• First year support strategies

    For the first-year students in the study, [blended learning] approaches showed clear signs of positively affecting the quality of interaction. By integrating activities online and offline, the synergies produced learning in ways that were coherent and progressive. (Rix 2011, p 431)

    This site aims to stimulate ideas for developing and delivering first-year topics that are underpinned by tried and tested good practice principles for teaching first-year undergraduate students (based on the work of Chickering & Gamson; Devlin et al; Kift and King et al). When teaching first-year students, it is important to provide more examples (and other scaffolding strategies) than you might with other students. This site models that approach by providing many examples that you can choose from for your topic/s.

    By exploring this site you will:  

    • gain insight into the various needs of first-year students 
    • learn strategies to support diverse student cohorts
    • discover a range of adaptable tools and activities.

    How this site works

    This site explores face-to-face strategies and fully online strategies in consecutive modules. The site is designed so that these strategies complement each other while demonstrating the need to consider how each learning environment works differently. At Flinders University, even if your topic is completely face-to-face (internal), a FLO (Flinders Learning Online) presence is required (for lecture upload, announcements, assignment submission etc). The online strategies modules explore possibilities beyond these basic requirements, featuring activities and resources that enrich the first-year student experience. 

    This site follows a pre-semester, then week-by-week pattern, presenting material as you might to students. You can move through it sequentially using resources and ideas you come across. You can also look for specific information within the site by first ensuring all the modules are open (click on the 'Open all' arrow at the top of the module block first) then using the Ctrl+F keys to 'find' relevant words (eg 'group work', 'assessment', 'scaffold'). External links open in a new tab. 

    This site and the mock topic

    The First year mock topic shows how a first year topic might adopt these strategies, and is a complement to this site. If you would like to use any of these ideas, resources or activities in your Flinders topic site/s, you are welcome to copy/modify them (ask your  eLearning support team for help). Please refer to the Support resources module for key documents informing this and the mock topic sites.

  • Open allClose all

  • Prior to topic commencement (face-to-face and online)

    •  Topic demographics File 105.4KB PDF document
  • Week 1: Help students get orientated (face-to-face)

    •  Postcard File 13.6KB PDF document
    •  Stand up sit down File 16.1KB PDF document
    •  Speed dating File 8.7KB PDF document
    •  Identifying opinions File 9.6KB PDF document
    •  Agreement sheets File 16.4KB Word 2007 document
    •  Human bingo File 11.5KB PDF document
    •  Meeting game - Bingo File 14.4KB Word 2007 document
  • Week 1: Help students get orientated (online)

  • Weeks 2-3: Support skill and knowledge development for success (face-to-face)

    …it is within the formal or academic curriculum that students must find their places, be inspired and excited, and work towards mastery of their chosen area. (Kift, Nelson & Clarke 2010)
    •  Increasing interactivity File 34.6KB PDF document
    •  Interactive pop quiz example File 136.9KB Powerpoint 2007 presentation
    •  Muddiest point File 12.3KB PDF document
    •  Reflection on learning File 17.9KB PDF document
  • Weeks 2-3: Support skill and knowledge development for success (online)

  • Week 4: Support successful assessment and feeding forward (face-to-face)

  • Week 4: Support successful assessment and feeding forward (online)

  • Week 5: Keep students motivated (face-to-face)

    At this point you are most likely providing students with feedback from their first or second assessment item which has provided a basis for both you and your students to gain insight into what they currently know and what they need to develop further. 

  • Week 5: Keep students motivated (online)

  • Weeks 6-9: Develop understandings and skills (face-to-face)

    •  What is it File 41.2KB PDF document
  • Weeks 6-9: Develop understanding and skills (online)

    Self-assess learnings so far

    Ask students to assess what they've learned in the topic at this point against some key questions. You can easily see student responses (if using the quiz activity) which will enable you to be responsive to their needs and/or (mis)understandings in the weeks/modules following.

  • Weeks 10-12: Consolidate understanding and skills (face-to-face)

    At this point you are have most likely provided students with feedback from an assessment item which may lead to their final assessment. This assessment piece will have provided further insights to both you and your students regarding their learning in the topic and will signal what they still need to learn. As students work toward their final assessment piece, it is important that they are given all possible opportunities to develop the skills and knowledge to successfully complete it.

  • Weeks 10-12: Consolidate understanding and skills (online)

    Consolidate learning/s

    Students could do a final quiz to assess their learning/s. This quiz will help them identify gaps that remain or have emerged and will lead into reflection in the last week/s or before.

  • Week 13: Final reflections and transitioning on (face-to-face)

  • Week 13: Final reflections and transitioning on (online)

  • Taxonomies and references

  • Support resources