How education leads to success

Pathways to Success in Higher Education and how poverty impacts student success in higher education | download free pdf
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Dr.OliviaSimpson,France,Researcher
Published Date:03-07-2017
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Pathways to Success in Higher Education Using FREE online resources An Open University in Wales initiative based on OU OpenLearn materials, developed by Eleri Chilcott, Brec’hed Piette, Elaine Jones & Helen Griffiths.Your journey starts hereContents Welcome & Meet the Team 4 OpenLearn & Pathways to Success 6 Let’s Get Started 8 Pathway to Success Overview Chart 9 Getting Started Online 10 Pathway to Success Tasters 12 Choosing your Pathway to Success 14 My Pathway to Success Plan 15 Planning your study 16 Planning your time 17 Troubleshooting guide 18 Reviewing your progress 19 Pathway to Success 20 Welcome to the Arts & Humanities Pathway 21 Welcome to the Social Science & Psychology Pathway 27 Welcome to the Health & Social Care Pathway 33 Welcome to the Science Pathway 37 Feedback & review 42 Personal Achievement Record 43 Next steps 45 Pathways to Success study skills units 47 Many thanks to the following individuals and organisations for their support in developing this resource: Rob Humphreys, Cerys Furlong, Jo Hodgetts, Gayle Hudson, Kevin Pascoe, Tracey Marengi, Michelle Matheron, The DOVE Workshops, Western Valley Communities First Partnership and The Glynneath Training Centre.4 Welcome Welcome to The Open University in Wales ‘Pathways to Success in Higher Education’ guide. This brochure has been developed through our Widening Access work and will give you an insight into higher education study and help you prepare for accredited learning. The Open University offers part time supported distance learning. This means you can study from home (or anywhere else) and fit your studies around work and life commitments. This is an excellent option for learners who need more flexibility in their study. All Open University courses offer credits at higher education level and can be taken either individually or as part of a recognised qualification. There will be many reasons why you are thinking of enrolling on a higher education course. Perhaps you feel you haven’t yet fulfilled your educational potential; you are keen to up skill to improve your career opportunities; or you simply want to learn more about a subject of interest. However, if you are not sure if you are ready for accredited study or what subject to take, or if you are perhaps uncertain about the cost, this guide can help you prepare for formal study without taking up too much time and without spending money. All you need is access to the internet. Using a range of online materials from the Open University’s award winning OpenLearn resources this guide will enable you to tailor some informal study to your own interests and goals and help you get started on the road to success. So good luck on your learning journey, who knows where it may take you We wish you well with your future studies. Rob Humphreys Director of the Open University in Wales.5 Meet the Team Widening Access The OU in Wales Widening Access work recognises education and skill development is a key element in helping to tackle poverty and increase opportunities for communities. Through a range of outreach projects it offers flexible learning opportunities to provide the first steps and progression into higher education. Eleri Chilcott Widening Access Manager Eleri is Widening Access Manager for the Open University in South Wales; with responsibility for coordinating learning pathway projects with a range of training providers, voluntary organisations and community partnerships, to increase access to Open University study. Eleri returned to education after leaving school with few qualifications. Now a history graduate she has many years’ experience in the field of lifelong learning. Contact details: Wales-partnershipsopen.ac.uk Gayle Hudson Widening Access Manager Gayle is Widening Access Manager for the Open University in North & Mid Wales; she leads a number of projects and initiatives with community partners, to engage those interested in taking up learning and providing access and information about Open University study. Gayle has a background in the community and voluntary sector. She’s a graduate of Swansea University and has a post graduate degree with The Open University. Contact details: Wales-partnershipsopen.ac.uk Employer Engagement Kevin Pascoe Employer Engagement Manager Kevin is Employer Engagement Manager for the Open University in Wales and leads on work with employers, trades unions, professional bodies and Sector Skills Councils. His role is to increase the number of learners in the workplace accessing flexible learning pathways developed by the OU. His work with employers and unions covers a wide range of professional and vocational areas, particularly around health, social care, business, IT and science. Contact details: Wales-employersopen.ac.uk Jo Hodgetts Administrative Assistant Joanne Hodgetts is the Administrative Assistant for the Widening Access, Employer Engagement, External Policy and Public Affairs Teams. Working closely with Eleri, Gayle and Kevin she is based at The Open University offices’ in Cardiff. She is the main point of contact for external enquirers and provides administrative support and assistance to the team. She graduated from The University of Plymouth with a B.A.