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The goal of the project was to conduct a ‘360 degree’ scan of the first year learning experience from three perspectives (instructors, staff supports and students) as well as to conduct a syllabus environmental scan (92 courses were reviewed) in order to better understand the complexities and varied perspectives of the experiences of first year students.

The study also included an examination of factors to consider for 1st year student learning including: student transitions, student engagement, and 21st century students.

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Tradition is often posed as the binary to innovation; it connotes an idea or practice passed on in replication as testament to its merit, or perhaps to the merit of repetition itself: the honour of the past, the comfort of the familiar.

It is from this safety of familiarity that we can pose alternatives and seek novel approaches.

At this year’s conference, we invite you to examine the traditions that thread and surround educational development, to take this opportunity to explore the traditions of your work, and to present the evidence for the continuation of an established practice or to rethink those traditions that continue without justification or merit.