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PREPARATORY AND SKILLS’ COURSES IN HIGHER EDUCATION. 3 rd Annual EFYE Conference, University of Wolverhampton, Telford Campus, 7 to 9 May 2008. Aleksandra Kovač, Lina Vidic, Suzana Košir, Nada Trunk-Širca. Focus .

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preparatory and skills courses in higher education
PREPARATORY AND SKILLS’ COURSES IN HIGHER EDUCATION

3rd Annual EFYE Conference,

University of Wolverhampton, Telford Campus,

7 to 9 May 2008

Aleksandra Kovač, Lina Vidic,

Suzana Košir, Nada Trunk-Širca

focus
Focus

HEIs offer preparatory and skills courses to prepare students for more effective and successful study.

Research questions:

  • What kinds of courses do higher education institutions across the globe offer their students to enhance their learning skills for successful study?
  • What training provisions for students are currently offered at the Faculty of Management and the International School for Social and Business Studies in Slovenia?
  • What are the preliminary outcomes of these workshops?
types of courses
Types of courses
  • Extensive support in all aspects of students’ life (academic, personal, welfare) – different groups of students
  • Courses that focus on a smooth entry or transition into regular study programs for students who are coming from slightly different disciplinary backgrounds or have lower level of academic credentials than the official admission requirements
international experiences 1
International experiences (1)

HEIs in the Netherlands

  • preparatory, “transfer” courses (pre-bachelor, pre-master courses)

HEIs in New Zealand

  • “bridging programs” (to refresh skills, fulfil entry requirements)
  • For international students (how to study in NZ)
  • Study skills
  • For women
  • Foundation courses
  • English language courses (certificate)
international experiences 2
International experiences (2)

HEIs in UK

  • For international students
  • To encourage students with non-standard qualifications
  • Learn to learn, academic writing, speaking skills
  • Help in personal and practical problems

Non-course type of approaches (supervision):

  • “supervision” – small group teaching
  • “Directors of studies” – individualized academic support
  • “College tutors” – individual pastoral support
slovenian experiences
Slovenian experiences
  • The approaches to support students’ study skills mostly depend on internal institutional policy (differences)
  • Example of a good practice Economic Faculty, University Ljubljana (variety of courses, workshops consultancies in all aspects of students life and career development)
  • Various forms of tutors at universities
  • Education developmental centre Univerzum Minerva (established by students` organization)
  • Initiatives at some HEIs within the frameworkof QA
2 cases
2 Cases
  • Faculty of management Koper, University of Primorska (FM)
  • Established 1995
  • 3000 students enrolled (undergraduate / graduate)
  • Study areas offered: social, business and administrative studies
  • Research and development, consultancy
  • Publishing and library services

2. International School for Social and Business Studies (ISSBS)

  • Free-standing HEI, established in 2006
  • 189 students
  • Study areas offered: social science, economics, business, management
  • Research and development
introductory courses in study skills fm
Introductory courses in study skills (FM)

10 years experiences

2 fields of courses offered:

  • Information and computer skills: Word, Excel, Access, e-learning, tools for making presentations, use of Visio, autoCAD and Picassa programs;
  • Skills of learning, working and living in the community: Successful learning methods, writing skills for seminar papers/assignments, forthcoming employment, business etiquette and others.

Some courses are obligatory, some optional

introductory courses in study skills issbs
Introductory courses in study skills (ISSBS)

First year students were obliged to attend the introductory and training courses in the first three weeks of the academic year (October 2007):

  • Introduction to study which provided students with information on the ISSBS, library, study programmes, study process, examination regulations and student organization.
  • Successful study methods: Students learned methods and approaches for effective study.
  • Computer skills 1 and 2: Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
  • Freakonomics: amusing introduction into the field of economics.
  • Academic writing: Instructions for preparing written assignments.
some data analysis fm 1
Some data analysis (FM-1)

Demographic data:

284 students responded the questionnaire

168 full-time students, 80 part-time

Average age 21

Background education:

49% economics

21% general education (gymnasium)

20% other specialized second. education

Motivation/expectation for study:

  • Location (25%), employment opportunities (18%), interest for the topic (16%)
  • Expectation: finish study, gain knowledge, interesting lectures
some data analysis fm 21
Some data analysis (FM-2)

Students observations and appreciations about their first week:

  • Most of them appreciated it (209)
  • Appreciation of kindness, accessibility of lecturers and stuff, atmosphere and content.
some data analysis issbs 1
Some data analysis (ISSBS-1)

Demographic data:

36 students responded the questionnaire

75% female, 25% male

Most students were 19-21 years old

Background education:

50% economics

47% general education (gymnasium)

3% other specialized second. education

Motivation/expectation for study:

  • Location (66%), interesting study (56%)
  • Expectation: gain knowledge (92%), new contacts (67%)
some data analysis issbs 2
Some data analysis (ISSBS-2)

Introductory skills` workshops assessment

some data analysis issbs 3
Some data analysis (ISSBS-3)

Usefulness of received information by previous education

conclusions
Conclusions
  • Wide variety of courses, programs, workshops, consultancies around the world
  • Tutoring system
  • Both observed Slovenian institutions (MF, ISSBS) offer to all students introductory skills` workshops for effective study.
  • Students at both institutions evaluated them positively.
  • Some workshops might not be necessary for better students (those with gymnasium).
  • Rethinking the content of courses for different groups
  • Measure the impact of these workshops on students’ performances during their studies and to monitor the potential effects on their future employability