(Honours) degree in Business Administration. Contact details: Wales-partnershipsopen.ac.uk Wales-employersopen.ac.uk6 OpenLearn OpenLearn is a free website resource provided by the Open University where you can “dip into” different aspects of informal study before deciding if and where you would like to study more formally. The OpenLearn website allows access to a vast range of resources but it can sometimes feel a little confusing if you are not sure of which direction you would like your study to take. The “Pathways to Success” (PTS) guide will allow you to follow a structured programme of informal study using the OpenLearn resources while encouraging you to explore lots of possible options for future accredited learning opportunities. Blue pathway Orange pathway Green pathway7 and the “Pathway to Success” guide: This guide needs to be used in conjunction with the OpenLearn website and resources. You will need the internet to access the courses referenced in this guide. It is also designed to improve your study skills and where more detailed information on all as you progress along your “Pathway” so that of the pathways can be found throughout if you do decide to study in a more formal guide. When you are ready, follow the manner you will be well prepared. instructions on page 8 to get started. The online PTS Guide you will see when You may not be sure of where your interests you log onto the PTS website is the same lie, or you may already have some ideas. as this hard copy of the guide but contains For this reason a series of short “Tasters” hyperlinks to the Open Learn site. Click on in different subject areas are available – you the hyperlink to open up the unit, where you can dip into whichever ones interest you and can explore tasters, more substantial units then progress to other units in your chosen and some units that will help improve your area of study. study skills if needed. You can do as many or as few units as you You can also record your progress though feel you require but the idea is that an the PTS programme in your Personal inexperienced learner will need to do more Achievement Record at the back of this units than an experienced learner to prepare Guide. them for formal study. The overview on page 9 shows how you can move along the different “Pathways” 8 Let’s get started You can access these courses by clicking on the PTS webpage – www.open.ac.uk/wales/pathways This is YOUR booklet so feel free to write all over it and make it your own. First of all, fill in your name below. Name: Are there Exams or Assessments? As this is an informal pathway of study, there is no assessment so when you do any quizzes and activities etc, there will be no final mark. However there is a Certificate of Completion that can be claimed at the end. Do I have to do a whole unit at once? Each unit has a total number of hours which is a suggestion as to how long it will take to complete. However you don’t have to do a complete unit in one sitting. When you want to stop, note down which section you are on, using the section numbers you will see on the left hand side of the page. Then you will know where to go back to, when you start your next study session. What happens if I get lost in the OpenLearn site? We suggest you should save the online Pathways to Success Page as a favourite or bookmark (follow instructions on page 11). Doing this means that if you get lost in OpenLearn, you can just click on your “Favourite” or “Bookmark” link again to get back to the Pathways Page. When you see the PTS icon, it means you should return to the online PathwaysPage. PTS NOTE: The OpenLearn site is a vast resource with occasional glitches in the system so if you find a unit doesn’t load, it may be a site problem. Leave it for now and come back at another time when it should work. It doesn’t matter if you can’t access every unit. The OpenLearn site pages also have enticing links to extra information and activities to do with the subject you are looking at. It is very tempting to click on these and of course, you are free to do this but BEWARE of the dangers of being distracted in this way and not completing your actual study goal. Try to stick to your plan.9 Guide overview Start Here Read Introduction Navigate to the PTS webpage TR TRY Y SOME SOME T TA AS STERS TERS Health and Arts Social Sciences Science Social Care (eg. History) (eg. Psychology) (eg. Biology) (eg. Social work) Choose your Pathway to Success Plan your learning FOLLOW YOUR SUBJECT PATHWAY Blue pathway Orange pathway Green pathway Inexperienced learners Learners with some experience Experienced learners (approx 50 hours study) (approx 25 hours of study) (approx 12 hours of study) Additional study skills as required Claim your Certificate of Achievement