SLD Research - International Voices to the Fore
The aim of this research project (June 2014-2015) was to capture the international students' voice on a variety of experiences in order to bring Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and Student Learning Development (SLD) a step closer to understanding the complexities of these experiences and 'allowing us to move towards an internationalized learning and development system where students and universities shape each other'.
The research included a Literature review to understand best practice across different universities worldwide and a mixed method approach to identify key themes. These include: reasons for choosing TCD; academic expectations and challenges of students (such as confidence with academic writing, methods of assessment and English as a second language); communication with academic staff and peers and coping strategies in terms of seeking support and accessing services.
The mixed methods approach included non-participative observations (e.g. of Orientation/information sessions for international students) and a focus group and semi structured interviews with international students (n=23). The researcher also examined SLD in terms of structure, services provided and where it is positioned in relation to both international students and other stakeholders within college working with this group.
Recommendations focus firstly on actions for SLD to implement in order to better respond to the needs, challenges and experiences of international students and secondly a strategy to disseminate the research findings to the network of stakeholders identified and potential directions for follow up.
Download the full paper here.
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