Supporting resilience in first year of university: Curriculum, consideration and cooperation

Susan Woolf, Birut Zemits, Scott Knight, Amanda Janssen

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    The diversity of people accessing university and the variety of modes to deliver learning requires innovative ways to support students. Resilience has been identified as being important to help overcome difficulties students often face as they adapt to their new academic cultural environment. To enhance resilience in undergraduates requires considered strategies. These include clear curriculum support and cooperation across various sectors of a tertiary organisation. Resilience supports are distinctive for regional institutions that have large external and international student enrolments. This research identifies effective supports developing resilience for all students, especially non-traditional students, as they transition through what is often a turbulent first year of study. It examines how students and staff perceive strategies for developing resilient learning. This study is informed by surveys and a focus group with students from multiple disciplines alongside reflective responses based on lecturer experiences. The authors conclude that adversity experienced by many students in first year can be prepared for, and adjusted to, by the conscious inclusion of content focussing on resilience or ‘how to bounce back from difficulties’ in curricular materials underpinned by effective support structures within a university.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number5
    Pages (from-to)A108-A123
    Number of pages15
    JournalJournal of Academic Language and Learning
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2019


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