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Differentiation and Diversity: Addressing educational diversity in first
Title: Differentiation and Diversity:
Addressing educational diversity in first year courses
Date/time: Thur. 13 June 2013
Session: 6.6, 10:10am - 11:50am
Enhancement and innovation in Higher Education
conference 11-13 June 2013.
Place: Crowne Plaza Hotel,
Glasgow, G3 8QT (north bank of the Clyde, opposite the BBC)
How to get there:
Location page and
Niamh Stack, &
School of Psychology,
University of Glasgow.
of participants' comments/notes (plus materials)
This workshop is for those people interested in the first year student
experience and two problems which diversity poses for it. It stems from our
concerns about psychology teaching, but we hope to learn from other
disciplines. Firstly: how best to support the transition from school of
students with prior knowledge, which is important because first-year
university courses largely ignore prior knowledge (Woolfson, Howe and Smyth,
2004) and instead focus on bringing all students to the same academic level in
preparation for their second year of studies. Students with prior knowledge
commonly complain that courses are repetitive (Trapp et al., 2011), and that
they study less than their peers who are new to a subject (Rowley, 2008). The
second issue is that the amount of interest and effort varies widely amongst
students on a given first year course, and teaching adapted to one subset
usually fails the other students.
The format of the workshop will be:
- A summary of the main issues as we see them, and of survey results from
one particular large level 1 class (psychology, N ≈ 550) assessing
the type and extent of students' prior discipline knowledge and perception of
their first year studies.
- Activity 1 will ask delegates to identify in their own subject areas the
different challenges faced by students with or without prior knowledge, and
what course designs could meet their different needs.
- Activity 2 will discuss how best to manage the varied levels of
student interest and effort in a large class where there are different
motivations for studying e.g. the subject is their intended honours one vs. a
"third subject" where they only aim for a D grade.
- Activity 3 will discuss how best to organise first year experiences to
address both these problems. (Two course designs from the literature which
might address this may be outlined and discussed.)
- Rowley,M., Hartley,J. & Larkin,D. (2008) "Learning from experience: the
expectations and experiences of first-year undergraduate psychology students"
Journal of further and higher education vol.32 no.4 pp.399-413
- Annie Trapp, Peter Banister, Judi Ellis, Richard Latto, Dorothy Miell,
Dominic Upton (2011)
The Future of Undergraduate Psychology in the United Kingdom (HEA)
- Woolfson, L., Howe, C., & Smyth, K. (2005). "Higher Still programme in
psychology: implications of school and college provision for higher education"
Psychology Learning and Teaching, vol.5 no.1 pp.42-46
In order to book online or obtain further information about the conference,
Enhancement and innovation in Higher Education.
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