From school to Higher Education; reviewing the pedagogic transfer in Product Design
Statistics taken over a period of time show little correlation between the A level scores of applicants to the BSc (Hons) Product Design courses at the University of Brighton and the subsequent student performance on the degree programmes. In addition to prior educational achievement, an interview is therefore also required as part of the assessment process. This serves the purpose of better estimating a candidates suitability for the courses by exploring personal profiles alongside educational performance, but it also provides the course team with an openly interventionist policy aimed at enabling widening participation in higher education. It additionally provides a two way flow of information at an applicant's decision making stage which is considered to be an important factor in maintaining subsequently high student retainment levels on the course. The interview scores appear to provide a better predictor of subsequent degree level performance. The course team have however been keen to establish whether the interview criteria could be revised in order to obtain a more accurate correlation, and in particular to understand why A level performance is such a poor predictor of degree performance. Research was therefore conducted to try and understand some of the issues arising during the transfer from school to higher education, and in particular if the different pedagogic practices undertaken between these two educational sectors were influential. Results suggested that this was not the case directly, but did suggest some causal issues for consideration.