Adjustment to Higher Education Amongst Alumni of a UK College on the Basis of the Accuracy of their Predicted A-Level Grades



Adewole, Peter
(2020) Adjustment to Higher Education Amongst Alumni of a UK College on the Basis of the Accuracy of their Predicted A-Level Grades. Doctor of Education thesis, University of Liverpool.

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Abstract

There is a degree of consensus in the literature, that university retention rates in the United Kingdom (UK) are largely dependent on the degree of adjustment by students, to university life and study. Various factors have been identified as being responsible for how students adjust during their higher education study in the UK; including institutional characteristics, personal attributes of learners, students’ relationship with staff, amongst others. This study draws on Tinto’s (1993) Student Integration Theory as a framework model to explore the accuracy of predicted A level grades, as a student’s pre-entry attribute, in regards to adjustment to university. For the purpose of this study, inaccurately predicted grades are defined as grades that were over or under predicted by at least one grade. A quantitative study, using quasi-experimental analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) and a one-tailed t-test, was undertaken to compare a sample of two independent groups of university students, who are alumni of a UK college. The sample of 40 participants, currently in the first or second year of higher education, comprised: 20 participants whose A level grades were accurately predicted and 20 participants whose A level grades were inaccurately predicted. Data for the different indices of adjustment to university were collected using the four subscales and the full scale of the Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire (SACQ™). Questionnaires from the 40 participants were then analysed using ANCOVA while controlling for differences in the year of study. The results of this study indicated that there are significant statistical differences in the adjustment indices (academic, social, personal-emotional, goal commitment-institutional and overall) between the participants whose A level grades were accurately predicted, and those whose A level grades were not accurately predicted. The level of significance used in all statistical inferences was 0.05. The participants whose A level grades were accurately predicted showed better academic, social, personal-emotional, goal commitment-institutional, and overall adjustments than the participants whose A level grades were inaccurately predicted. Even though the participants were alumni of a single UK independent A level college, they were studying in a broad variety of UK universities at the time of this study. The findings of this study will, therefore, be of broad interest, as they highlight a key role for accuracy of predicted A level grades in any intervention programme to improve adjustment, and subsequently retention, in UK higher education. These findings will also be of interest to the secondary education sector, as they contribute to the debate on the accuracy and implications of A-Level predictions.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Education)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2020 08:43
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2021 08:49
DOI: 10.17638/03090353
Supervisors:
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3090353