It has been widely accepted that universities have to channel more resources in the recruitment of new students compared to retention of the existing ones. Therefore, it comes without any surprise to find that numerous nurture and nourishing efforts, strategies, and interventions have been introduced to address the retention rates of the first year students.
The Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment’s online orientation module, known as Faculty Orientation Online Tool (FOOT) has been developed for the first year science students at the University of the South Pacific. This interactive and engaging tool was designed in-house to introduce and share information about the faculty’s support services (such as peer mentoring, eMentoring, Peer Assisted Study Sessions-PASS, academic study skills workshops, course expectations, refresher and induction programme, Online Mathematics Diagnostic Tool), campus facilities, support staff and learning and support tools to all its incoming students irrespective of the campus of enrollment and mode of study. It addresses the issues of time management, roles and responsibilities, personal commitment and the need for realistic expectations. It further acts as a reinforcement to provide just-in-time information.