Further information10 Getting started with PTS online You must have a device with access to the Internet (computer, tablet, Smartphone). Open up the Internet using your preferred browser, e.g. Internet Explorer, Google 1 Chrome, Firefox. In the URL box type: www.open.ac.uk/wales/pathways OpenLearn works best with the most upto date version of your browser – Internet explorer 9 or above, Google Chrome or Firefox. This will take you to the Pathways to Success page on the Open University in 2 Wales Webpage. You may wish to save this page as a “Favourite” in your computer so you can easily access it again.11 If you are using Google Chrome as your browser you can save the page as 3 a Bookmark. Click on the “Pathways to Success Guide” on the right hand side. 4 This will take you to an online copy of the PTS You may not be sure of where your interests lie, or guide which has interactive hyper links that you can you may already have some ideas but you can explore use to access the various OpenLearn units detailed a taste of what’s available through the links below. throughout the brochure. Try as many or as few as you like to help you decide Once you have opened the online PTS guide, work which of the “Pathways” you would like to follow. through it in conjunction with your hard copy booklet at On the online copy of the PTS guide click on the a time and a pace that suits you. tasters below that look interesting and work your way The page numbers are the same so you can see through each short unit. where you are in both versions at all times and At the end of each taster unit you will need to return to remember to keep recording your progress in your the online copy of the PTS Guide (on the PTS website Personal Achievement Record at the back of this page) to try another taster in the list below Guide. Remember to use your “Favourite” or “Bookmark” The different PTS routes detailed in this guide are: link you set up on page 10 to take you back to the PTS Art and Humanities, Social Science & Psychology, website each time you see this icon PTS Health & Social Care and Science. Pathways to Success in Higher Education Using An Open University in Wales initiative based on OU OpenLearn materials, developed by Eleri Chilcott, Brec’hed Piette, Elaine Jones & Helen Griffiths. . FREE online resources The Open University is incorporated by Royal Charter (RC 000391), an exempt charity in England & Wales and a charity registered in Scotland (SC 038302). The Open University is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority12 Tasters You can access these courses by clicking on the PTS webpage – www.open.ac.uk/wales/pathways The world was supposed to end on 21 ART AND HUMANITIES December 2012. Here’s why it didn’t. TASTERS Welcome to the PTS Would all religions Arts & Humanities PTS 20th century Pathway. benefit from having women composers: leaders?: Explore the world of 20th century Would greater participation by women classical and avant-garde music in religion at leadership level enrich through the composers and the different religions? fascinating connections that exist between them. PTS 60 second adventures PTS Masterpiece me: in religion: Ever wanted to see how Warhol Ever wondered why Karl Marx thought might have made you look? What religion was like Opium - or whether about Monet or Picasso? Here’s religion is possible without a god? your chance... This 60 second animation examines different ways that religion has been PTS Julius Caesar & the viewed by non-religious thinkers. people: PTS The Language of Baking The role of the public is explored in across Europe: this behind the scenes video from the RSC’s production of Julius Caesar. Read and listen to the language of bakeries and cake shops across PTS The end is nigh... eight European countries by exploring our map. Find out about regional and or is it?: cultural differences. SOCIAL SCIENCE AND PTS 60 second adventures PSYCHOLOGY TASTERS in Economics: The first of these 60 second PTS Boardroom Lottery: adventures explains the nature of the What are your chances of reaching the market place. There are several of top of the career ladder based on your these very brief animations that explain Welcome to the gender, age, ethnic group and more? a number of economic concepts. Social Science and Play our Boardroom Lottery challenge Psychology Pathway to find out. PTS A short history of (mis) representing poverty: PTS City Road, Cardiff: This extract looks at how poverty suburban thoroughfare and people experiencing poverty has This looks at the changing character been represented and misrepresented and communities of City Road, Cardiff by academics, policy makers and from the nineteenth to the twenty-first the media. century. PTS Can you identify the PTS Understanding what criminal?: others think: This extract guides you through the This example of how young children eyewitness experience by viewing understand what others think shows a crime and identity parade. some of the ways in which research is carried out into the psychology of child development. Social Science & Arts & Humanities Psychology13 HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE