Conference Papers

Is it all about the marks?

We report about a single-case study (n=296) with data collected from one hybrid FE/HE provider. We assessed undergraduate students in terms of their attainment, achievement and in relation to individual differences as displayed by individually assessed resilience level.

Although some educational consultants appear to offer specific training programmes to raise students’ resilience levels, we remain sceptical about this. However, instead of following a group of students through their academic journey to assess as to whether individual resilience levels increase or remain the same, we assessed the relation between resilience and achievement. The idea behind this, was that even it individual resilience levels were to be raised, could resilience levels as such be put into a meaningful relation (statistical) with accomplished academic achievements? To conduct our research we utilised a comprehensive questionnaire and the established RSA-Adults to measure resilience.

A statistical analysis revealed no correlative link within the triangle of attainment – attendance – resilience. These negative results prevailed even when enriched with a number of further demographic factors. A further factor-analysis revealed no underlying, hidden factors that could provide a link between resilience and achievement. Hence, even if – and that remains still a contested claim – individual resilience levels could indeed be increased by the provision of sufficient training programmes, the effect this would be able to yield on these students’ academic achievement remain still unclear and not to be captured by statistical means.

Feldges, T., Pieczenko, S. and Barker, A. (2017) 'Is it all about the marks?', paper presented to The 13th Annual Conference of the British Education Studies Association (BESA), 29–30 June, viewed 13 August 2020, <>