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Enhancing first year student engagement: collaborative practice in a core business unit

Tina Fleming (Faculty of Business and Law, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia)
Alicia Stanway (Faculty of Business and Law, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia)

Journal of International Education in Business

ISSN: 2046-469X

Article publication date: 28 October 2014

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper, informed by an action research framework, was to evaluate how a collaborative approach between unit facilitators and learning advisors in a first-year core business unit contributes to an environment where students are actively engaged in their learning. Student engagement in their learning is a key priority for university faculties, particularly in first year, as it is a key factor in student performance and persistence in their studies.

Design/methodology/approach

Using the Australasian Survey of Student Engagement as a benchmark, a mixed-methods approach was adopted using an online survey (n = 171) and focus groups (n = 17).

Findings

Findings indicate that specific cohorts of students benefit from this collaborative learning model, as it encourages students to actively engage in their learning, provides them with early feedback on their performance, encourages self-reflection and provides transferable skills that form the foundation of their future learning.

Research/implications

The current study contributes to student engagement literature pertaining to the factors affecting student engagement in higher education.

Originality/value

The key lesson learnt is that the future success of embedded learning support relies heavily on building strong relationships between academic and professional staff.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge Dr Anne Harris, Arron Jackson and Andrea Dodo-Balu for their contributions to the research project. The authors would also like to thank the Editor and two anonymous reviewers for their critical feedback.

Citation

Fleming, T. and Stanway, A. (2014), "Enhancing first year student engagement: collaborative practice in a core business unit", Journal of International Education in Business, Vol. 7 No. 2, pp. 137-149. https://doi.org/10.1108/JIEB-08-2014-0015

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited