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Exploring the perceptions, preconceptions, and experiences of students undertaking an MSc Psychology conversion course by distance-learning.

Rod, Franka, Kernan, Liam, Simmons, Laura and Davis, Sarah K. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4683-4807 (2023) Exploring the perceptions, preconceptions, and experiences of students undertaking an MSc Psychology conversion course by distance-learning. In: University of Worcester Annual Learning & Teaching Conference, 12-13 June 2023, Worcester, UK. (Submitted)

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Abstract

The MSc Psychology switched from an on-campus course to distance learning in September 2021, as one of a small, but growing, pool of accredited, distance-learning conversion courses in the UK. Whilst much is published on easing the transition to study for undergraduate students, there is a knowledge gap in understanding the needs of Psychology conversion course students, who differ from undergraduate Psychology students in terms of demography, entry-level competencies, and prior experience. These unique features of the cohort, coupled with the demands and nature of the programme of study (distance learning), necessitate further research so that we can learn how best to support students to facilitate academic resilience. This project builds an understanding of the experiences of Psychology conversion course students, by listening to the stories of our current students. Using a qualitative approach, we explore key phases in the student journey, from pre-enrolment (‘expectations’), to starting the course (‘experiences’), and adjusting to study (‘reflections’ on learning) through semi-structured, online interviews. Here, we present findings from our ‘theoretical’ thematic analysis of these data, guided by a resilience framework approach (e.g., Banerjee et al., 2001), to identify risk and protective factors (personal, social, or institutional) identified by students as helping to facilitate, or hinder success at each phase of their journey. By discussing how students adapt to change and develop as ‘new’ learners, our findings have wider implications for promoting successful academic achievement and transition to level 7 study for postgraduates in other disciplines, who are attracted to distance learning.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: College of Business, Psychology and Sport > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Sarah Davis
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2023 10:30
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2023 11:05
URI: https://eprints.worc.ac.uk/id/eprint/12884

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