Focusing on Student Induction

Student induction is a tricky problem. Is it simply a one off, all bells and whistles Welcome (Freshers’) Week?  We know, from  research by the Student Induction Group  over the last couple of years, that students want to be involved,  informed, and inspired when they join the university and properly introduced to their academic departments and their academic studies, as well as making friends. We also argue  that induction is not, and should not be, a one off event.

If we are to be effective at inducting students into the institution then it must be seen as a process that continues well beyond the first week. Having worked initially on developing Welcome Week activities to better reflect this view of induction, Educational Development, on behalf of the Induction Working Group, ran a very successful dissemination and discussion event on 26 January 2012 to promote best practice in ongoing induction. Staff came from across the university to hear academic colleagues describing seven different approaches to ongoing induction using posters developed especially for the event. Working in small groups staff were able to engage with the ideas, share their own experiences and consider new and innovative ways forward. There was also an opportunity to look at seven different ideas for supporting student induction from professional services staff. Again, debate was lively and constructive.

  • “I thought the event went really well yesterday.”
  • “the induction event was great and staff were really engaged”
  • “Thanks for arranging today’s event. It was very useful and I enjoyed the day.”
  • “Brilliant’s rare that I can say that I truly enjoyed / profited from such a thing.  Today was really good.”

The next step is to gather more examples of practice in ongoing induction from participants who attended the event. We know that there are many more examples of good practice at large across the institution. We plan to bring all this together to design a Guide to Student Induction at Liverpool, and hope to have this available on our web site by Easter 2012.

All the presentations from the Induction Event and the reports produced by the Student Induction Group can be accessed at student induction. The posters from the event will be displayed at the annual Learning and Teaching Conference [20thJune 2012].  if you have a good example that you would like to contribute to the Guide then please do get in touch. Patrick Doherty and Anne Qualter