Spelling out the real problems 3

February 17, 2006

Students entering university today have a very different skill base compared with those of even ten years ago, and their social and educational experience is different from that of those who are teaching them. Can universities really say that they have embraced these differences and changed their teaching methods and curric-ula accordingly?

Have universities addressed the weak study skills base that we know students are coming in with by introducing a compulsory study skills module into every course? Do we explain to students that learning requirements at university are different from those at A levels or other entry routes? And do we tell them what we expect and how to achieve this?

It is reported that plagiarism is on the increase, but plagiarism is not a new phenomenon. It has just been harder to detect in the past. We are not teaching this "Google" generation of students what academic conventions are unacceptable or equipping them with the skills to use some resources in an acceptable manner.

All of us involved in lifelong learning need to review what each of us is doing and adapt and develop accordingly.

Shell Morgan

Kingston upon Thames

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