PTS Working for Health TASTERS (podcast album): This album will give you an insight into PTS Managing long-term the debates that surround health, and health conditions: enable you to appreciate and review Could you balance your work and your own and alternative standpoints social life with medication regimes? and values in this important area of Would you be able to advise a friend? study. PTS What do you know about PTS The joy of stats: Welcome to the Health and Social Pain?: Florence Nightingale: Care Pathway Can you make it through our pain quiz Famous for her lamp, it was the unscathed? How much do you know light shed by Florence Nightingale’s about getting hurt? statistics that really saved lives in great numbers. PTS OCD Quiz: PTS Olympisize me: Test your knowledge of OCD with this interactive quiz. Have you ever wondered which sport you’re most physically suited to? Play PTS What is Autism?: this interactive game to find out if you’ve got what it takes. There are lots of myths out there about autism that are waiting to be busted. Take our quiz to see if you know what’s what. This unit looks at exploring the effect SCIENCE TASTER that humans are having on the environment. PTS Gene therapy: This unit looks at the possibilities for PTS Be a lab rat: genetic therapies. Try some science for yourself PTS Seven wonders of the PTS Interactive elements: microbe world: Explore the impact of chemical These videos provide an engaging elements on our bodies, our world, introduction to microbiology, by and see how they changed the course examining the impact microbes have of history. had on humans through a historical perspective, from Egyptian times to PTS Have you found a the present day. Welcome to the meteorite?: Science Pathway PTS There’s a simple test which can tell Neighbourhood Nature: if you’ve found a rock - or something This unit will provide you with basic extra-terrestrial. scientific and observational skills so that you can go into your local PTS Calculating my carbon neighbourhood to discover the animals footprint: and plants in open spaces. This unit seeks to explain what makes PTS Introducing the up a personal carbon footprint, and to identify alternative options Environment: in calculating one. Health and Science Social Care14 Choosing your Pathway to Success Now you have tried out some tasters, it’s time to choose what to do next. “I’m not ready for this” “I really enjoyed the language taster” Perhaps you have realised you aren’t quite ready If you would like to try learning a new language, for entry to Higher Education yet. There may be look on the Openlearn site. You will see a other, more appropriate courses to suit you in SEARCH box near the top of the right hand side your local area. You may like to brush up on your of the page. Type in the name of your chosen literacy, numeracy or IT skills or maybe you are language and click on one of the links provided looking for a more practical subject to study. Look to find a suitable unit of study for you to follow on at what your local FE College offers or try Adult your own. Learning classes. If you are in a Trade Union, talk to your Union learning rep. If you plan to continue with PTS decide below which pathway you would like to follow Arts and Humanities, Health and Social a range of subjects that Care looks at how we give you the opportunity provide help and care to explore human culture for those in need or through its art, history, vulnerable. Such work literature, music and offers a unique sense of religions. This pathway fulfilment. The current should give you more focus in frontline health understanding of the world and social care is on we live in and how we got to where we are. giving service-users more independence, choice and control. These developments mean there’s greater demand for well-trained people across a range of rewarding jobs. Social Science and Science is all around us, Psychology tackles continuously unfolding and some of the key questions giving us the chance to in the study of society and improve our world’s social individuals. Why do places and economic future. carry meaning for people? Studying the Science What are our rights as pathway will enhance citizens? Why are we your understanding of the so fascinated by crime? world, and contribute to What shapes our identity and why? This pathway will your intellectual and personal development. stimulate your curiosity, encourage you to challenge assumptions, to understand yourself and the world we live in. 15 My plan Which route should I follow? (tick the box that applies to you) Blue pathway Blue route: I haven’t studied much before Orange route: I have studied at level 3 or A level but it Orange pathway was a long time ago GREEN route: I have studied before at higher Green pathway education level but not with The Open University The blue route is for those who have Days/times when I plan to study: Blue pathway little experience of previous study. The orange route is for those who have Orange pathway some experience of previous study at level 3, but perhaps a long time ago and/ or in a very different study area. The