First year Business students’ perceptions of academic support through embedding. A Practice Report
This paper explores the perceptions of first year Business students to embedding sessions and additional support workshops offered through a collaboration between learning advisors and lecturers in a first year foundational unit. Through a social constructivist lens and utilising action research methods, questionnaires (n=42) were administered to two cohorts of students at the conclusion of the unit in 2011 and 2012 to explore firstly, whether or not they perceived the embedding sessions to be of benefit and, secondly, whether having the learning advisor in the class made them more likely to utilise additional support outside class time. In addition, the researchers sought to explore whether there were any improvements in students’ final results which might be attributable to the academic support offered to them through the embedding sessions. The findings from the quantitative and qualitative data suggest that the students perceived the embedding workshops as having positive effects on their academic literacy skills. Furthermore, there was a slight increase in the number of students that sought additional support outside of class time. However, it appears that the embedding workshops did not lead to an improvement in students’ final marks for the unit and this is an area which requires further investigation.