Improving Undergraduate Student Experience and Retention: Development of An Activity-Based Research Teaching Package

Dawne Gurbutt

Abstract


A positive student education experience and student retention on course are key issues in quality post compulsory education delivery.  Modules identified as having higher refer and attrition rates undergo a review of teaching and assessment methods. This can be the case with research methods studies and reasons reported include reticence about a new subject area and a reluctance to engage with the research process. This is often a subject area that might have not been studied by students progressing on from Foundation Degrees to a top-up degree.  A review of perceptions of top-up degree students as part of a learning review within their programme of study identified that they did not feel that knowledge of research methods was integral to the value of their course This paper reports on an action research project regarding an intervention with students studying research methods at levels 3 and 4. Its aim was to enhance the student learning experience about research methods. The intervention was a tutor–led activity-based model for teaching research methods. The findings were that students found activity-led sessions supported a sense of learning progression and a better engagement with the learning outcomes and also earlier engagement with the assessment process.


Keywords


Student Experience; Retention; undergraduate research

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