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Thursday, June 19 • 2:00pm - 2:50pm
CON6.10 – Transition from a Distance: Delivery of an Online Academic Transition Course to Rural Students (Room A207)

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Offering excellent first-year transition programming can be a challenge, often because the transition is delivered concurrent to students' first university courses.  While students become accustomed to living in a new city, creating study schedules, or writing essays, they can be too overwhelmed to take in a workshop or go to an orientation. Transformation from high school to university cannot take place overnight.

In 2012, the University of Saskatchewan piloted a face-to-face, for-credit transition course, “Learning to Learn: Strategies for Academic Success.”  This College of Arts and Science course covers reading and note taking strategies, writing, research, metacognition, memorization, test taking, and critical thinking.  It is writing intensive, and includes experiential learning and reflective practice. To date, 465 students in 25 sections have taken the face-to-face course, including students in local high schools, mature students, at-risk students, and students in the college's Aboriginal Student Achievement Program. By May 2014, the first online section will have been piloted to rural high school students.

Briefly, the facilitator will review the course's objectives, structure, activities, and assessment.  The course was developed with extensive research into the literature around first-generation learners with limited social and educational capital, and learners disadvantaged in Eurocentric educational models.

Participants will be led in a discussion about early transition at a distance, and whether the transformative powers of a face-to-face course can be replicated online.  Participants will come away with ideas for implementing transition elements into their individual classes or programs, and with some considerations for matching the delivery of transition programming to diverse student realities.

Thursday June 19, 2014 2:00pm - 2:50pm EDT
A207 McArthur Hall

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