Supporting Student Learning: Case Studies, Experience & Practice from Higher Education

Supporting Student Learning: Case Studies, Experience & Practice from Higher Education

Supporting Student Learning: Case Studies, Experience & Practice from Higher Education

Supporting Student Learning: Case Studies, Experience & Practice from Higher Education

Synopsis

This is an accessible guide to some best practice on learning environments and student support from around the world.The book covers issues relating to ancillary support, academic support and student support. It enables readers to develop an insight into the backgrounds, understandings and pressures on today's students, and will help develop an appreciation of the critical issues for both students and their teachers and support staff when seeking to maximize the learning experience. The wide range of informative case studies highlight the need for teachers in Higher Education to be aware of the learning environment in terms of their student's needs. A vital book for anyone concerned with the effectiveness of their teaching, and the quality of their students' learning, it will be of interest to teachers, student affairs and retention professionals.

Excerpt

You will come across these words, spoken by a senior academic, later in this book (Forson, Chapter 11). You may have heard people say the same kind of thing or you may have expressed similar concerns yourself. Lying behind such concerns are dramatic changes which have seen higher education move from an elite to a mass system. Not only are there now many more students in higher education, but they come from far more diverse backgrounds.

In accepting many more students, and students with considerable diversity and preparedness for higher education study, comes the question of how they can be supported to succeed. One approach is to deny any special responsibility on the part of an institution to help students: as the quote above dramatically expressed, if they struggle, 'they shouldn't be at university'. However, most institutions recognize that this leads to unacceptable wastage: wastage of resources in teaching and then failing students, not to mention wastage in terms of the hopes and aspirations of the students themselves. On the other hand, we know that failing students who access learning support programmes often become successful students. The area of student learning support has therefore become a recognized and important aspect of higher education and it is the focus of this book.

The case studies in this book describe points of crisis. Through the raw and often compelling experiences of staff and students in the cases, we hope that you will gain insight and illumination. The cases show not only how support programmes in various forms have contributed to students' successful progress with their studies, but also how staff have coped with the differing backgrounds, learning approaches and responses of students to their studies. These 'real-life' situations are therefore of interest to teaching staff, learning support staff, students, managers and all who have an interest in student learning.

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