green route is for those who Green pathway are experienced at study and are just looking for a fairly brief refresher before moving on to a higher education course. My chosen pathway is: (tick the one you have chosen) How much time I plan to study each week: Arts & Humanities (don’t be too ambitious – be realistic) Social Science and Psychology Health & Care hrs Science16 Planning your study 11 Feb: 6.30 a.m. to 7 a.m. - Good progress this Planning your study path will help you focus morning. Getting up at 6.30 isn’t nearly as bad as I on what you need to do and how you will do it. thought it’d be. Still worried about how long I’m taking Read through the next two sections on to work through this unit though. thinking about learning and planning your Didn’t manage anything this evening - Wanted to watch study time before getting started on your the football and then not in the mood. chosen Pathway. 12th Feb: 6.30 a.m. to 7 a.m. - Did usual half-hour Keeping a learning diary this morning. Achieved quite a lot - made me feel really good. Stopping to look at the study book breaks time Thinking about your learning can help you plan your up. Too tired to study when I got home. I’m already study based on your thoughts, feelings and actions behind my schedule. as you study. It helps you learn more about ways of study that suit you. As we don’t always remember our 13 Feb: didn’t do any studying thoughts, it’s a good idea to write down some of this thinking to motivate you to keep going with your study. What Tim learned from doing this: Things you might note down • what, when, where and how you studied and It’s amazing – I can see things that I didn’t see how you felt about it “ before. For example, I can see that I’m really a • what went well and what is not going so well ‘morning’ person so I should avoid studying late • how might you change things to improve the at night as it doesn’t work. Also I was trying to be not going so well areas. too ambitious – will replan my schedule to be more realistic. I can see it’s worth studying for half an hour The real value of this information is what you do with or so at a time - over a week it adds up. it. Keep these notes all together, perhaps in a small notebook or a loose-leaf file. Doing this means you can To get you started thinking about your read over what you have written every couple of weeks study needs, write your responses to these and pick up trends in how you learn best. For example: questions: • What circumstances were best for studying? If you were asked why you have chosen to study with • What sessions went well and why? Pathways to Success, what would you reply? What do • What did you do if you got stuck/lost you hope to get out of it and why now? concentration/felt unmotivated? • What changes can you make that might improve things? Here is an extract from Tim’s Diary: 10 Feb: Have worked out timetable for study. Will try to stick to it Will try to do an hour a day - every day - morning and evening, even at the weekends. 9.30 p.m. to 10 p.m. - Started on Unit. Didn’t cover many pages but have done the activities and made some notes to help me remember. Worried about how long it’s taking. Didn’t really feel like working this evening though - bit tired after meeting at work and didn’t get home until 8.30. The whole thing was a real struggle and I can’t say that I enjoyed it. “17 Planning your time Are you a Lark? or an Owl? (In other words, do you concentrate better in the early morning or late at night?) Carol found she could get through a lot in MAKE TIME FOR STUDY: an hour if she studied in the early mornings when the children were still asleep. If she When time is tight, decide what is not going to studied in the evening, it was much more be done - or will have to be done differently - difficult to concentrate as the children were by remembering the 4Ds in and out. Do it TOP TIPS FOR BETTER STUDY (don’t just worry about having to do it). • Work out when you can study, taking into account your other commitments. Dump it (Does it really need to be done?). • Do the most difficult work when your Delegate it concentration is strongest. (get someone else to do it). • Try studying with music – background music Do it less well helps some people to concentrate. (does it have to be perfect?). • Involve family/friends – tell them about your studies and explain what you are learning in your own words (this helps your own learning). DEALING WITH DISTRACTIONS • Get some fresh air and exercise before or after Sometimes it’s difficult to study because of a study session (‘Before’ can make you more distractions. These can be real (e.g. your child alert, ‘After’ can help you relax). needs attention), but they can also be ways of putting things off. So if it’s a real distraction – • Be flexible - “I’m a morning person, but I might deal with it. If it is a way of putting things off do a bit before dinner if I’m home early. Studying – ignore it and get on with your study for half an hour at a time adds up over a week.” Research has shown that successful students are not necessarily those with most intelligence, more often it is those with the