrolment), to more fundamental revisions (change of degree)

  • Contacting first year students on probation to offer academic recovery planning

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Overview what is our focus3

Overview What is our focus?

  • ADecision-Making Framework

    Understanding the markers or predictors of commencing student potential difficulty in academic adjustment, engagement or success.

  • A Strategic Intervention Framework

    Understanding how to design an effective strategy for proportionally supporting the success of a diverse student population.

  • A Practice Framework

    Understanding the culture and capabilities for optimally engaging a diverse student population.

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


7 working principles

7 Working Principles

1. University wide consistency

Adopting a consistent set of risk markers (What will we monitor?)

across the university & minimum level of response (How will we

help?) in all degree programs

2. Student Partnership

Transparently communicating our at-risk strategy to all of our

students so they are informed about the factors within their control

that lead to success

3. Local relationship focused responses

Locally relevant approaches to supporting at-risk students which are

consistent with university minimum standards

4. Linkage with current technology

Monitoring & communication systems which interface with university

information systems

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


7 working principles1

7 Working Principles

5. Coordinated Local Responsibility

Clarifying and coordinating roles & responsibilities of key staff in the ‘business of student success’

6. Coordination of local & central contributions

Coordinating between school/program and central university services and strategies.

7. Evidence-based effectiveness

Continuous monitoring and evaluating both centrally & within programs, within an agreed evaluation framework

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Staff partnerships

Staff Partnerships

  • Supporting student success and reducing academic risk necessitates that we develop new and creative partnerships between academic, administrative and professional staff.

  • Thus, supporting student success may involve shifts in our traditional strategies, skills and roles, and is genuinely everyone’s business.

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Staff partnerships helping students succeed is a team sport

Staff partnerships...helping students succeed is a team sport!

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


A final reframe on the importance of help seeking

A final reframe on the importance of help-seeking

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


A final reframe on the importance of help seeking1

A final reframe on the importance of help-seeking

  • A meta-goal of early university education is purposefully “scaffolding students’ capacity for independence & self-regulation”

  • Facilitating student independence is not incompatible with providing & encouraging students to seek appropriate assistance

  • Students who recognise when they need help or assistance to ‘go to the next level’, and who feel empowered to do so, are more likely to succeed and to feel good about themselves

  • Help-seeking is thus a key element of effective self-regulation & success at university

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


Thus our contract with each other

Thus....our contract with each other....

Keithia Wilson FYHE Conference - June 2012


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