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Enhancing the First Year Experience at UCD. Dr. Amanda Gibney. DIT First Year Initiative – 10 Steps to engage your First Year Students 30 th March 2010. Outline of Presentation. Fellowship in Teaching & Academic Development Education Strategy Development Programme Planning

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slide1

Enhancing the First Year Experience at UCD

Dr. Amanda Gibney

DIT First Year Initiative – 10 Steps to engage your First Year Students

30th March 2010

slide2

Outline of Presentation

  • Fellowship in Teaching & Academic Development
  • Education Strategy Development
  • Programme Planning
  • Focus on First Year
  • Semester 1 Engagement and Skills Development
  • Summary
slide3

Fellowship in Teaching & Academic Development

  • Scheme commenced 2007, 8 Fellows
  • Funded by HEA Strategic Initiative Fund (SIF1&2)
  • Creation of network of emerging leaders with T&L track record
  • Research key institutional education issues
  • Model: Group project and individual project
  • Dissemination of research findings and improvement of student experience
slide4

Fellowship in Teaching & Academic Development

Group Project: First Year Experience

Fellows Team: Niamh Moore, Sara O’Sullivan,

Feargal Murphy & Amanda Gibney

Findings

Gibney, A., Moore, N., Murphy, F. & O'Sullivan, S. (2011) 'The First Semester of University Life; 'will I be able to manage it at all?'. Higher Education, 62 (3):351-366, DOI 10.1007/s10734-010-9392-9

(Web link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/2788)

  • Recommendations
  • Initiatives to support transition
  • development of skills, engagement, drop-in writing centre
  • Initiatives to support community building
  • group work, peer mentoring, social networking
slide5

Education Strategy Development

Consultation and development process 2009-2010

Development of Strategic Objectives

Development of University, College and Programme actions

Strategy launched in April 2010 as integral part of UCD Strategic Plan to 2014

slide6

Education Strategy Development

  • Strategic Objectives
  • Foster early and lasting student engagement
  • Grow and develop graduate education
  • Strengthen and enhance academic disciplines and programmes
  • Stimulate creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and active citizenship
  • Widen participation and support lifelong learning
  • Internationalise the student experience
  • Excel in teaching, learning innovation and academic development
slide7

Programme Planning

  • University Level Planning (2009-2010)
  • (Registrar, Deputy Registrars, College Principals, VPTLs, Programme Deans, Graduate School Directors, Marketing and Recruitment Managers, Finance Managers)
  • Clear unified presentation of programmes, simplification of entry routes
  • Identification of common themes across programmes
  • Articulation of pathways from undergraduate to graduate programmes
slide8

Programme Planning

  • Programme Level Planning (2009-2010)
  • Oversight and Working Group
  • (Programme Deans, College Principals, VPTLs, Graduate School Directors, School Heads, School Heads of T&L, Programme Office Directors, College Finance Officers)
  • Programme vision
  • Programme outcomes and graduate attributes
  • Programme Structure/Map
  • Action plan and timelines
slide9

Focus on First Year

  • University Level Initiative (2010-2011)
  • University and Programme Orientation
  • Academic Programme Structure
  • Assessment and Feedback
  • Transition to Independent Study
  • Engagement with UCD
slide10

Semester 1 Engagement and Skills Development

Programme Specific Modules

Business: Effective Learning and Development

Engineering: Creativity in Design

Computer Science: Computer Science in Practice

Science: Principles of Scientific Enquiry

Nursing: Transitions: Engage to Success

Arts: Learning for Success @ University

(Module Descriptors: http://www.ucd.ie/students/course_search.htm)

slide11

Semester 1 Engagement and Skills Development

Engineering: Creativity in Design

(coupled with Innovation Leadership)

  • Active-learning engineering experience through which students develop their:
  • observation skills
  • problem solving skills
  • lateral thinking abilities
  • visual and verbal presentation skills
  • information literacy skills.
slide12

Semester 1 Engagement and Skills Development

Innovation Process

Observe

Ideation

Prototype

Refine

Understand

Implement

a-Ha!

Small # Probable Solutions

Points of Inspiration

Opportunity Statement

Ideas to Pursue

Possible Solutions

Innovative Solution

  • Data
  • Issues
  • Successes
  • Problem Def.
  • Shadowing
  • User Journey
  • User Interviews
  • Story Telling
  • Brainstorming
  • Lateral Thinking
  • TRIZ
  • Mock-ups
  • Go Fast
  • No Frills
  • Create Scenarios
  • Focus Prototypes
  • Engage Clients
  • Ruthless Decisions
  • Focus on Outcomes
  • Resourcing
  • Diverse Skills
  • Create
  • Launch

Current Situation

User Experience

Idea Generation

Working Models

A Few Possibilities

Solution

slide13

Semester 1 Engagement and Skills Development

Assessment

Group (85%)

Formative and summative assessment in-studio wks 3 to 12

  • 5 key concepts
      • Understanding (evidence-based, comprehensive)
      • Observation (planning, photos, sketches)
      • Idea generation (no. of ideas, good themes)
      • Prototyping (planning, testing, context)
      • Communication (verbal and visual)

Individual (15%) Sketchbook submission, sketch exercises

slide17

Semester 1 Engagement and Skills Development

Creative Design Solutions Exhibition

Innovation Dublin 2010 & 2011

slide19

Semester 1 Engagement and Skills Development

General Points

  • Students were provided with a module handbook
  • Students obtained weekly feedback (both formative and summative)
  • Students not attending studio sessions were contacted
  • Students exhibited sustained, substantial effort across the semester
  • Student’s understanding of the process and their prototyping, communication skills and confidence improved across the semester
slide20

Semester 1 Engagement and Skills Development

Student Feedback

  • Aspects that appealed:
  • Teamwork, studio setting, solving real problems, getting to know classmates, fun, active
  • Aspects that helped learning:
  • Giving presentations, teamwork, interactive studio
  • Suggest changes:
  • More time per project, more drawing, earlier information literacy session, clearer project briefs, better chosen groups
slide21

Semester 1 Engagement and Skills Development

Science: Principles of Scientific Enquiry

  • Aims
  • Engage students with scientific literature research
  • Encourage critical and analytical thinking
  • Encourage passion for discovery and with that self-motivated learning
  • Develop group work and communication skills
  • Provide a personalised contact with academics in the scientific community
  • Aid transition to university
slide22

Semester 1 Engagement and Skills Development

Delivery

Lectures: to full cohort of 400+, lecturer-led

Workshops: groups of 75, tutor led

Tutorials: groups of 5-6, academic as facilitator

Group Work: groups of 5-6 scheduled unsupervised

time

slide23

Semester 1 Engagement and Skills Development

Assessment

* Group marks weighted by peer marking and attendance and contribution mark

slide24

Semester 1 Engagement and Skills Development

Observations and Feedback

  • Students engaged with scientific literature and aware of research activities in UCD and beyond
  • Students used research and critical thinking skills developed in other modules
  • Students’ communication skills improved as did their confidence
  • Students recognise longer-term benefits of skills developed
slide25

Summary

  • Co-ordinated, planned institutional activity in T&L supported at high level can effect real change
  • Institutional Research and research-based evidence will dispel anecdotal evidence and spur change
  • Cross-disciplinary dissemination/interaction pitched at appropriate level promotes wider adoption of innovative effective practices
  • Effective Fellowship model has:
  • - engaged academics in policy making
  • - developed cross-disciplinary networking
  • - resulted in emergence of academic leaders