Helping Students to "Write it Right" with Studiosity, and Building Student-Tutor Relationships

Sonya McChristie (University of Sunderland)

Monday, April 3, 2023 5:00 PM - 5:45 PM

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Session Outline

At the start of academic year 2021/22, the University of Sunderland began a pilot of a new, external student support service: Studiosity. Studiosity provides students with an opportunity to submit draft work for evaluation of the quality of their academic writing, e.g. grammar, level, referencing, etc., but importantly not the academic content of the writing which remains wholly within the University. An Australian company founded in 2003, Studiosity have been engaging with the UK HE market since 2017, gaining a good reputation with institutions such as Manchester Met, Exeter, and De Montfort.

Designed to drive adoption and awareness of the service, our pilot was coupled with an early intervention activity at week 3 of students' studies, "Write it Right". This activity was designed to be facilitated by Personal Academic Tutors, therefore helping to cultivate that important relationship. Students at Sunderland are often from disadvantaged backgrounds, such as being older, or they are the first in their family to attend University, and the feedback they receive from the Write it Right exercise helps to identify any potential issues with the quality of their academic writing which may be a barrier to their success and which should, in turn, help to improve the University's retention, progression, and attainment rates - one of our top priorities.

Now at the end of our first year we are excited to be able to share what we have learned, how our approach drove adoption at levels far exceeding typical levels of uptake at other institutions, and most importantly how the availability of the service has impacted our student retention going into academic year 2022/23.

This session addresses the following competencies of the UKAT Professional Framework for Advising and Tutoring
I6 - Campus and community resources that support student success
R3 - Motivate, encourage, and support students to recognize their potential, meet challenges, and respect individuality