Strategies for retention and success of special group students utilising a technological approach

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Authors
Storey, Carol
Nicholson, Elizabeth
Lawler, Elaine
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2003
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Conference Contribution - Oral Presentation
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students with specific needs
non-English speaking background
mature women students
international students
retention
academic success
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Citation
Storey, C., Nicholson, E., & Lawler, E. (2003, April). Strategies for retention and success of special group students utilising a technological approach. Paper presented at the Conference of the National Business Administration Forum, Mt Maunganui
Abstract
Groups of students with specific needs have been identified within a learning situation. This paper will address strategies that utilise technology (amongst other methods) to enhance the students' effectiveness as learners, thereby leading to an increase in student retention and academic success. Additionally, it will suggest teaching techniques to augment the effectiveness of teachers of special groups. The groups considered are mature women students, students from a non-English speaking background (NESB) and late arriving international students. These groups exhibit particular problems and needs over and above mainstream students, and coping strategies have been developed, utilising technology wherever possible. Issues raised by these groups are identified and described, as are their characteristics and behaviours, for example: • Mature women students often have heavy additional family commitments. They often struggle with technology, as it may be completely new to many of them. In fact, some of them display all the characteristics of a technophobe. • NESB students, whilst often New Zealand citizens or residents have the disadvantage of a language barrier and a different learning culture • International students often arrive after the course is underway and, consequently, have two barriers to overcome - that of language and that of trying to catch up. The special needs of these groups of students, if not met, can impair their learning experience and lead to their dropping out, or failing assessments. In conclusion, we will show that a range of coping strategies can assist in overcoming these barriers, and this paper outlines the suggested strategies for each of the above groups.
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