Promoting student retention and progression through emotional literacy development for both students and staff

Whiteley, H. and Qualter, P. (2004) Promoting student retention and progression through emotional literacy development for both students and staff. Psychology Learning and Teaching (PLAT) Conference.

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Abstract

While University staff are becoming increasingly aware of the expanding needs of their students in terms of socio-emotional factors and basic study skills, it tends to be the practical study skills that receive the most attention and the most support. Recent theories of intelligence incorporate aspects of emotional and social competence (emotional literacy), which are seen as essential for attainment and for effective performance in life generally (e.g. Gardner, 1985). The research suggests that young people who are emotionally literate are better placed to be more effective learners and to deal with all that life ‘throws at them’. The staff in the Combined Honours Unit are particularly aware of the need to address student learning as a holistic experience and not to limit their attention to targeting academic achievement. However, while they are attempting to incorporate some basic aspects of emotional development, this work has not been objectively evaluated. Also, an approach, which addresses emotional literacy competencies explicitly, has the potential to add considerable value to the foundation work that has already begun. The main aims of the project, therefore are to: 1. Evaluate the benefits, in terms of emotional literacy (EL) competencies, of the current skills input on the Year 0 course (Cohort 1, Term 1 – January 04 intake) 2. Identify the strengths and needs of students on the Year 0 course in terms of EL competencies 3. Add specific course input on EL (Cohort 1, Term 2 ) – tailored to the needs of the students identified in first semester. 4. Evaluate the value added of the specific EL input 5. Evaluate the benefits, in terms of emotional literacy (EL) competencies, of the current skills input on the Flying Start course (Summer 2004) 6. Use information from all of the above work to inform and evaluate the development of specific EL input into Year 0, Cohort 2, Term 1 and Flying Start program (September 04 intake) The methodology employed will include pre- and post-assessment using established psychometric tools to provide quantitative data. In addition, semi-structured questionnaires will be used to gather qualitative data concerning the perceptions, attitudes and feelings of staff involved in the project. A series of focus groups (with Year 0, cohort 1, and Flying start cohort) will be conducted with students to explore their expectations, hopes, attitudes, perceptions and feelings about the academic content of the course and the EL input. Analysis will allow an inspection of baseline EL levels in students, and changes following specific course input (existing and new). It will also allow a comparison of EL competencies within Access students and those students (Flying Start) who are essentially new Year 1 undergraduates. Dependent upon the nature of the student sample, we may be able to examine EL competencies and development as a function of gender, age, and previous educational level. We will also examine data in terms of relationships between EL and achievement, and EL and retention and progression.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
L Education > L Education (General)
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2010 13:24
URI: http://repository.edgehill.ac.uk/id/eprint/1241

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