EISSN : 2205-0795
Published by: Queensland University of Technology (10.5204)
Total articles ≅ 180
Latest articles in this journal
Student Success, Volume 12, pp 38-50; https://doi.org/10.5204/ssj.1934
We interrogated a students as partners (SaP), co-curricular program that focuses on supporting student learning. To center power and equity in SaP, the program was grounded in social design-based experiment methodology. We considered the manifestation of power and equity beyond higher education, to that of broader socio-political contexts. Collaborative autoethnography (CAE) was used to garner a richer understanding of student-staff experiences of the program. Through CAE, power emerged as central to our collective experiences, and a recognition that power asymmetry in students as partners programs is complex and multi-layered. We found that to address power imbalances in these programs requires considered strategies and intentional designs. Further, CAE, in and of itself, can be a powerful way to foster self-awareness, mutual trust, respect, and the acknowledgement of others in student-staff partnerships. We conclude by recommending the importance of deliberate design for equity and power towards consequential learning and transformational change.
Student Success, Volume 12; https://doi.org/10.5204/ssj.2059
After a COVID-induced postponement of the annual STARS Conference in 2020, the event bounced back, albeit virtually, in 2021. Over five days (5-9 July) the STARS community heard from four keynote speakers, participated in 65 concurrent presentations (Emerging Initiatives and Good Practice Reports) and enjoyed live poster sessions - all allowing online interaction between authors and delegates. The conclusion of the Conference saw a student panel of five students (see Feature) answer questions from the STARS community.
Student Success, Volume 12; https://doi.org/10.5204/ssj.1771
In response to the COVID-19 epidemic, universities were forced to shift to an online, remote delivery system. This paper presents the design and evaluation of two skills-based first-year units that were adapted to a predominantly asynchronous mode of delivery. The evaluation results indicate that student engagement was high, and that students felt well-supported by the strong teacher presence throughout their units. Furthermore, the impact of this engagement and support was evident in their final grades and the overall unit completion figures. These findings indicate that individualized support, teacher presence and flexibility are key factors in student success in an online environment. This suggests that asynchronous learning can be valuable to students from various academic backgrounds providing that the content and teacher are readily accessible in various formats and that the teachers are mindful of the complexities of students’ lives outside of an academic setting.
Student Success, Volume 12; https://doi.org/10.5204/ssj.1784
The COVID-19 pandemic will forever be known as a disruptive dilemma that impacted many industries in Australia. For the university sector, sudden lockdown and social distancing rules resulted in an acceleration in the provision of learning and teaching via online platforms, creating new challenges for students and educators. This project explored the ways in which an enabling course supported students through the forced transition from face-to-face classes to online learning due to the COVID-19 restrictions, and the students’ ability to adjust to the disruption caused by the pandemic. This unexpected change provided the opportunity to explore how enabling students perceived this experience and the effect it had on their ability to complete their units of study. This paper presents findings on the impact that the abrupt transition to online learning had on the students’ educational experience and on their psychological and emotional wellbeing. It was found that most students experienced increased stress due to the changes in household dynamics, responsibilities and a different learning context, yet many reported improved study and technological skills, as well as an improved awareness of their ability to cope with change.
Student Success, Volume 12, pp 1-7; https://doi.org/10.5204/ssj.2060
The Student Panel Session at the 2021 STARS Conference concluded the formal presentations for the event. At this session, students from the tertiary sector shared with delegates their personal experiences in higher education and thoughts concerning the messages and insights gained from the conference experience. The students had responded to an invitation from Student Voice Australia to participate in the conference, be part of the Panel, and were encouraged to attend the keynote presentations across the event. Delegates had the opportunity to present questions to the students. For the purposes of this feature, the editors have summarised and edited the transcript to present the key points of each discussion, including questions and comments from delegates. Panel members have approved the editorial interpretations of their comments.
