Bill Johnston is Senior Lecturer and Assistant Director of the Centre for Academic Practice and Learning Enhancement at the University of Strathclyde , Scotland. His approach to educational development is student centred and entails: institutional strategic planning; curriculum development; course evaluation and design; academic staff development; and student learning support. Recently he has been involved with the Scottish Funding Council, Quality Assurance Agency's First Year Enhancement Theme. This is a major sector-wide program of research and development combining international perspectives on the first year with in-depth case studies of good practice in Scottish universities. Bill is a member of the national steering committee for the theme, and co-director of a sector-wide, qualitative project to investigate student reflections on their expectations and experiences of first year, and their understandings of the key terms engagement and empowerment.
Keynote speaker: 'The Five Faces of the First Year Experience'
A presentation of a personal distillation of work on the First Year Experience (FYE) couched in terms of educational development and institutional strategy. Bill presents his perspectives on the overriding principles, which define a ‘good' FYE, and some of the strategic moves which institutions can take to enhance the FYE for students and staff alike.
See the presentation*
Workshop: ' Mainstreaming the First Year Experience (FYE): Institutional channels and departmental levers'
The session was managed as an open forum for opinions, experiences, proposals and arguments about how staff can implement/develop ideas to improve the FYE. Focal areas for exploration and discussion included:
- leadership – institutional and academic
- co-ordination – departments, teams and individuals
- educational development – transition designs and staff commitment
- student dialogue – cool surveys and hot meetings
The basic assumption is that all students should experience a ‘good' first year, irrespective of where they come from, when they enrol, which courses they take, and whatever mode of study they engage with.
Part 1 (12.49 mins*) - Bill speaks on practical tips for teachers of first year courses to help them engage their students early in the semester.
Part 2 (7.17 mins*) - Bill speaks on embedding information literacy skills into first year courses and using assessment to engage students.
Part 3 (7.03 mins*) - Bill speaks about how to prepare students for the workplace.
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