Engaging students has been seen as the key to promoting their achievement in higher education institutions. However, there is an important stage prior to this: the development of a positive student identity which influences students’ motivation to engage. As the student body has evolved from full-time, on-campus students entering university straight from school to embrace adult, part-time and online learners who are also in employment, the transition to a student identity has become less transparent. To encourage part-time students undertaking an undergraduate degree in Social and Health Care Management to engage with each other, the course team piloted peer assessment within the programme for a year. This paper informs the debate by providing insight into the students’ approach to learning and attainment. It is argued that the culture of compliance and the technocratic approach to task completion increasingly required within the social care and learning sector is antithetical to deep learning. For students to make the transition they need to commit to a student identity in which participation in reflection and critical debate are valued. The challenge is for universities to enable this by addressing the barriers and stimulating a positive identity for non-traditional students. Publisher statement: This is an electronic version of an article published in the Journal of Further and Higher Education, 38 (2), pp. 200-210. The Journal of Further and Higher Education is available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0309877X.2012.722200 .
Bibliographical noteThis is an electronic version of an article published in the Journal of Further and Higher Education, 38 (2), pp. 200-210. The Journal of Further and Higher Education is available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0309877X.2012.722200 .
- student identity
- part-time learners
- online learners
- social care