- Project leader(s): Anne-Katrin Klehe
- Theme: Supporting students
- Faculty: STEM
- Status: Current
- Dates: November 2022 to October 2023
Retention on S217 (Physics: from classical to quantum) is a problem, with 30-40% of student withdrawing over the course of the module. Initial analysis of historic data (15J to 21J) shows that nearly half of the official withdrawals happen before Christmas (wk 10/11 of the module). Students are frequently just dropping out (passively or actively) without explaining their reason to tutors.
The NSS survey 2022 indicates that only (47±10)% Physics students at the OU consider themselves to be “part of a community of staff and students”.
The general aim of this investigation is to investigate whether a stronger sense of community can be developed and whether a stronger sense of belonging could have an effect on retention in S217.
The plan is to:
- Offer my tutorial groups weekly 45 min group meetings until Christmas with the intention of soliciting student opinion about perceived difficulties. Meetings will start with a question about the highlights and the low points of the week, followed by a discussion of academically relevant material. These meetings will hopefully create a familiar & informal environment for students to voice their concerns and be heard, while also increasing their sense of belonging in the module.
- Weekly emails will remind my students that they are invited to attend these meetings, again supporting the students’ sense of belonging in their group of Physics students, whether they attend or not.
- There will be no recordings of the meetings to encourage free exchange among students and student names will not be anonymized, so that everyone knows whom they are talking to.
- By keeping a diary of the events, I aim to be able to explore the qualitative effects of the sessions on the student experience.
NSS data: provider-level - Office for Students - Q21, level 2, accessed: 13/09/22