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PECS: An Evidence-Based Orientation Event Framework for Enhancing Students' Sense of Belonging


In 2020, staff at Griffith University, Australia used a best practice and evidence-informed orientation event framework to create the University’s first series of fully online, university-wide orientation sessions. The PECS design framework was created to ensure that orientation events at Griffith focused on developing students’ sense of belonging at their institution. For the first time, this framework was used as the foundation of the new “Griffith Welcome Sessions”. This study uses established qualitative methods to analyse 572 student surveys about the Griffith Welcome Sessions. It finds that the use of a PECS orientation design framework improved students’ orientation experience and helped them to develop a sense of connection at university. This study also establishes that the PECS-based orientation sessions remained a key driver for many students’ continued sense of belonging five weeks after the sessions were delivered. 

Published: 2021-08-03
Pages:51 to 60
How to Cite
Cooper, R. (2021). PECS: An Evidence-Based Orientation Event Framework for Enhancing Students’ Sense of Belonging. Student Success, 12(2), 51-60.

Author Biography

Griffith University
Australia Australia

Dr Rhys Cooper is a Mentoring and Orientation coordinator at Griffith University. He works primarily on the design and implementation of programs aimed at improving students’ transition and retention. He is the secretary of the Queensland Peer Programs Network, a fellow of the Higher Education Association, and a member of Griffith’s Teaching and Learning Academy.

Open Access Journal
ISSN 2205-0795