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Academic staff perspectives on first-year students’ academic competencies

Academic staff perspectives on first-year students’ academic competencies PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to examine the expectations, perceptions and role understanding of academic staff using a model of academic competencies (i.e. time management, learning skills, technology proficiency, self-monitoring and research skills).Design/methodology/approachSemi-structured interviews were conducted with ten members of academic staff at a German university. Participants’ responses to the open-ended questions were coded inductively, while responses concerning the proposed model of academic competencies were coded deductively using a priori categories.FindingsParticipating academic staff expected first-year students to be most competent in time management and in learning skills; they perceived students’ technology proficiency to be rather high but their research skills as low. Interviews indicated a mismatch between academic staff expectations and perceptions.Practical implicationsThese findings may enable universities to provide support services for first-year students to help them to adjust to the demands of higher education. They may also serve as a platform to discuss how academic staff can support students to develop the required academic competencies, as well as a broader conversation about higher education pedagogy and competency assessment.Originality/valueLittle research has investigated the perspectives of academic staff concerning the academic competencies they expect of first-year students. Understanding their perspectives is crucial for improving the quality of institutions; their input into the design of effective support services is essential, as is a constructive dialogue to identify strategies to enhance student retention. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education Emerald Publishing

Academic staff perspectives on first-year students’ academic competencies

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
2050-7003
DOI
10.1108/JARHE-03-2017-0023
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to examine the expectations, perceptions and role understanding of academic staff using a model of academic competencies (i.e. time management, learning skills, technology proficiency, self-monitoring and research skills).Design/methodology/approachSemi-structured interviews were conducted with ten members of academic staff at a German university. Participants’ responses to the open-ended questions were coded inductively, while responses concerning the proposed model of academic competencies were coded deductively using a priori categories.FindingsParticipating academic staff expected first-year students to be most competent in time management and in learning skills; they perceived students’ technology proficiency to be rather high but their research skills as low. Interviews indicated a mismatch between academic staff expectations and perceptions.Practical implicationsThese findings may enable universities to provide support services for first-year students to help them to adjust to the demands of higher education. They may also serve as a platform to discuss how academic staff can support students to develop the required academic competencies, as well as a broader conversation about higher education pedagogy and competency assessment.Originality/valueLittle research has investigated the perspectives of academic staff concerning the academic competencies they expect of first-year students. Understanding their perspectives is crucial for improving the quality of institutions; their input into the design of effective support services is essential, as is a constructive dialogue to identify strategies to enhance student retention.

Journal

Journal of Applied Research in Higher EducationEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 9, 2017

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