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Evaluating an online induction course at the University of Strathclyde

Buckley, Alex (2017) Evaluating an online induction course at the University of Strathclyde. In: 3rd International Enhancement in Higher Education Conference, 2017-06-06 - 2017-06-08, Radisson Blu Hotel.

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Abstract

‘We are Strathclyde’ is a new online course for incoming undergraduates at the University of Strathclyde. It is designed to build their confidence about beginning their studies by introducing them to a range of academic skills and key information. The course ran in the summer of 2016, and detailed data was collected from nearly 1000 participants in order to facilitate in-depth evaluation. Quantitative data about students’ engagement with the 50 different learning activities was collected as well as qualitative weekly reflections. Pre- and post-course questionnaires were administered to explore students’ perceptions of the course and their confidence and concerns about starting life at Strathclyde. This engagement and experience data has been linked to students’ demographic information in order to create a rich dataset that allows detailed analysis. After describing the context of the evaluation, and the quantitative and qualitative research methods used, the presentation will explore two research questions: 1. How successful was the course at engaging students in the learning activities? Were some topics and activity types more popular than others, and was engagement related to the students’ discipline or demographic characteristics? 2. Is there a relationship between students’ engagement in the course and their confidence and concerns about starting at Strathclyde? And is that relationship mediated by students’ characteristics?