Our research project has been focused on understanding the barriers and enablers of direct entry (DE) students to Edinburgh Napier University as they embark on the Undergraduate Dissertation. DE students often find embarking on a dissertation a daunting prospect since they can lack the required knowledge and academic writing skills to formulate a viable dissertation proposal at Higher Education (HE) Honours level. Through our research we have identified that one of the best ways to support these students’ transition into HE and ease their ‘chronic uncertainty’ is to provide ‘scaffolding’ in the form of a comprehensive and robust e-toolkit. We have called this the Dissertation Maze. This e-toolkit, in the form of a web based learning artefact, seeks to provide ‘provisional stability’ for DE learners and smooth their transition between learning environments. We have been piloting this tool and have identified that students find the resource beneficial for orientating themselves with the demands of the dissertation learning experience.
Brodie, J., Penny, K. I., Windram, B., & McCallum, L. (2015). The development of an e-Toolkit for direct entry students to aid transition into Higher Education: the dissertation maze