Strategically enhancing student engagement in the first year : focusing on sustainable interventions.

  • Van der Meer J
  • Scott C
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Massification has resulted in larger classes and student/staff ratios. This has impacted on interaction between staff/students and thereby student engagement. Student engagement can significantly contribute to students' satisfaction, achievement and retention. Activities that enhance student engagement include involvement in peer learning and student leadership opportunities. The authors describe how a New Zealand university is currently developing and piloting these initiatives. They argue that these can contribute to students developing not only more effective learning skills in the first year, but also expose them to opportunities to engage in student leadership opportunities in the second year and beyond. Where resources to enhance interaction between staff/students are often constrained, interventions drawing on peer student involvement are not only very effective but also contribute to institutions' commitment to developing life-long learning competencies and are in the end more sustainable. [Author abstract]

Author-supplied keywords

  • Academic achievement
  • Cooperative learning
  • Dropout prevention
  • Early intervention
  • First year students
  • Higher education
  • Leadership training
  • Mentoring
  • New Zealand
  • Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS)
  • Peer relationship
  • Peer teaching
  • Program descriptions
  • Social integration
  • Student engagement
  • Student leadership
  • Student motivation
  • Sustainability
  • University of Otago
  • University students

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  • Jacques Van der Meer

  • Carole Scott

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