Student Induction: A Critical Appraisal of Civil Engineering Undergraduates’ Perceptions of the Transition to Tertiary Education

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Abstract

University induction programmes have been suggested as a means of increasing retentionand easing student transition to higher academic study and the broader universityexperience. This paper evaluates different elements of an induction programme for CivilEngineering undergraduates, in particular, focusing on a week of planned activities designed to promote student engagement and an early professional approach to study and personal development. A description and rationale for the activities are presented alongside an analysis of student perceptions and feedback on elements of the induction programme.Construction and testing of model bridges proved the most popular activity followed bypresentations from professional representatives of the Institution of Civil Engineers. Sitevisits to a highway scheme and wastewater treatment works ranked third. Feedbackindicates that most students were satisfied or very satisfied with induction activities and thatplanning and resources invested in an induction process produces early studentengagement. A series of generic conclusions are offered which may be of help in developing induction programmes elsewhere.
LanguageEnglish
Pages60-73
JournalCEBE Transactions
Volume8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2011

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civil engineering
induction
student
education
engineering
civil engineer
studies (academic)
road
appraisal
programme
resource
resources

Keywords

  • Induction
  • Student Experience
  • Student Support

Cite this

@article{0d81c52d015d42de9bab351b442cad28,
title = "Student Induction: A Critical Appraisal of Civil Engineering Undergraduates’ Perceptions of the Transition to Tertiary Education",
abstract = "University induction programmes have been suggested as a means of increasing retentionand easing student transition to higher academic study and the broader universityexperience. This paper evaluates different elements of an induction programme for CivilEngineering undergraduates, in particular, focusing on a week of planned activities designed to promote student engagement and an early professional approach to study and personal development. A description and rationale for the activities are presented alongside an analysis of student perceptions and feedback on elements of the induction programme.Construction and testing of model bridges proved the most popular activity followed bypresentations from professional representatives of the Institution of Civil Engineers. Sitevisits to a highway scheme and wastewater treatment works ranked third. Feedbackindicates that most students were satisfied or very satisfied with induction activities and thatplanning and resources invested in an induction process produces early studentengagement. A series of generic conclusions are offered which may be of help in developing induction programmes elsewhere.",
keywords = "Induction, Student Experience, Student Support",
author = "Robert Eadie and Phillip Millar",
note = "Reference text: Ash, J. (2002) Student Induction into studying at university. SEDA paper 113. Birmingham: SEDA. Carter, K. & McNeill, J. (1998) Coping with the darkness of transition: Students as the leading lights of guidance at induction to higher education. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 26 (3), 399-415. Edward, N. (2003) First impressions last: An innovative approach to induction. Active Learning in Higher Education, 4 (3), 226-242. Eysenbach, G. (2004) Improving the quality of Web surveys: The checklist for reporting results of internet e-surveys (cherries). The Journal of Medical Internet Research. Available online at http://www.jmir.org/2004/3/e34 (Accessed May 2009). Hussey, J. & Hussey, R. (1997) Business research. A practical guide for undergraduate and postgraduate students. London: Macmillan Press Ltd. Lowe, H. & Cook, A. (2003) Mind the gap: Are students prepared for higher education? Journal of Further and Higher Education, 27 (1), 53-76. Martinez, P. (2001) Improving student retention and achievement: What do we know and what do we need to find out? London: Learning and Skills Development Agency. Millar, P., Tierney, C. & Eadie, R. (2010) Virtual induction and social networking: A reflective analysis of the student transition experience. CEBE Transactions, 7 (2), 55-69. Shobrook, S. (2003) The role of pre entry practices and induction strategies in relation to student retention. Progress Project Strategy Guide. Available online at http://www.hull.ac.uk/engprogress/Prog3Papers/Sarah1.pdf (accessed May 2009). Tucker, J. (1999) Tinto’s model and successful college transitions. Journal of College Student Retention, 1, 163–175. University of Ulster (2002). Guidelines on Student induction. available on-line at http://www.ulster.ac.uk/academicoffice/download/Policies/Student{\%}20Induction{\%}20Guidelines.doc (Accessed July 2009).",
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AB - University induction programmes have been suggested as a means of increasing retentionand easing student transition to higher academic study and the broader universityexperience. This paper evaluates different elements of an induction programme for CivilEngineering undergraduates, in particular, focusing on a week of planned activities designed to promote student engagement and an early professional approach to study and personal development. A description and rationale for the activities are presented alongside an analysis of student perceptions and feedback on elements of the induction programme.Construction and testing of model bridges proved the most popular activity followed bypresentations from professional representatives of the Institution of Civil Engineers. Sitevisits to a highway scheme and wastewater treatment works ranked third. Feedbackindicates that most students were satisfied or very satisfied with induction activities and thatplanning and resources invested in an induction process produces early studentengagement. A series of generic conclusions are offered which may be of help in developing induction programmes elsewhere.

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