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Course Syllabus

M208 Our Students' Stories




Learning Module


Online - Self-paced + tutorials

Learning Activity


This module explores how storytelling techniques can be used to track and shape the process of understanding a student, and being understood by them, in advising sessions. It will guide you in using the devices and concepts of storytelling – such as, interpretation, character, voice, scene, structure, plot, themes and style – to ­encourage student self-authorship, provide a sense of order and purpose to a student’s personal story and support them with creating, changing or maintaining their identity in transitions through university. Through applying storytelling techniques, you will develop your understanding of the ways in which we can use narrative to construct meaning and how this can support students with navigating wider institutional scripts.

What will you learn from engaging in this activity?

  1. Critically reflect on how a student is making meaning out of their education, how particular events accrue meaning for the student, and how a student’s backstory and their cultural scripts are informing their present.
  2. Understand how these stories can shape student motivations moving forward in their academic journey and how to use this knowledge to co-create this story with the student and encourage student self-authorship of their future.
  3. Adapt and apply new techniques for capturing the richness of student developments across advising sessions and for evidencing the impact of your advising.

What key concepts will you understand as a result of engaging in this activity?

The stories that students tell themselves, their point of view and their modes of interpretation, impact their identity in transitions and colour their decisions and behaviours. 

By supporting students to contextualise their perspective, motivations and decisions advisors can empower students to take ownership and control of their stories.

What essential questions will this activity address?

  1. Why use storytelling techniques in advising?
  2. How can we capture the richness and complexity of student stories in an agile way which demonstrates the process of plot revision across advising sessions?
  3. What are the boundaries or limits of storytelling in advising?
Preliminary Learning

Before you engage in this activity, we recommend that you have studied these UKAT Curriculum activities, or attained equivalent experience.

M101 What is Personal Tutoring? [Learning Module]

M103 Listening Effectively [Learning Module]

Follow-on Learning
Participating in this activity will prepare you to engage in these UKAT Curriculum activities.
UKAT Professional Framework Mapping

Framework Competencies Addressed


R1. Build advising and tutoring relationships through empathetic listening and compassion for students, and be accessible in ways that challenge, support, nurture, and teach

R3. Motivate, encourage, and support students to recognize their potential, meet challenges, and respect individuality


P2. Appreciate students’ views and cultures, maintain a student-centred approach and mindset, and treat students with sensitivity and fairness 

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