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Retention and Progression

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Julie Norton
6 October 2017

Retention and Progression

Where: Library Seminar Rooms 1-2

When: 10:00-12:30, Tuesday 17 October 2017

  • 10:00 - 10:30        

Student Success in the OU: definitions, targets and examples : Maria Kantirou (Head of Student Success in STEM) and Sam Thorne (Head of Student Success in FBL)

What is the OU’s institutional definition of ‘student success’? What are the key retention priorities and targets that we have set for ourselves for the next three years?  The speakers will discuss:

  • the latest on institutional student success targets;

  • what various stakeholders perceive as student success;

  • how student retention is monitored at University and Faculty level.

The presentation will close with a few examples of successful student retention and progression activities in STEM and FBL.

  • 10:30- 11:00    

Improving retention on a Level 1 Social Science module: Matt Staples


Inspired by the ‘More Students Qualifying’ theme within the Students First Transformation programme, the DD102 module team, chaired by Georgina Blakeley and Matt Staples and working with Martin Higginson, Student Support Team lead for social sciences, have been working incrementally on a number of initiatives that appear to be supporting an increase in retention. The 2016J presentation completion rate is likely to be around four percentage points higher and the 2017B presentation around two to three percentage points higher than the respective presentations the year before. In the talk, Matt Staples, the current DD102 chair, will explore some of the work that has been taking place over the past two presentations of DD102 to do with pre-module contacts for historically low achieving groups, in-module changes to support induction and assessment and in-module contact between module team members and tutors and between tutors and students.


  • 11:00- 11:15    Coffee break
  • 11:15 - 11:45    Retention and progression efforts on M250 -Anton Dil

M250 introduces students to OO programming using Java and is the main programming module on the software development strand. The module and its predecessors have had issues with retention and progression, in spite of many revisions. I will be talking about our recent efforts to identify students at risk of failure, and to improve our low pass rate, as well as our future plans for the module.

  • 11:45 - 12:15      Redesigning K101 for improved retention-Chris Kubiak

This presentation describes the changes made to the design of ‘K101 An Introduction to health and social care’ which have improved its retention rates.  The session will outline the underlying premises for the redevelopment before describing and evaluating the effectiveness of the changes made to the tuition, assessment and teaching strategies.  Further details are available in the Quality Enhancement report available here: Report Series/2016-QE-redesigning-to-improve-retention.pdf


As always you are welcome to attend for all or part of the session. We try to stick to timings to enable you to do that. Please note that this event will be recorded.

If you are planning to attend in person, please email we can make sure we order enough refreshments. Please also contact us if you’ve got any questions.


Details of previous events, slides, etc., can be found on our Cloudworks page, and recordings of many recent events are also available via Stadium.

The footage from this eLC Community Event can be accessed via the OU podcast page.

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