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Second year is an enormous step up: Understanding and supporting transitions within undergraduate degree courses
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A study using an adapted questionnaire (DREEM-S) was undertaken to investigate the attitudes of >750 undergraduate biological sciences students to their educational environment. Results indicated significantly poorer satisfaction with most aspects of the university experience amongst second year students. Focus groups were used to explore reasons for this, which included concerns resulting from the increased importance of their studies, anxieties leading to decreased confidence, and identification of gaps in both generic and subject-specific skills. Several key areas for support were identified, and this information was used to improve awareness amongst teaching staff, and drive the creation of a new on-line support resource for second year students across the Faculty. This resource contains a range of material designed to support preparation for second year studies, development of new skills such as reading the primary literature, and reminders of sources of academic, pastoral and employability support.
Sue R Whittle, University of Leeds
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