The First Year Undergraduate Teaching Adviser contributes to the knowledge base about the first year student experience via a range of activities including research and publications. Details of publications authored by the First Year Undergraduate Teaching Adviser are available via the website. The following information outlines externally funded projects.
Flourishing in a second language
The FL2 project which was funded through the Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT) involves staff from Flinders University of South Australia and the University of Sydney . The project is intended to explore whether learning a second language at university can contribute to the physiological, social and emotional well-being of a first year student. It uses a language curriculum in first year Italian to integrate positive psychology, transition pedagogy and Content-and-Language-Integrated Learning (CLIL) principles. Project members are designing, developing, trialling and evaluating an innovative approach to curriculum design in second language courses at the tertiary level which they intend disseminating towards the end of 2016. Further information is available from the FL2 Project website.
Exploring the experience of being first in family at university
In 2014 staff from the Flinders University of South Australia, University of Adelaide and the University of South Australia won funding from the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE) which is located at Curtin University in Western Australia to explore the experience of being the first member in a family to attend university. The project aimed to articulate the transformative possibilities of entering higher education and provide practical advice for first in family (FiF) students on how to negotiate university life successfully as well as offer guidelines for academics, university managers and policymakers on how to improve outcomes for this previously under recognised equity group. All of the resources relating to this project are available from the Exploring the experience of being first in family at university website.
Student and Staff Expectations and Experiences Project
The Student and Staff Expectations and Experiences Project was originally funded by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) which became the Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT). The project, which commenced in 2009 and was completed in 2012, was a collaborative investigation between the three universities in South Australia, The University of Adelaide , Flinders University and the University of South Australia. It aimed to create a greater understanding of staff and student expectations and experiences at these universities in order to develop a more cohesive and productive learning environment for all.
A video has been developed based on what students said and on some of the findings. More details about the project, its outputs and the extension grant are available from the First Year Student and Staff Expectations and Experiences Project website.
Other research related to teaching first year students includes:
Evaluation of a redesigned 1st year Chemistry topic incorporating case studies
The study incorporates topic redesign and evaluation of student responses to the renewed learning experience and its impact on their perceptions of chemistry as a field. Undertaken by Don Houston (CILT) with Ingo Koper, Claire Lenehan, Rachel Popelka-Filcoff (School of Chemical and Physical Sciences).