Success or failure in a core university unit: what makes the difference?

Judith Dickson, Alma Fleet, Helen M.G. Watt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Factors which have been identified as contributing to student academic success at the degree and program level in tertiary study include mode of study, student age, previous tertiary qualifications and past academic performance. Limited published Australian research is available, however, on student academic success in individual subjects. This study investigated identifiable patterns related to the academic success of three separate cohorts of students in an Early Childhood second-year Language, Literature and Literacy unit (N = 601). The data support previous research findings with regard to the effect of mode of study, previous university qualifications and past academic performance on academic success in this subject. In contrast with most previous studies, this study found a significant relationship between previous study at TAFE (college study at a Technical and Further Education institute) and failure in an academic unit, perhaps due to the timing of this unit in the students' overall program. Further implications for Early Childhood teacher education are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-73
Number of pages15
JournalHigher Education Research & Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 2000

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