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What about talented students? An exploratory study.

This study was the final phase in a three-phase project. The first phase was exploratory in design and explored across four faculties, what support existed for high achieving students. The second phase introduced the intervention outlined below to one faculty in which there were no supports for high achieving students. The current phase introduced the same intervention across three contexts and was designed to support the learning of talented undergraduate students in tertiary settings. The study was based in three institutions: The Universities of Auckland and Waikato (based in the Faculties of Education) and Massey University (based in the College of Sciences). Students whose Grade Point Average (GPA) was above 7.0 (i.e., students’ whose overall grade across all their courses was in the A range) were identified in the respective institutions and invited to take part. Of those (N = 496), 126 students chose to take part. The intervention had five components: 1) A congratulatory letter sent to all undergraduate students receiving a GPA above 7.0 across all their courses 2) An invitation to a morning or afternoon tea 3) Invitations to all research seminars and presentations (normally reserved for staff and postgraduate students) 4) The opportunity to work alongside an academic on a research project 5) Acting as academic mentors for other undergraduate students Quantitative data were gathered at the beginning of the study in order to determine differences among groups represented in the sample. Students (n = 55) were interviewed about their backgrounds, why they considered they had been identified, factors they believed had helped or hindered their learning, and perceptions of university support for their learning. Following the intervention student views on its success were sought in a questionnaire and focus group interview.
Type of thesis
Rubie-Davies, C., Wardman, J., Millward, P., Bicknell, B., Ballam, N., & Riley, T. (2015). What about talented students? An exploratory study. (Report). Northern Regional Hub Project Fund Ako Aotearoa.
This report is published under the Creative Commons 3.9 New Zealand Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike Licence (BY-NC-SA).