Improving the Student Experience : A practical guide for universities and colleges book cover
1st Edition

Improving the Student Experience
A practical guide for universities and colleges

Edited By

Michelle Morgan

ISBN 9780415598798
Published January 11, 2012 by Routledge
256 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The landscape of higher education (HE) has dramatically altered in the past 30 years and it continues to evolve and change. More students are entering HE and attending university or college on a global scale than ever before. Supporting and enhancing the undergraduate student experience across the student lifecycle, from first contact through to alumni, is a critical activity in higher education today not only to aid retention and progression but in a highly competitive HE market, the quality of the student experience is pivotal to an institution’s ability to attract students. The student experience encompasses all aspects of student life, i.e. academic, social, welfare, with the academic imperative at the heart of it. However, the increasing costs of delivering HE, a reduction in government/ state funding and constraints on resources means delivering a quality student experience has never been more challenging for those working in HE.

Staff at all levels, and across all areas within an institution, are developing and implementing initiatives to improve and enhance the student experience whether they are at the coal face or on the periphery thus making them a ‘Practitioner’ in the student experience. This could include the admissions administrator improving the information available for potential applicants; the academic improving his/her feedback to students or central welfare departments ensuring that their services are being advertised and supported within a student’s home unit (faculty/department/school/course).

In this book, the Editor, Michelle Morgan describes how her new student experience ‘Practitioner Model’ provides an organised and more detailed structure; guiding Practitioners in the identification of what they have to deliver, who they need to deliver it to and when they need to deliver it across her six key stages of the student lifecycle:

· First Contact and Admissions;

· Pre-arrival;

· Arrival and Orientation;

· Induction to Study;

· Reorientation and Reinduction (Returners' Induction)

· Outduction (preparation for life after undergraduate study).


The Practioner Model offers a new way of thinking in terms of delivering ‘interlinked’ academic, welfare and support activities at the home unit and university level to support the student in their university journey.

This book also provides working solutions to real problems in the form of exemplar case studies from the UK and internationally, including chapters from Liz Thomas, Di Nutt, Marcia Ody, Chris Keenan(UK), Mary Stuart Hunter, (USA), Kerri-Lee Krause and Duncan Nulty (Australia).

Good practice must be adaptable and transferable because one size does not fit all. It must also be cost effective. And here the authors shows how practitioners can adapt and customise the 40 case studies presented to help them not only improve and enhance the experience of their undergraduate students in their own institution (both full and part-time) but also to support their students’ progression and retention.

