IATUL 2023 Slides




Librarians at Middlesex University Dubai (an international branch satellite campus of a British University) designed and implemented the Academic Aptitude Assessment (or Triple A), an online interactive resource to assist new student transitioning into university. The intervention has been devised to assess and compare levels of confidence versus actual academic skills within six areas. The first year transition is crucial to success (Gale and Parker, 2012) and it can be difficult especially for international students navigating the new diverse educational setting and culture of the host-institute (Rienties et al., 2012). Transition is exacerbated when new students can have unrealistic expectations regarding student workload (Bowles et al., 2013) and misjudge the academic skills that are required within the university environment (Head, 2013). Students unaware of academic skill deficits will not seek out help as they inaccurately believe that they already have necessary skills (Michalak, Rysavy, & Wessel, 2017).

The Triple A consists of three parts designed to improve student reflection and metacognition: an assessment consisting of 60 questions; results with ‘self-assessed’ confidence and ‘actual’ scores to identify academic skills areas that require development; and open-ended learning materials to improve abilities within the six areas. New students can overestimate academic skills (Michalak, Rysavy and Wessel, 2017) and those who are less competent not only overestimate their abilities but also fail to recognize how their skill level compares to others (Kruger and Dunning, 1999). Self-reflection and assessment of performance are an important part of learning as this impacts how the student attempts tasks in later performances (Panadero, 2017). The development of metacognition supports students’ accurate evaluation, how well they have learnt and understood, leading them to set goals and identify current capabilities compared to future needs (Dunlosky and Rawson, 2012).

This explorative research investigated first year undergraduate students’ perception of the Triple A in relation to their current transition experience. Qualitative interviews were conducted to assist the evaluation of the Triple A intervention and iterative development of the learning resources.

Publication Date


Conference Name

IATUL 2023: 43rd International Association of University Libraries Annual Conference. Dubai & Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (March 13-16, 2023)


Library and Information Science


Study skills, Higher Education, Students, University transitions

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.