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Evidence from UK universities’ Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) concluded that whilst confident and experienced in their area of practice, some find the prospect of returning to study in an on-line environment and making the transition to Master’s Level daunting. In recognition of this, a small group created an online resource ‘Preparation for study at Master’s Level’ which students have access to as part of the induction process for the taught postgraduate programme, MSc in Advanced Practice in the School of Health and Social Care at Edinburgh Napier University.
This paper reports on findings of an evaluation of the on-line induction resource using NOVI survey to explore student’s views. 73% of respondents (n=25) felt that the online resource was helpful in increasing confidence about online learning and studying at Master’s level. Qualitative comments reflect other research signifying the importance of social interaction and ongoing support to co-create understanding and development of skills. The lessons learned from students’ lived experience informed amendments to programme online and face to face content and had an impact on the programme team by rekindling a programme focus.
Though particular to one programme within one university, the findings mirror themes highlighted elsewhere; that transition to Master’s level is complex, involving change and exploration of identity, anxiety about what Master’s level entails, all of which make for an emotionally challenging experience. Others who support postgraduate students studying at Master’s level, can learn from this experience.
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