The transition to higher education poses challenges on many levels. One UK University has piloted a scheme that is designed to prepare prospective students for academic study. ‘Getting Started’ gives prospective students access to the university’s virtual learning environment, prior to induction where they are invited to post queries to a discussion board moderated by a team of support staff and tutors. In 2008 the decision was made to extend the project to include a suite of learning development materials. ‘Snapshot’ contains bite sized chunks, or ‘snapshots’, of academic practice including academic thinking, reading and writing. Each chunk of information includes an activity designed to encourage early independent, self motivated learning. These combined projects tackle the challenges of entrance into higher education for students from both traditional and non-traditional backgrounds and offer a model of good practice designed to convert offers to places and improve retention
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