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

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An Action Day for First-Semester Students, fostering Self-Reflection, Networking and many other Skills
Daniela Zehetmeier, Veronika Thurner, Axel Böttcher

Last modified: 30-05-2017


Over the years, we observed that students have difficulties when moving from school to university. In order to support our first-semester students,we designed and performed an action day at the beginning of their first semester. This day is designed to create identification with the subject, to get them actively engaged, and to let students get in contact with each other in an unstressed atmosphere. Furthermore, we intend to assess students’ initial level of competences relevant for studying successfully. The first four applications achieved good results. Passive students turned to a more active attitude, as they understood that they are responsible for their academic success right from the beginning. In a survey the majority of students agreed that the action day helped to get in contact with their fellow students. Interviews with lecturers confirmed this statement. Moreover, through the assessments, lecturers get insights into their students’ competences at a very early stage. This helps to adjust the teaching to students’ needs or offer additional support to them. Taken together, we designed an approach that offers our students a better start into their life at our university and we will continue performing this action day.

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