Dispositions to Stay Project
The HEFCE / Paul Hamlyn funded Retention Grants Programme supports seven projects to identify, evaluate and disseminate good practice relating to student retention. A total of £1 million has been made available over a three year period towards this aim.
Northumbria University has been awarded £200,000 from this fund to lead the ‘Dispositions to Stay’ project in partnership with the University of Bedfordshire, the University of Manchester and Glyndŵr University, to support and evaluate retention strategies using the Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory (ELLI).
In 2007 – 2008 the universities of Northumbria, Bedfordshire and Manchester, alongside 10 other Higher Education institutions, were involved in the ELLI in HE project. This saw the ELLI tool being used in a wide range of contexts, particularly in examining the use of the language of learning dispositions. This work suggests significant value can be placed on developing a student’s sense of learning, through an understanding of their personal learning journey and their development as an independent and self-regulated learner.
The ‘Dispositions to Stay’ projects builds on this work, engaging with students at various stages of their university experience, through analysing their learning profiles, alongside their academic performance and relevant retention data, with a view to developing a picture of the type of profile that supports both staying and learning power. Through this, appropriate interventions that are able to support the development of those learning dispositions that appear to relate to successful learning and retention will be identified, implemented and, importantly, evaluated for effectiveness.
The Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory – A Personalised Learning Profile
The Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory (ELLI) was developed at Bristol University (www.eloise-online.com) and is an online tool for measuring the notion of ‘learning power’, that is, the attitudes, values, motivations and dispositions required to be an effective lifelong learner. Once a student (or any learner for that matter) has completed ELLI’s 90 item questionnaire they will receive a personalised profile showing their strengths and weaknesses in relation to ELLI’s seven dimensions of learning power.
These seven dimensions, with high face validity, are:
Changing and learning; critical curiosity; meaning making; learning relationships, strategic awareness, creativity and; resilience
Benefits to Various Stakeholders
- Provides an evidence base for strategies to deliver student success and retention
- Gain a better understanding of and ability to address individual and cohort retention and attainment issues
- Ability to have a mechanism to target resources through the identification of ‘at risk’ students at an early stage
- Obtain a better understanding of the individual and group profiles of their learners
- Have a ‘language’ to discuss the key aspects of effective learning with their students
- Have the opportunity to be involved in a major national project
- Have access to supported pedagogic research leading to publications
- Access to support
- Acquire a better understanding of what makes an effective learner at HE level
- Ability to identify their strengths and weaknesses as learners
- Get targeted support in those areas in order to improve their attainment
If you would like to know more about the ‘Dispositions to Stay’ project, including enquiring about ELLI Information packs (for both staff and students) and for gaining access to the questionnaire please get in touch with either Jamie Thompson, Jamie Harding or Karen Williamson
- The report on ELLI in HE project
- A more detailed account of the Seven Dimensions of ‘Learning Power’
- Anonymised examples of ELLI profiles
We have now produced a full report on the First Year of the project. Findings are interesting and are shaping our strategy into year two. To read the report click here
Learning & Teaching Advisor
Newcastle upon Tyne
Senior Lecturer in Research Methods
School of Arts and Social Sciences
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tel: 0191 227 3545
The Centre for Public Policy
School of Arts and Social Science
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tel: 0191 227 4538