Getting the Message: supporting students’ transition from Higher National to degree level study and the role of mobile technologies


  • Julia Fotheringham
  • Emily Alder


articulation, student support, SMS, mobile technologies, podcast, ELRAH


Abstract: In this paper, we explore roles that mobile technologies can play in supporting students’ transition to second and third year of university degree study, specifically along articulation routes from completing a Higher National Certificate (HNC) or Higher National Diploma (HND) at college. Articulating students face particular challenges associated with, typically, adjusting to the demands of moving up a level in their academic studies, acclimatising to an unfamiliar academic culture, and integrating into an existing cohort of students. Message of Support, a project funded by the Edinburgh, Lothians, Fife and Borders Regional Articulation Hub (ELRAH), developed a range of SMS, podcasts, and DVD resources, drawing on the voice and experience of existing students, in order to support new students and staff in their respective parts in the articulation journey. Through a process of action research, it was found that such resources can aid the transition process by offering timely contact, reassurance, and information to students as well as valuable development materials for staff. Responses to the challenges of using mobile technologies as support mechanisms for articulating students were identified. Additionally, other areas of transitional support provision outwith tertiary education were identified. The Message of Support project is sharing lessons learned and helping to inform good practice in this context.



1 Aug 2012