Volume 6, Issue 2

Student Success, Aug 2015

Welcome to the newly titled Student Success:  A journal exploring the experiences of students in tertiary education

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Volume 6, Issue 2

Licence. As an open access journal, articles are free to use, with proper attribution, in educational and other non-commercial settings. 2205-0795 Student Success A journal exploring the experiences of students in tertiary education 0 The concluding formal session of the STARS Conference was a panel discussion, chaired by Ron Oliver, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Teaching, Learning and International) and Professor of e-learning at Edith Cowan University in Western Australia. The Panel members-James Arvanitakis, Professor of Humanities and Head of The Academy, University of Western Sydney; Marnie Hughes- Warrington, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) The Australian National University; Sally Kift, Deputy Vice- Chancellor (Academic) James Cook University; Karen 1 Student Success , 6(2) August, 2015 particular initiatives that could be transferred or utilised in other institutions. The top five initiatives were selected by the Conference Committee and are published in this issue as well. All of the authors in this particular issue are from Australian institutions but we actively encourage submissions from international authors. The STARS Conference exemplified the genuine and sustained commitment to the student experience of both professional and academic staff working in tertiary education. This journal provides an opportunity to disseminate current research and innovative good practices about students' tertiary learning experiences aligned with the STARS ethos. Researchers, tertiary teachers and professional staff who are advancing student learning, success and retention in the tertiary sector are encouraged to submit to future issues. As we make this exciting transition with a new title and broader publishing foci, we acknowledge the continued support of our dedicated editorial team, Advisory Board and peer reviewers. - Nelson, Pro Vice Chancellor (Students) University of the Sunshine Coast and Beverly Oliver, Deputy ViceChancellor (Education), Deakin University each focussed on one of the STARS themes. Conference delegates posed questions to the panel and the session is summarised in this issue’s Feature. From the University of Western Sydney, Betty Gill reports on an institution-wide strategy to improve first year assessment practices. At the centre of the student learning is assessment and Gill provides several good practice strategies such as scheduling early low-risk assessment, consistent marking criteria and assessment mapping across courses. Four of the five articles tackle transition into tertiary education from quite diverse perspectives: Jeannette Stirling and Celeste Rossetto from Wollongong University discuss a first year transition program designed to facilitate academic participation in a higher education environment. The program relies on various multimedia technologies and blended learning models. The authors challenge some of the unresolved tensions between the complex transitional experiences of first year students from diverse backgrounds and differentiated entry capabilities. The experiences of students entering university via a vocational education and training (VET) pathway are captured as part of a wider strategy by the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) to support VET students transitioning into higher education. Tracy Barber and colleagues from the Equity and Diversity Unit at UTS will continue to explore the student feedback that should provide a deeper conceptual understanding of the transition process. Ben Bullock from Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne shares a study involving students studying psychology. It explores how high and low mood and energy traits provide information on a novel predictor of academic engagement and performance. Finally, transition is explored by Robert Whannell and Patricia Whannell from the University of New England in regional Armidale who present an alternative approach to explain the attrition phenomenon. Identity theory is used as the basis to develop a theoretical framework that is intended to assist educators supporting students to develop and sustain their academic and scholarly identity. New Ideas and Emerging Initiatives Masha Smallhorn and her co-authors from Flinders University in Adelaide profile an initiative with their first year biology cohort incorporating guided inquiry with student teams to improve the engagement and learning outcomes of students attending weekly laboratory sessions. Their results indicate improvements in students’ satisfaction and learning outcomes. Also from Flinders University, Elizabeth Abery, Claire Drummond and Nadia Bevan seek to prompt student perceptions of placement expectations prior to, during and after the Work Integrated Learning (WIL) experience by exploring what resources are required to ensure a positive WIL experience, regardless of degree major and future professional aspirations. Marcus O’Donnell and colleagues from the University of Wollongong detail their institution’s Curriculum Transformation Project (CTP) which focuses on transition as a whole-of-curriculum design principle. It extends the concept of “transition pedagogy” developed by Sally Kift and colleagues (2010) showing how it has been used to inform a larger project of curriculum renewal. From the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, David Fleischman and Oscar Imaz-Marial utilise practices originated from the medical profession to inform their Deskside Manner Framework aimed at improving the tertiary student transition experience by offering a straightforward pathway to more mindful student-educator experiences. Finally, Murray Lane and Victoria Menzies from Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane undertake an analysis of engagement activity in Facebook collaborative learning groups which had been established for students to share their knowledge and seek advice at a course-based scale. The authors recognise and respond to the need to analyse the realtime data, rather than seeking a reflective student voice through surveys. Tracy Creagh Journal Manager Please cite this Editorial as: Student Success: A journal exploring the experiences of students in tertiary education Kift , S. , Nelson , K. , & Clarke , J. ( 2010 ). Transition pedagogy: A third generation approach to FYE. A case study of policy and practice for the higher education sector . The International Journal of the First Year in Higher Education , 1 ( 1 ), 1 - 20 . doi:10.5204/intjfyhe.v1i1.13 Nelson , K. & Field , R. ( 2015 ). Welcome . STARS Conference Proceedings. Retrieved from http://unistars.org/proceedings/ Creagh , T. , Clarke , J. , & Nelson , K. ( 2015 ). Editorial . Student Success , 6 ( 2 ) , i-iii . doi: 10.5204/ssj.v6i2.300

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Tracy Creagh, John Clarke, Karen Nelson. Volume 6, Issue 2, Student Success, 2015, DOI: 10.5204/ssj.v6i2.300