Eaton, M. D. (2015). Bridging the experiential learning gap: An evaluation of the impacts of Ulster University's Senior Student Tutoring Scheme on first year students. Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 12(2), article 6. Retrieved from http://ro.uow.edu.au/jutlp/vol12/iss2/6/
Since 2004-05 first year students at the School of Environmental Sciences, Ulster University have engaged with senior student tutors (SSTs) in workshop activities aimed at preparations for their written examinations. Using a pedagogical action research methodology we evaluated the role of SSTs in bridging the experiential learning gap between practitioners and recipients. Analysis suggested positive associations between workshop participation, examination success and improved module marks. Surveys showed that first year students gained confidence, were less intimidated and empowered with revision and examination techniques. The SSTs gained valuable insights, tutoring experience and an evidence base useful to their career paths. Discussion focused upon risk-averse first year students who grasped and then transformed the experiences of the SSTs into successful examination performance. It is argued that our SSTs have helped to bridge the experiential learning gap and made inter-collegiate connections that would have been less-likely in a formal, teaching staff-led situation. Faculty suffering from examination related student progression problems could, therefore, benefit from adopting this locally controlled, low cost, small-scale, tailor-made, peer assisted tutoring scheme.
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