Teaching First Year Units
This guide provides resources, reports, programs and practical tips for teachers of first year units at the University of New England, Armidale.
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The guide includes the following sections:
Overview - the 'big picture' view of the First Year Experience, including major reports outlining the challenges and issues surrounding teaching first year units.
Transition - the importance of the first year experience (FYE) to success at university is well documented and the transition into university is regarded as crucial. Included in this section are articles on cultural aspects of transition such as 'first-in-family' students, international and indigenous students, and culturally diverse cohorts.
Engagement - Student engagement research tells us students are more likely to persist, and to improve their academic performance, when the institution supports learning through enhanced and integrated relationships with peers, academics, student services and the broad intellectual and social domains of university life.
Diversity- First year undergraduate students are a non-homogenous group and may include non-traditional students, first-in-family, low socio-economic students, mature-aged learners, school leavers, gifted and talented high achievers, and lower ATAR students.
Design - What do we really want students to gain from their first year in higher education? Curriculum design is critical.
Retention - holistic approaches that address students’ personal, social and academic engagement in the early weeks of first year are required to facilitate retention and reduce attrition rates.
Research - journals and databases which enable staff to conduct their own research into teaching first year units. Included are discipline-specific resources for:
First Year programs - a selection of mainly Australian university First Year Experience projects.
The STARS conference provides the opportunity to disseminate and discuss current research, good practice, emerging initiatives and leading edge ideas that are aimed at enhancing students’ tertiary learning experiences.