Publication Details

Cooper, L. 2011, Enhancing the Student Experience for Transitioning Students, CCA-Educause Australasia 2011. The Game has changed, CCA-Educause Australasia, Sydney, 4-6 April 2011.


In 2010, University of Wollongong (UOW) released an award-winning program focussing on the first year experience for students transitioning from high school to the university environment. Part of the transition is the expectation that they will be independent learners, able to find their own resources to complete assignments and that these resources will be from scholarly publications. This can be challenging, as they often have high confidence in their ability to assimilate into tertiary studies based on skills acquired at school. At university however, students are told not to rely solely on the ‘Net, but to find quality journal articles that will support their argument in response to their assignment question. Librarians have an important role to play in cutting attrition rates by allaying student fears and assisting students to feel comfortable in an academic environment. At UOW recognition that incoming students need assistance in the first few weeks at the university led to the creation of an online program to acclimatise them to the culture expected at UOW, especially the importance of their Subject Outline, how to use the Library’s search interface effectively to retrieve academic resources to support their argument and how to avoid plagiarism by using citing and referencing skills. The program is designed as an online learning tool around specified outcomes and students’ knowledge is tested by completion of an online quiz. It is compulsory for all new undergraduate students to do the quiz and successful completion is noted on their academic transcript. A certificate is also available to be added to the student’s portfolio. Students and academics have been complimentary of the program in its first year of operation.

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