Transitions Toolkit

Welcome to the Transitions Toolkit. The toolkit is designed to help you to support your students’ academic transitions to, and progression within, higher education. This is a dynamic resource that we will be updating and amending on a regular basis. The tools themselves relate both to broader, programme-level, questions and to more specific academic practices. This means you can 'enter' the toolkit at a point that makes most sense to you and your current teaching context. In each section, you will find the contact details of LLI colleagues who can support your engagement with the toolkit. To make sure you are kept up-to-date with additions to the toolkit and/or to raise any questions about how best to make use of it, contact Steve Rooney (Head of Learning Development).

Introduction

Programme-level tools to support students’ academic transition and progression

Resource title Description
Support with the resources in this section Key LLI contact details to support programme teams in using the materials and activities in this section.
Maturity Model This model maps out the broader principles and approaches to supporting academic transition and progression as well as providing course teams with tools for reflecting on their current approaches and planning for future development.
Programme-level design, development and review Exercises and materials to help programme teams identify how best to support academic transition across their programmes.
Pre-induction and Welcome Week Principles and practical suggestions for supporting students’ academic transitions before they arrive and during Welcome Week.
Dedicated transition modules Exercises and materials to help programme teams ensure dedicated modules to support transition are relevant and properly integrated into mainstream curricula.
Dedicated transition modules: further points to consider Some further points regarding what to do and what to avoid doing if your programme runs a dedicated transition module.
Introduction to student-staff partnership working Introduction to the roles that student-staff partnership working can inform programme-level support for academic transition. For further help and advice contact Dr Mark Van Der Enden.
Student-staff partnerships: FAQs Answers to some of the more commonly asked questions regarding student-staff partnership working. For further help and advice contact Dr Mark Van Der Enden.
Beyond IT skills: Developing Digital Practices and Identities Introducing approaches to supporting the development of students’ digital literacies. For further help and advice contact Dr Alexandra Patel.
Developing Digital Practices and Identities: reflective questions Reflective questions to help programme teams support the development of students’ digital literacies. For further help and advice contact Dr Alexandra Patel.

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Tools to support the development of students’ assessment literacy

Resource title Description
Support with the resources in this section Key LLI contact details to support your’ engagement with the materials and activities in this section.
The University of Leicester’s Assessment Strategy Link to the University of Leicester’s Assessment Strategy. In particular, see Section 3 which defines what is meant by ‘assessment literacy’ and outlines priorities for development.
Supporting the development of students’ assessment literacy Drawing on the ‘seven principles of good feedback’ (Nicol and Macfarlane‐Dick, 2006) this resource helps teams to develop the dialogical approaches to assessment and feedback that can aid students’ assessment literacy.
Designing an assessment: reflective questions and assignment brief template Questions to consider prior to launching an assessment and adaptable guidelines on providing students with more detailed assignment briefs.
‘Unpacking’ assignments and making initial plans Tutor-led activities to help students make better sense of assignment requirements and expectations and plan for how they will approach these.

See also sections on Criticality, Academic writing and Presentations.

Helping to structure students’ approaches to assignments

Adaptable templates to help students plan their approaches to different types of assessment activities. These could be used informally and/or to support more structured formative assessment tasks. These templates are in no way intended to prescribe students' approaches and can be made more or less flexible and open-ended depending on the requirements of the assignment, discipline, module, level of study etc.
Discussing assessment and feedback with tutees Questions and prompts to help personal tutors discuss students' experiences of assessment and feedback.
A scholarly approach to solving the feedback dilemma in practice (O’Donovan, Rust and Price, 2016) Link to a brief and accessible article detailing practical ways of (re)designing assessment and feedback practices in order to facilitate greater assessment literacy among students.

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Tools and resources for supporting students' independent study practices

Resource title Description
Support with the resources in this section Key LLI contact details to support your engagement with materials and activities in this section of the toolkit.
Supporting independent study practices A brief introduction to this section of the toolkit.
Reflective questions for tutors and course teams Questions and prompts to help tutors and course teams reflect on what they know about students’ current understandings and experiences of ‘independent study’ and how the development independent study practices is supported on the programme.
Questions and activities Questions for personal tutors and classroom-based activities to help support students’ development of independent study practices.
Supporting students’ engagement with lectures: sample resource A sample resource illustrating how students’ initial engagements with the lecture as a mode of teaching might be supported.

See also sections on Criticality, and Reading and note-making.
Lecture note template An adaptable template for students, to be used in conjunction with the above resource.

Compendium of effective practice in directed independent learning (Thomas, 2016)

A wealth of practical examples, from a broad range of discipline areas, featuring different ways of supporting students' independent learning practices.
Student-staff partnership ideas A brief overview of the different ways that student-staff partnership working can help with the support of independent study practices.
Further resources for students A link to the relevant section of the Succeed in your Studies website.

