Departments across the University of York have been providing online support, information and activities for students before they arrive for a number of years with the intention of easing students transition into HE and helping them make the best possible start to their studies.
We’ve seen this support take lots of different forms from simple pre-arrival reading lists and self assessment tests / brush-up materials, to communication channels to allow students to get to know each other and current students before they arrive. Although all these approaches can be highly effective at supporting incoming students, there remains an ongoing challenge to develop approaches that will give students a practical, hands on introduction to their subject that students can actively engage with before they arrive.
This year the department of Computer Science went one step further – they sent all their new students a small Raspberry Pi computer in the post and set them a couple of challenges to start working on over summer. The results look phenomenal.