Using the assessment process to overcome Imposter Syndrome in mature students

Chapman, Amanda ORCID logo ORCID: (2015) Using the assessment process to overcome Imposter Syndrome in mature students. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 41 (2). pp. 112-119.

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This research draws on the experience of a group of mature students’ studies during their first year at university. All experienced varying degrees of Imposter Syndrome, feelings of fraudulence and a lack of confidence in their ability. The process of ‘becoming’ a mature student is one of identity change and risk. Gaining a sense of belonging to the institution and academia is an important part of the transition year, but the assimilation into the culture of university life can be problematic. The first assessment for all students can be seen as a ‘rite of passage’ on the journey of ‘belonging’. So for mature students who may have had a substantial gap in their education, this can be a critical moment in their progression through the transition year. Negotiation through the culture and language of academia can lead to misunderstanding and self-doubt, and the process of assessment can be an emotional journey for some students. In this article the students describe their experiences of the assessment process and their need for feedback. Facing the judgement of their peer group and the academic staff was a particular fear of most of the students, as was the difficulty in both ‘getting started’ on and ‘letting go’ of their written work. The article concludes with a discussion of the role of assessment in relation to confidence building and to overcoming Imposter Syndrome.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: Journal of Further and Higher Education
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
ISSN: 1469-9486
Departments: Professional Services > Academic Quality & Development (AQD)
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2016 15:48
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2024 14:17


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