Table of Contents

Part 1  1. The Context of Learning in Higher Edcuation Michelle Morgan  2. The Student Experience Practitioner Model Michelle Morgan  Part 2  3. Supporting First Contact and the Admissions Process Diane Nutt -Developing a University and Colleges Admissions Service, Trudi Woodhouse  -Improving Partner Institutions (PIs) Recruitment and Admissions Process Katie Barnes  -Supporting Mature Students from First Contact and Admissions Through Arrival, Orientation and Beyond Jayne Tidd  -Processing International students’ Applications and Visas: Points Based Immigration System (PBS) Matthew Semple  4. Pre-arrival Christine Keenan  -Sussex Direct Online Registration (SDOR) -Improving the Registration (enrolment) Process Utilising the Web Tim May  -Stepping Stones 2HE: active transition into university Christine Keenan  -Develop Me, Support Me, Engage and Retain Me: Using Online Materials to Support and Enhance Student Transition Becka Colley  -Pre-arrival, Arrival and Orientation Website; Managing Student and Family Aspirations and Expectations : a Faculty of Engineering Initiative Chris Ford  5. Arrival and Orientation Kerri Lee Krause  -The 8 Strand Approach to Orientation for Level One and Direct Entry Students Michelle Morgan  -Residential Advisors: Supporting Students in University Accommodation Starting with Welcome and Orientation Chris Tucker  -An International Programme Frances McNally and Margaret Ward  -Planning Parent Orientation Programs Using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Richard Mullendore  6. Induction  Stuart Hunter and Kevin. C. Clarke  -Mapping Transitions: a Four Year Blueprint for Student Success Diana Pace, Wendy Wenner and Nancy Giardina  -The WISE Living and Learning Community: A First –Year Residential Experience for Women in Science and Engineering Laurie Witucki  -Integrating Skills into the Curriculum: a Case Study in Business Deborah Anderson and Georgy Petrov  -Leading on from Orientation: a Personal and Professional Development Module Juliette Stephenson and Elisabeth Dunne  7. Re-orientation and Re-induction Michelle Morgan  -Re-orientation and Re-induction for Returning Students Michelle Morgan  -Tick Off to Take Off: The Study Abroad Pre-departure Guide (TOTTO) at the University of Keele Erica Arthur  -Supporting Study Abroad Students at Millersville and at Partner Institutions (PIs) Emma Weber  -Sustaining Global Perspective: A Peer Advisor Program for Students Who Have Studied Abroad Patricia Willer and Gabriela Peschiera-Carl  8. Outduction: Preparing to Leave, Graduation and Beyond April Perry  -A New Course; Sophomore Solutions: Major to Career Ginny DeWitt and Beverly Christy  8. Outduction: Improving the Final Year Experience Marion Webb  -What next? A guide for Engineering Students Preparing to Leave University Michelle Morgan  -Improving the Graduation Experience Pamela Fearnley  Part 3  9. Academic Student Support and Development Marcia Ody  -A Student Voice in Learning & Teaching at Kingston University: the Importance of an Effective Course Representation Scheme Andrew Casey  -PASS: Supporting Transitions, Supplementing Core Curriculum, Stimulating Learning Marcia Ody and William Carey  -Academic and Welfare Support Delivered through the Individual Mentoring of Students on Higher National Certificates (HNC) or Higher National Diplomas (HND) Engineering Courses by Non-academic Mentors Louise Livesey  -Supporting Students Returning from a Leave of Absence at the University of Sheffield Ian Munton  10. Supporting Staff to be Supporters Glyn Jones  -Supporting the Supporters Andrew West  -Construction Academic Skills Centre (CASC): a Drop-in Centre to Support Students with their Academic Skills,  Run by Trained Student Advisors in the Civil Engineering and Surveying Departments Maia Ibsen and Karen Clarke  -Enhancing the First-year Student Experience by Supporting Staff through the First Year Advisor (FYA) Initiative at Griffith University Lynn Burnett  -Faculty Complaint and Disciplinary Co-ordinators Clare Philp  11. Learning and Teaching Liz Thomas  -Academic Peer Support beyond the First Year: a Trio of Examples Marcia Ody and William Cary  -Opening the Toolbox: A Newsletter to Help Faculty Gain Enhanced Teaching Skills Bradley Garner  -Using Electronic Voting Systems to Enhance the Student Experience James Denholm- Price  -Student Attendance Monitoring Bev Matthews  12. Student Evaluation and Feedback Duncan Nulty  -Mid-module (Course) Student Evaluation and Feedback in the Faculty of Engineering Akbar Aboutorabi  -Student Opinion Gathering using ‘Lifterviews’ Elaine Smith and Barry Beggs  -MAP-Works: A Tool for Student Self-Evaluation and Feedback Sherry Woosley and Darlena Jones  -Using Student Feedback in an Evidence-based Approach to Improving the Quality of Teaching and Courses Duncan Nulty  13. Conclusion: Future Developments in Higher Education and the Student Experience Michelle Morgan and Glyn Jones

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Michelle Morgan is a Learning and Teaching Coordinator and Student Experience Manager at Kingston University, UK.


'I found that the book gave a useful framework for the reader to think about how they approach delivering an excellent student experience and provided good examples of how to go about achieving it.' - Bethan Payne, Higher Education Policy Advisor at the National Union of Students, 2012