Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, Third International Conference on Higher Education Advances

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“University Challenges”: Addressing Transition and Retention through Games-Based Learning
Natalia Gerodetti, Darren Nixon

Last modified: 30-05-2017


In the changing UK Higher Education landscape, addressing student retention and attrition rates is of increasing importance. In this paper, after first reviewing literature on the factors influencing student retention and attrition, we explore how the transition to university life for first-year students might be addressed through a games-based learning approach. We explore the benefits of facilitating ‘students as (games) producers’ and incorporating ‘student intelligence’ into university teaching and learning practices before presenting ‘University Challenges’, a new-traditional board game produced through a collaborative staff-student project between sociology students and lecturers at Leeds Beckett University. Drawing on data from student evaluations from three different academic courses, we reflect on how playing ‘University Challenges’ can help first-year students develop the kinds of skills and knowledge basis that contributes to a better experience of the transition and acculturation into university life in all of its facets.

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