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9 February 2022

How do you keep first-year students engaged? These resources will give you the tools

Did you know that up to 18% of first-year students in Australian higher education institutions drop out before their second year (Norton, Cherastidtham and Mackey, 2018)? As educators, there are practical things you can do to support first-year students on their transition to university life. Deakin has a range of resources available to help you get started, whether you are new to teaching or seeking new tools as the academic year begins. 

Teaching first-year students is different to teaching in later years. The reasons for student attrition in their first year of study include personal considerations, financial hardship, family or work reasons. More recently, we can add ‘global pandemic’ to this list. While we can’t control all of these factors, we can implement evidence-based principles and practices that support rather than hinder student transitions. Providing a supportive and positive transition into university life sets students on a path to academic and career success. 

Access first-year student guide

In addition to the workshop, the Teaching first-year students guide outlines five simple ways that you can help students during their first year:

  • Reduce cognitive teaching load
  • Make expectations explicit
  • Provide early feedback opportunities
  • Build skills and autonomy
  • Build learning communities

The guide provides helpful and timely resources and action items for you to quickly and easily incorporate at each trimester stage. 

Support for new teachers

If you’re new to Deakin or are looking for resources to support your teaching practice, the Units and courses content on DeakinHub will help orient you to teaching at Deakin.

If you have further questions of feedback you can contact your Faculty first-year student taskforce representative and ask about joining Faculty teaching first-year Community of Practice.

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