Engaging first-year university students in the learning process - how can it be achieved?

Patricia Blazey, Hope Ashiabor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution


The aim of engagement from a University’s standpoint is for a student to complete their degree without dropping out or changing university. In order for this to be achieved engagement needs to be commenced before a student actually enrols in specific subjects. As such student engagement in their first year depends on many pre-entry factors, as well as contextual ones such as student expectations and aspirations, disciplinary context and class size. Student engagement is not about turning up for lectures rather it is engagement with learning. It is fairly easy to determine a student who is not engaged as they tend to not turn up to lectures or listening to the recordings and/or fail to take part in tutorials. As far as the digital age is concerned mobile phone and computers which are now standard equipment in lectures and tutorials tend to exacerbate disengagement as students are often easily distracted. Further large class sizes does not attract effective student engagement because it is simply not possible to give new students the time they need to adjust to university life and respond to a variety of inquiries and questions. This article discusses the success or otherwise of the Macquarie University Kick Start programme which has recently been introduced in an effort to engage first year university students.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIUT 2016
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the International Conference on Improving University Teaching
PublisherImproving University Teaching Conference
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2016
EventInternational Conference on Improving University Teaching (41st : 2016) - Durham University, Durham, United Kingdom
Duration: 13 Jul 201615 Jul 2016


ConferenceInternational Conference on Improving University Teaching (41st : 2016)
CountryUnited Kingdom


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