What can we learn from the heterogeneous nature of first-year student enrolments?

Susan Mlcek, Judith Ogden

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

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There is a greater awareness amongst the higher education sector about the different enrolment patterns of students entering university for the first time. The revelation is sometimes acknowledged with bemusement, that is, 'how can students undertake that subject when they should be doing this one instead, or first?' One of the overarching strategies that can help practitioners to understand this phenomenon, and deal with it more effectively, is through the idea of 'intentional engagement' as part of transition pedagogy. Students enroll in whatever, and however they are accommodated in university courses, and in an era of national and global attention, increasing participation in further studies should ensure subject enrolments are carefully planned to improve the overall student experience.In our social work programs at Charles Sturt University [CSU], Australia, student data from 2011 and 2012 identified 69 different current subject enrolment patterns in a chosen 'first year' of study; on one level, the outcome extends the exciting possibilities and trends of a transition teaching and learning narrative.Within such a narrative, pedagogical processes provide a 'guiding philosophy for the intentional first year curriculum design and support that carefully scaffolds and mediates the first year learning experience for contemporary heterogeneous cohorts' (Kift, 2009). This 'mediation' is based on the adoption at CSU, of six First Year Principles: transition, diversity, design, engagement, assessment, and evaluation and monitoring. However, applying the first year principles to such a diverse cohort brings its own challenges. In this paper we look at the notion of developing a culture of sustainability in lifelong learning through discussing the issues that arise from types of enrolment patterns that students choose, as well as the application of the first year principles of lecturer engagement with these students, and the ways that skills integration can be built into the curriculum in order to facilitate all students achieving the desired learning outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationINTED 2013
Subtitle of host publication7th Proceedings
Place of PublicationSpain
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9788461626618
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventInternational Association of Technology, Education and Development (INTED) Conference - Valencia, Spain, Spain
Duration: 04 Mar 201306 Mar 2013


ConferenceInternational Association of Technology, Education and Development (INTED) Conference


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