Improving Student Transition and Retention; a Netnographic Insight into Information Exchange and Conversation Topics for Pre-arrival Students.

Hardcastle, Kimberley, Cook, Paul and Sutherland, Matthew (2019) Improving Student Transition and Retention; a Netnographic Insight into Information Exchange and Conversation Topics for Pre-arrival Students. Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice, 7 (1). pp. 47-56. ISSN 2051-9788

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.14297/jpaap.v7i1.343

Abstract

The relationship between successful transition to university and student retention is well established. Fundamental to this success is the university’s ability to develop evidence-based interventions to support the initial phases of transition. Yet, gaining insight into the initial transitional processes is problematic. This is due to the university transition beginning when the student commences their information search for institutions and courses, rather than after they arrive for induction. Meaningful pre-arrival insights can, however, be acquired when the student begins to communicate their choices through their social media network. The aim of this study was to provide insight to inform proactive transition and retention interventions, by exploring pre-arrival social media communication exchanges. A twenty-one-month netnography of prospective student social media conversations, identified through a hashtag on Twitter and Instagram was undertaken. Thematic analysis of the netnographic data identified four consistent topics of conversation, revealing the expectations and tensions of a cohort from the initial transition stage until induction. This research makes the following contribution; employing proactive induction interventions that are informed by pre-arrival communication insights has the potential to positively impact retention and academic grades.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Transition, retention, social media, netnography, insight
Subjects: L600 Anthropology
L900 Others in Social studies
X900 Others in Education
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation
Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2019 13:50
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2019 09:45
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/41118

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