determination to keep going through “thick and thin”. Successful study = 20% ability + 80% determination18 Troubleshooting guide Set small goals for your study session with rewards at the end e.g. I find it ‘I’ll read this section before I make that coffee’. difficult to Do a deal with yourself - ‘I can go to the pub tomorrow if I study tonight’. get down Just do it Often the task doesn’t take as long as you expected. to studying Stop at a good bit – it makes it easier to start again. Tell family it’s your study time and put phone on hold. Avoid a big meal or alcohol before you study. I’m easily distracted Organise your study space so it’s comfortable & you can find everything easily. Have a quick break every half hour. I can’t seem Mark or highlight the parts which are holding you up and move on to stick at it past them - return to them when you have read more, often it will make for long more sense then. Sometimes Do the lighter things - I’m too tired watch a relevant video extract or organise your notes. to study19 Reviewing your progress It is a good idea to review your progress and to reflect on how things are going during the course of your studies. You might like to do a brief review at the beginning of a study session, or if you have a few minutes to spare after completing a unit. I don’t have a specific time to study, but do so when I feel I’m in the right frame of mind. These are questions you can ask to help your reflection. Questions 1 and 2 I am finding it very difficult to fit studying into my would be useful to consider early on in schedule. your studies. Our comment – most successful students have a routine to their studies, but don’t worry if you have to deviate from this because of other demands. 1. Interest and difficulty of modules. Just try and get back into a routine when you can. a) for each module completed (including tasters) did Waiting until you are in the mood for studying is you find the module – very interesting/enjoyable, fairly not usually a good strategy as it can mean that interesting/enjoyable, not interesting / enjoyable? your studying may become rather infrequent If you rated any modules as not interesting/enjoyable, Questions 3, 4 and 5 suggest ways of reflecting on do you know why this was? your progress as you move through the programme. Our comment – this is quite a common experience 3. Your particular interests and the for students but provided you rated most of the future. modules as very or fairly interesting or enjoyable, this should not put you off your studying too Do you have a clear idea, which subject areas you are much. interested in following in the future? Are you thinking about registering for a course with the OU or another b) for each module completed, did you find it – quite provider? Do you know how to do this, or do you easy/straightforward, some difficult areas but generally need to find out a bit more about which courses are ok, most of it was quite difficult? available? If you rated a module as ‘most of it quite difficult’, can 4. Your studies and your life. you work out which aspects of it caused you difficulty? Have you found yourself making links with things you Our comment – getting used to academic language have been studying about when doing other things, and new words is quite a challenge when you are for instance watching the news, or talking to friends? beginning to study, but the more you read the Have you talked about some of the new ideas you easier it gets. Often reading things over a second have come across with friends and family? Have any time will help to make it clearer. If one section of a of them shown interest in the Open Learn site? module is difficult it’s often a good idea to skip that section, carry on and come back to it later. 5. Finally, any surprises? This could be from something you have studied, for 2. Finding time for study. instance new information on a subject you already Which of the following statements reflects your knew about. experience – Or perhaps something about yourself, for instance that I have found a regular time to study and generally you are interested in a subject or area that prior to your stick to it. studying you knew nothing about.20 Pathways to Success Now it’s time to start your Pathway so go back online to the PTS webpage to get started. Open the online copy of the PTS guide then in the PTS section go to subject pathway (Arts, Social Science, Health & Social Care or Science) and the colour route (blue, orange or green) you chose on page 15, work through the relevant online section of the guide whilst following in the printed booklet. As before you will need to click on the title of each subject unit in the online copy of the PTS guide to access the Openlearn course. Then once you have finished the unit you will need to return to the online copy of the PTS Guide (on the PTS website page) to continue with your pathway So remember to use your “Favourite” or “Bookmark” link you set up to take you back to the PTS page at the end of each unit when you see this icon PTS Also remember to keep recording your progress in your Personal Achievement Record on page 43.