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Tools to support the development of students’ criticality

Resource title Description
Support with the resources in this section Key LLI contact details to support your engagement with materials and activities in this section of the toolkit.
Supporting criticality A brief introduction to this section of the toolkit.
Reflective questions for tutors and course teams Questions and prompts to help tutors and course teams reflect on what they know about students’ current understandings and experiences of criticality and how the development of criticality is supported on the programme.
Questions and activities Questions for personal tutors and classroom-based activities to help support students’ understanding and development of criticality.

See also sections on Independent study, Reading and note-making, and Academic writing
.
Student-staff partnership ideas A brief overview of the different ways that student-staff partnership working can help with the support for criticality.

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Tools to support the development of students’ reading and note-making practices

Resource title Description
Support with the resources in this section Key LLI contact details to support your engagement with materials and activities in this section of the toolkit.
Supporting reading and note-making A brief introduction to this section of the toolkit.
Reflective questions for tutors and course teams Questions and prompts to help tutors and course teams reflect on what they know about students’ current understandings and experiences of reading for academic purposes and how the development of reading and note-making practices are supported on the programme.
Questions and activities Questions for personal tutors and classroom-based activities to help support students’ reading and note-making practices.

See also sections on Independent study and Criticality
.
Sample exercises Sample exercises to help support students’ reading and note-making practices during the earlier stages of the programme.
Student-staff partnership ideas A brief overview of the different ways that student-staff partnership working can help with the support of reading and note-making practices.
External resource: Learn Higher Link to the relevant section of the Learn Higher website (courtesy of the Association for Learning Development in Higher Education (ALDinHE)).
External Resource: Advance HE (formerly HEA) Link to a brief overview of recommended approaches to supporting the development of students' reading and note-making practices.
Further resources for students A link to the relevant section of the Succeed in your Studies website.

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Tools to support the development of students’ academic writing practices

Resource title Description
Support with the resources in this section Key LLI contact details to support your engagement with materials and activities in this section of the toolkit.
Supporting academic writing A brief introduction to this section of the toolkit.
Mapping writing tasks across the programme A resource to help course teams to map the various types of writing students are required to undertake on the programme and how students’ engagement with different writing tasks is supported.
Reflective questions for tutors and course teams Questions and prompts to help tutors and course teams reflect on what they know about students’ current understandings and experiences of academic writing and how the development of writing practices is supported on the programme.
Questions and activities Questions for personal tutors and classroom-based activities to help support students’ reading and note-making practices.

See also sections on Assessment literacy, Independent study, Criticality and Reading and note-making
.
Academic Writing checklist An adaptable resource designed to facilitate tutor-student dialogue around academic writing.
Further ideas for supporting student writing A brief overview of some further ideas to help support students’ writing practices.
Student-staff partnership ideas A brief overview of the different ways that student-staff partnership working can help with the support of academic writing.
Further resources for students A link to the relevant section of the Succeed in your Studies website.
External resource: Learn Higher Link to the relevant section of the Learn Higher website (courtesy of the Association for Learning Development in Higher Education (ALDinHE)).

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Tools to support the development of students’ presentation practices

Resource title Description
Support with the resources in this section Key LLI contact details to support your engagement with materials and activities in this section of the toolkit.
Supporting students’ presentation practices A brief introduction to this section of the toolkit.
Reflective questions for tutors and course teams Questions and prompts to help tutors and course teams reflect on what they know about students’ current understandings and experiences of presenting and how the development of presentation practices is supported on the programme.
Questions and activities Questions for personal tutors and classroom-based activities to help support students’ presentation practices.

See also sections on Assessment literacies, Independent study, Criticality and Reading and note-making.
Planning a presentation An adaptable question set to help students plan and prepare for a forthcoming presentation.
Student-staff partnership ideas A brief overview of the different ways that student-staff partnership working can help with supporting presentation practices.
Further resources for students A link to the relevant section of the Succeed in your Studies website.

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Tools to support the development of students’ group working practices

Resource title Description
Support with the resources in this section Key LLI contact details to support your engagement with materials and activities in this section of the toolkit.
Supporting students’ group working practices A brief introduction to this section of the toolkit.
Reflective questions for tutors and course teams Questions and prompts to help tutors and course teams reflect on what they know about students’ current understandings and experiences of group working and how the development of group working is supported on the programme.
Group working activities Classroom-based activities to help support students’ group working practices.
Student-staff partnership ideas A brief overview of the different ways that student-staff partnership working can help with the support of group working.
Further resources for students A link to the relevant section of the Succeed in your Studies website.
External resource: Learn Higher Link to the relevant section of the Learn Higher website (courtesy of the Association for Learning Development in Higher Education (ALDinHE)

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