Student Success, Volume 12, pp 18-27; https://doi.org/10.5204/ssj.1919
This article shines a light on a little-known cohort of higher education participants, mature-aged students in, and from, regional and remote Australia – the focus of a National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education mixed-methods study. Notable patterns were found in the quantitative data; for instance, compared to their metropolitan counterparts, higher proportions of regional and remote students were older, female, from low socio-economic status areas, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, and studied online and/or part-time. The presentation of four vignettes from the interviews uncovers the stories behind the numbers, revealing students’ diverse and complex circumstances; two of the students shared experiences of facing systemic obstacles, while the other two described receiving invaluable institutional support. The obstacles can be attributed to systems designed for “ideal”, “implied” and “traditional” students, and entrenched attitudes that privilege some “types” of students over others and limit the aim of full participation for all students.
Student Success, Volume 12; https://doi.org/10.5204/ssj.1773
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted higher education globally. Teaching staff have pivoted to online learning and employed a range of strategies to facilitate student success. Aside from offering a testing ground for innovative teaching strategies, the pandemic has also provided an opportunity to better understand the pre-existing conditions that enable higher education systems to be resilient - that is, to respond and adapt to disturbances in ways that retain the functions and structures essential for student success. This article presents a case study covering two transdisciplinary undergraduate courses at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia. The results highlight the importance of information flows, feedbacks, self-organisation, leadership, openness, trust, equity, diversity, reserves, social learning and nestedness. These results show that resilience frameworks developed by previous scholars are relevant to university teaching systems and offer guidance on which system features require protection and strengthening to enable effective responses to future disturbances.
Student Success, Volume 12; https://doi.org/10.5204/ssj.1780
This practice report shares the experiences of on-campus students enrolled in their second or third year of undergraduate business studies at Charles Sturt University, Australia as they moved to online study during the COVID-19 shutdowns. It details both the barriers and enablers to successful study the students identified. Barriers included loss of support networks, online fatigue, and technology connectivity. Enablers for success included empathic and understanding staff; clear directions; and, engaging, interactive delivery of the online learning activity. The report concludes with recommendations for future practice in assisting on-campus learners with the transition from a physical to a virtual learning environment. In particular, a strong teacher presence is recommended to foster the development of an engaged learning community where student-to-student interactions are facilitated and students feel supported and connected.
Student Success, Volume 12; https://doi.org/10.5204/ssj.1715
The COVID-19 pandemic caused a rapid and unprecedented shift of widening participation and outreach activities to online and remote delivery. The impact of this went beyond practitioners and the university sector; positive and negative implications are felt by stakeholders and the broader community. This shift online is discussed through the lens of a multi-university perspective, using four case studies from university outreach programs in one Australian state. The article provides a holistic view of the lessons learned and discoveries made, informing future program design and delivery. These programs include primary and secondary students, teachers, parents, guardians and carers, and work within a range of low socioeconomic and regional, rural and remote contexts. We argue that the fundamentally necessary shift online created a profound legacy and bears potential to increase accessibility (via diversity and scale), but, simultaneously, that care must be applied if substituting face-to-face engagement with that online. While this article primarily focuses on issues of value to practitioners, it also discusses important implications for academics, support staff, and university executive regarding the access and participation of underrepresented cohorts during times of mass change.
Student Success, Volume 12, pp 51-60; https://doi.org/10.5204/ssj.1906
In 2020, staff at Griffith University, Australia used a best practice and evidence-informed orientation event framework to create the University’s first series of fully online, university-wide orientation sessions. The PECS design framework was created to ensure that orientation events at Griffith focused on developing students’ sense of belonging at their institution. For the first time, this framework was used as the foundation of the new “Griffith Welcome Sessions”. This study uses established qualitative methods to analyse 572 student surveys about the Griffith Welcome Sessions. It finds that the use of a PECS orientation design framework improved students’ orientation experience and helped them to develop a sense of connection at university. This study also establishes that the PECS-based orientation sessions remained a key driver for many students’ continued sense of belonging five weeks after the sessions were delivered.