Student experience


More diversity is now shown in students gaining admission into universities, many who are ill-equipped for first-year studies and assessment writing. This can result in a failing grade for some, which can impact their success and progression. This study contributes to the student success literature by reporting on the six-step one-on-one targeted intervention strategy devised to support the 33 out of 500 students who were unsuccessful in their first university assessment and its resubmission. The study also details the theoretical framework that underpinned the subject—Carol Dweck’s growth mindset, Mezirow’s transformative learning theory, and the maxim “Your success is our goal”! The study determined that: i) the intervention was successful for the 33 students who each passed the assessment; ii) a pre- and post-intervention writing skills assessment showed an improvement of +0.67 to give an average of 3.48, where 3 is a pass, and iii) at interview, students (76.9%) reported their improved writing abilities and that the intervention support was helpful. The study concluded that failing students can be successful when they are encouraged to use a growth mindset and individually supported to develop their writing skills.

Practitioner Notes

  1. First-year students fail resubmission of their first assignment
  2. Changing their perception of their writing ability is key to success
  3. Changing their mindset from fixed to growth increases their ability to persist with failed assessment
  4. One-on-One intervention strategy improved student confidence for written work
  5. A requirement to participate in the writing intervention before being able to resubmit work was reported by students as very helpful