Who are our Education Studies (Primary) concurrent students?

Gallastegi, Lore; Cooke, Carolyn; Saunders, Claire; Addison-Pettit, Paula; Tope, Clare; McPhilemy, Roisin; Henry, Fiona; Moore, Lorraine; Reddin, Mandy and Delsoldato, Jill (2021). Who are our Education Studies (Primary) concurrent students? PRAXIS, Open University.

URL: https://www5.open.ac.uk/scholarship-and-innovation...


This project sets out to respond to a significant increase in the numbers of concurrent students in the Education Studies (Primary) Q94 pathway and the growing anecdotal evidence about the nature and motivations of these students. It aims to explore the impact on students of studying at full-time equivalent intensity (studying two 60-credit modules concurrently), building on previous university-wide studies but with greater focus on the person behind the student. By focusing on the core modules in Q94 (E103, E209, E309), the project team were able access a large cohort of students, and tutors, across levels. A mixed methods and reflexive approach has been adopted, analysing quantitative and qualitative data. The analysis was then screened through various theoretical perspectives that will help achieve a richer understanding of the data and the corresponding student narratives. To ensure a fully rounded analysis the project team has been drawn from a diverse range of staff who support students, and the students themselves. The result is a multi-layered and multi-vocal analysis that can inform how we understand students and their motivations, while also challenging preconceptions that act as barriers to a more nuanced appreciation of the student experience. The project will be used to provide guidance for qualification and module teams, tutors and student support staff to support concurrent students, as well as generate tips for students embarking on concurrent study or studying two modules concurrently. At a more fundamental level, the ‘shifting stories’ of our concurrent students have the potential to challenge institutional narratives about concurrent study and the existing frameworks of support. The project team will seek opportunities to engage in presentations and workshops to share the emerging picture of our concurrent students who are demanding to be seen as “normal” full-time HE students, with the flexibility of structures, processes and interrelationships of their ‘red-brick’ counterparts.

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