Raising Aspiration and Achievement in Regional Schools through Innovative Online Modules
Lead University: University of Canberra
Lead Researcher: Laurie Poretti
Research Team: Laurie Poretti and Scott Nichols
Year Funded: 2016
Funding Received: $105,000
A series of literacy, numeracy, assignment writing and time-management modules were developed to break down barriers to higher education for low SES regional students. These modules were made available online to schools in regional New South Wales and Queensland with large cohorts of students from financially disadvantaged backgrounds. Supplementary school visits were made by outreach officers as part of the project.
- The project had three objectives:
- Develop and deliver a series of literacy, numeracy, assignment writing and time-management modules to break down barriers to higher education for regional students from financially disadvantaged backgrounds.
- Make these modules available online to schools in regional New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland (QLD) that have been identified as having large cohorts of students from financially disadvantaged backgrounds.
- Undertake supplementary visits to the schools as part of the pilot project with approximately 40 schools.
- The University of Canberra partnered with TAFE QLD to deliver the Raising Aspirations program in Years 9–12 in secondary schools located in low SES regional areas of northern Queensland and NSW.
- Students had access to seven online modules:
- Three aspiration-building modules provided students with opportunities to explore their identity, what they want for their futures, and how to get there.
- Four achievement-based modules titled Study Skills which provided support for essay writing, practical and implementable strategies for avoiding procrastination, how to develop better time management, and general information about university and university life.
- The modules were made available online to 26 schools in regional NSW and 10 schools in QLD that have been identified as having large cohorts of students from financially disadvantaged backgrounds.
- As part of the project, 97 school visits were made with 159 individual face-to-face classroom visits by outreach officers in 36 schools.
- Students reported enjoyment of the program and found it beneficial in learning more about how their personal interests and attributes can lead to post-school study and assist them to navigate their future career pathways.
- The project produced additional implementable outcomes:
- Schools have indicated their desire for the Raising Aspirations modules to be made available in future.
- The University will deliver introductory training sessions for NSW careers advisors to encourage continued use of the modules.
- Schools will continue using the online modules to complement students’ learning and to aid in post-school pathway navigation and career planning.
- The modules provide a lot of scope for schools to tailor to the needs of students.
Summary prepared by the NCSEHE.