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‘Get Ready’: Improving the Transition Experience of a Diverse First Year Cohort Through Building Student Agency


A great deal has been achieved in recent years in understanding how universities can best support the transition to higher education of an increasingly diverse student body (Kift, 2015). Numerous studies have identified transition program elements that correlate with improved success and retention for commencing students. Lizzio’s ‘five senses’ model (2006) rationalises these diverse features into a framework consisting of five affective domains that need to be developed in students to ensure successful transition. To assess how well a program based on the Lizzio model supports transition in practice, we evaluate our Get Ready transition program, developed for a large-enrolment first year Human Physiology subject with a highly diverse student cohort. We conclude that embedding the development of Lizzio’s five senses in a performative way is the key to building students’ agency and nurturing their identity as thriving members of a new academic community.

Published: 2019-09-03
Pages:14 to 27
How to Cite
Larsen, A., Horvath, D., & Bridge, C. (2019). ‘Get Ready’: Improving the Transition Experience of a Diverse First Year Cohort Through Building Student Agency. Student Success, 11(2), 14-27.

Author Biographies

La Trobe University
Australia Australia

Dr Amy Larsen is a Lecturer in Physiology at La Trobe University. She has expertise in teaching large, diverse first year cohorts in both face-to-face and fully online modalities. She has been the recipient of Learning and Teaching awards for leadership in curriculum innovation and contribution to an outstanding student experience.

La Trobe University
Australia Australia

Dr Deanna Horvath is a Senior Lecturer in Physiology and La Trobe University and joint Course Coordinator of the Bachelor of Food and Nutrition. She has over 16 years of teaching experience and passion for online delivery and the use of educational technology to enhance and support learning

La Trobe University
Australia Australia

Dr Christopher Bridge is a senior adviser in teaching and learning in the College of Health, Science and Engineering at La Trobe University. His interests include internationalisation of the curriculum, the student transition experience, and improving student engagement through teaching technologies.  

Open Access Journal
ISSN 2205-0795