Student and Lecturer Perspectives Informing an Academic Support Strategy to Assist Students in a Medium-Sized Tertiary Institution

Jennifer Nikolai, Pedro Silva, Simon Walters


Students and lecturers rarely have the opportunity or the autonomy to reflect upon and critique the roles that each party plays in the learning and teaching environment.  This paper draws on the perceptions of undergraduate students and lecturers in a medium-sized tertiary institution in an urban area of New Zealand in relationship to the learning community and levels of student engagement.  Third-year students in their final year of study were asked to share their perceptions of their learning and teaching environment.  Simultaneously, lecturers shared their perceptions of student engagement and their development of academic skills during the course of their degree.  This paper evaluates the learning environment and investigates the gaps between learner and teacher expectations. The outcome of this study is currently informing the ongoing development of an academic support strategy to enhance critical and analytical thinking and student engagement in learning.  The research team also used the findings of this study to inform the continued development of a revised undergraduate degree curriculum. This research emphasizes the importance of student voice. The shared insights of lecturers and students will inform further Action Research stages of this project.


student voice; lecturer voice; academic support; student-centred learning; self-determination theory (SDT); action research

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