How do we motivate our Personal Academic Tutors to engage in personal tutoring?

Jean Assender (University of Birmingham)
Wendy Leadbeater (Aston University)

Tuesday, April 4, 2023 2:30 PM - 3:15 PM

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Session Outline

Personal tutoring is recognised as a central role in Higher Education, integral in guiding students as they progress through their various transitions and is intended to enhance the student experience (Lochtie et al., 2018). Most Personal Academic Tutors/ Advisors (PATs) start the role with good intentions, appreciating the importance of supporting students on their academic journey, whilst for others this is an institutionally mandated task. Either way, training for the PAT role is usually limited and the personal tutoring role can feel quite isolating, where even experienced PATs are faced with unexpected challenges raised by their tutees. Additional barriers that impact the tutor : tutee relationship include high workload, time taken chasing non-engaged students, scheduling and competing academic pressures (Brewster et al., 2022). Thus, even inadvertently, personal tutoring can become less of a priority. However we know that poor PAT engagement leads to a negative impact on the tutees and can be worse than having no PAT at all (Yale, 2019, Yale, 2020).

What can we do to ensure PATs are well supported, feel confident to guide our students through the challenges of transition, assessment, internal and external (expected or unexpected) influences? How can we maintain these good intentions and enhance the experience of those tutors who may feel less engaged? What are the individual barriers and how can we support our colleagues to overcome these to enable positive engagement and enjoyment with personal tutoring? This Action Learning Set is an opportunity to better understand issues associated with disengagement of PATs. It will explore ways to develop your PAT network, by offering reassurance and shared responsibility. Through capitalising on the wealth of experience of set members on how to support and motivate colleagues, you will learn about best practice and explore ways to develop enthusiasm for personal tutoring within your PAT community.

This session addresses the following competencies of the UKAT Professional Framework for Advising and Tutoring
P4 - Understand the implications of quality assurance and quality enhancement, and engage in on-going evaluation and development of advising and tutoring practice
P1 - Create and support environments that consider the needs and perspectives of students, and respect individual learners
C5 - How equitable and inclusive environments are created and maintained