Resource Database: Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Title Geography for the New Undergraduate: a First Year Seminar Programme Assisting the Transfer from Pre-University Studies to Higher Education
Originator Sarah Maguire
Department Department of Environmental and Biological Studies, Liverpool Hope University College, Liverpool, L16 9JD
Tel. +44 (0)151-291-3397
Fax. +44 (0)151 291 3172
E-mail maguirc@livhope.ac.uk

During the 1995/96 Teaching Quality Assessment round, Geography and Environmental Studies at Liverpool Hope University College were jointly assessed as 'excellent'. The Department was noted for its ability to support mature and other under-represented students. This has been achieved by the Department developing a project comprising a seminar programme integrating subject-specific geographical knowledge and skills with a range of personal, interpersonal and transferable skills. It was initiated in a response to the significant increase in the proportion of the population beginning undergraduate courses and the demands of society for graduates who are able to display employment related skills.

Liverpool Hope geography and environmental studies courses have made a heavy investment providing a first year teaching programme with the following features:

The aim of the programme was that it would provide students, and particularly those from non-traditional backgrounds, with a supportive framework which targeted the development of key areas of transferable skills in order to assist the acquisition of subject based knowledge. By focusing on the development of learning skills within the student's first academic year, and concentrating the best teaching with solid contact time, it was anticipated that these students will quickly become independent learners and so improve their academic success in their final years.

Student feedback indicates that the majority of students consider the programme to be a valuable resource. Students registered an increased confidence in their abilities to cope with coursework, discuss issues and understand their subject.

Acknowledgements:

The Geography for the New Undergraduate is a HEFCE funded teaching and learning project.

Keywords:

Independent learning
Non-traditional students
Seminars
Skills development
Small group teaching


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