Supporting students through every stage of learning #ETConf17

Extra support at the points that students transition in/out and between different stages of learning can make all the difference. That’s why transitions has been the QAA Enhancement theme since 2014. As the 3rd QAA International Enhancement  in HE conference gets under way this week, Glasgow School of Art’s Progression Manager, Elizabeth Beidler, tells us how Glasgow School of art supports its students during the transition from college. Elizabeth:

“Since 2014, I’ve been delivering Transitions Workshops for direct-entry students entering GSA from Scottish college. As advanced entry from college has increased, so have the workshops’ size and participation. In 2017 we’re expecting 87% participation from a group of approximately 50 eligible entrants coming from colleges across Scotland.

“Taking place in June and September, the design and delivery of the workshops aims to reflect the nature of teaching and learning at GSA. The workshops are not subject-specific or skills-based. Instead, they focus on network-building, awareness-raising and provide entrants with the opportunity to experience the uncertainty of collaboration, presentation and the creative problem-solving within a safe space. For example, in the past, students have been asked to work as a group to analyse and then create a pecha kucha presentation in a very short period of time. Through this activity, they are presented with a common art school presentation format that is usually unknown to participants. They are asked to use partial information and critical analysis skills to come to conclusions. And, they have to present to a large group. The June workshops also include summer access to the library and an introduction to historical and critical studies. This sets up new entrants with valuable insights to help them prepare to begin study in September.

“One activity of the September Induction takes its lead from academic research focused on ‘first-in-family’ entrants to US universities. This research evidenced the success of a student panel discussion responding to a range of questions focused on personal experience during induction. At GSA, we ask a modified version of these questions to a diverse group of current and past GSA students who have progressed from college. In the past, this group has included GSA academic staff. The insight and experience shared by this group has proven to boost the confidence of new entrants considerably.”

The QAA International Enhancement in HE Conference runs 6-9 June. #ETConf17