Investigating international student transition to Higher Education using Rich Pictures

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On arrival at a new campus in new country, international students are at a crucial stage in their academic careers, transitioning from study or work in their home countries to study in an unfamiliar environment in a different country. The transition time can be relatively smooth and uncomplicated but for many it can be stressful and difficult.  Our research involved using collaborative group work techniques to gather information with focus groups discussions. A collaborative drawing technique known as a rich picture (RP) was employed in order to gather insight into transition because visuals have the vast capacity to communicate irrespective of possible language, culture and education barriers. The RP is a familiar tool used in information systems (Bell, Berg & Morse, 2016) to gather understanding about human activity for system design to assist the exploration of different worldviews within a complex situation.  Seventy-one students at three different universities in Scotland took part in this research.  A student-led analysis of 16 RPs provided a nuanced understanding of social, cultural, economic and academic issues that are of concern to many international students.  This analysis sought to identify areas that could be further investigated in order to improve the international student experience.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2016
EventLearning and Teaching Symposium: Enhancing Teaching through Innovative Pedagogies and Technologies - Heriot Watt University , Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 26 Oct 201626 Oct 2016


ConferenceLearning and Teaching Symposium
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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