Appropriate induction activities help your taught students to settle in quickly to their programme of study.
The induction period is critical in helping new students to settle into University and there has been much good work at Leeds focused on improving the quality of transition and integration for first year students to enhance retention and success. In 2008 the Leeds for Life booklet Integrating students into the academic community: Examples of Good Practice. Enhancing the Transition in Year 1 showcased a collection of examples which colleagues from around the University offered of what worked well for their students and much is still relevant today.
In 2015 a Leeds for Life Working Group on Induction and Transition has refreshed and expanded this collection, recognising that students need support in transition throughout their student journey, and highlighting good practice in support provided at all transitional stages:
- Transition into first year undergraduate study
- Transition into second and final year of undergraduate study
- Transition to and from Study Year Abroad
- Transition into taught postgraduate study
- Transition into undergraduate and postgraduate study for Mature Students (full and part time)
- Transition into undergraduate and postgraduate study for International Students
- Induction and Transition into Online Distance Learning Programmes
- Transition out to the world of work
The guides provide student perspectives through focus group output of the challenges each of these transition stages presents; how prepared they felt for the transition; and how their School / department has supported them through that period. Alongside this, the results of an institutional audit of academic support for induction and transition have been used to provide case studies of good practice for most transition periods.
The guides do not recommend one best practice approach to dealing with each of these transitional stages, they collate a range of ideas that could be incorporated into existing practices within a School or department to help students with transition issues ranging from the predictable challenges of the academic cycle that affect everyone at more or less the same time; through to the personal intellectual challenges of learning to learn; the personal, emotional and developmental challenges associated with psychological and social transitions; and the challenge of sense of belonging related to becoming part of and detaching from communities.
This collection of good practice is not intended to be definitive or in any way prescriptive and we thank all of the staff and students for the time they have taken to help us develop it.
The guides will be reviewed and updated annually. If you would like more information or would like to provide a case study for one of the guides, please contact Isobel Whitehouse by email.
We hope they will give new ideas to Schools as part of the evaluation and refresh of their current induction programme and the way in which they support students through transitional states, and that they will inspire everyone to at least consider something different.
The Leeds for Life Working Group on Induction and Transition
Andrea Jackson, Pro Dean for Student Education, Faculty of Environment (Chair)
Karen Burland, School of Music
Clara Davies, Staff and Departmental Development Unit
Simon Fokt, Interdisciplinary Applied Ethics Centre, Faculty of Arts
Helen Howard, Leeds University Library
Andrea Kerslake, Leeds University Union
Karen Llewellyn, Strategy and Planning
Katy Manns, International Student Support
Kath Owen, Leeds University Union
Tanya ORourke, Communications
Ruth Payne, School of Languages, Cultures and Societies
Isobel Whitehouse, Quality Assurance Team
Sue Whittle, School of Molecular and Cellular Biology