BA ES student Jeanine de Bruin and Patrick Bijsmans present at EARLI19

BA ES student Jeanine de Bruin and FASoS staff member Patrick Bijsmans presented their ongoing research project with Afke Groen during the 18th Biannual EARLI Conference, from 12 to 16 August 2019 in Aachen (Germany). Jeanine delivered the actual presentation, entitled ‘The role of social support in students’ transition to university. The case of Problem-Based Learning’, during this high-level teaching and learning conference.

Jeanine’s presentation was part of her 5th semester research internship with Afke and Patrick and supervised by Arjan Schakel.

The research looks at the transition of students from secondary school to higher education, a much debated subject, both in society, where the costs of dropping out of university may be high, and in academia, where scholars have studied the subject of student transition and persistence in the first year from many different angles. In this context, social support is an important, but often ignored, factor. Some research has emphasised the supportive academic and social environment that active learning environments can offer. Yet, the importance of such active learning environments for social integration and the transition from high school to university has not been researched extensively.

The research by Afke, Jeanine and Patrick addresses this gap by looking into the role of social support in the transition to a PBL environment. After conceptualising various elements of students’ social environment in higher education, they report on the findings of semi-structured interviews with students from the Bachelor in European Studies.

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