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Progression and non-completion in undergraduate students: Moving from academic disengagement to academic engagement

Author Una Crowley, Catherine Mahon, Eanan Strain,
Abstract Lack of awareness and proficiency in essential skills contributing to learning, especially metacognitive skills (e.g., evaluation, monitoring, reflection), can have potentially adverse effects on academic engagement. The research presented here constitutes the second phase in a longitudinal research project undertaken at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth (NUI Maynooth) which aims to develop effective supports specifically tailored to meet the needs of students at risk of non-progression due to academic disengagement. Prevalent themes to emerge from the interviews conducted as part of the first phase of this research included the high proportion of first year students with concerns relating to an inability to cope with academic requirements and changes in the learning environment (e.g., the expectation of self-regulated learning). Building on these initial findings, a training programme referred to as the Narrative Mediation Path, is currently being tested and evaluated with 18 first and second year undergraduate students. These were students who actively sought advice to help them overcome and address academic difficulties. Across a series of group training meetings, students practise key metacognitive skills related to learning, with a particular emphasis on the development of reflective thinking skills. In the current paper we detail the training methodology employed with the first cohort of participating students. Additionally, to extend our knowledge of the learning strategies typically employed by the participants, we have obtained data on the students' use of cognitive and metacognitive learning strategies.
Keywords Academic engagement, self-regulated learning, learning strategies, underachievement, learner support
Published In ICEP Proceedings
Year 2012
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