Document Type

Journal Article


Faculty of Business and Law


School of Business




This article was originally published as: Fleming, T. & Stanway, A. (2014). Enhancing first year student engagement: collaborative practice in a core business unit. Journal of International Education in Business, 7(2), 137 - 149. Original article available here.


The purpose of this paper, informed by an action research framework, was to evaluate how a collaborative approach between unit facilitators and learning advisors in a first-year core business unit contributes to an environment where students are actively engaged in their learning. Student engagement in their learning is a key priority for university faculties, particularly in first year, as it is a key factor in student performance and persistence in their studies. Using the Australasian Survey of Student Engagement as a benchmark, a mixed-methods approach was adopted using an online survey (n_171) and focus groups

(n _ 17). Findings indicate that specific cohorts of students benefit from this collaborative learning model, as it encourages students to actively engage in their learning, provides them with early feedback on their performance, encourages self-reflection and provides transferable skills that form the foundation of their future learning. The current study contributes to student engagement literature pertaining to the factors affecting student engagement in higher education. The key lesson learnt is that the future success of embedded learning support relies heavily on building strong relationships between academic and professional staff.



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