I'd ask [name]: defining the role of the academic mentor in developing students’ digital self-efficacy

Alison Walker (Swansea University)
Rebecca Pratchett (Swansea University)

Monday, April 3, 2023 12:30 PM - 1:15 PM

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Session Outline

Anecdotally, mature students are credited with lower levels of digital competence and confidence. Self-efficacy, defined as people’s belief in their capabilities to produce given attainments, can increase when students face their fears and succeed, and belief in one’s own efficacy can shape the course of individuals’ lives by influencing the types of activities and environments they choose to participate in. People avoid activities and situations that they believe will exceed their coping capabilities but will readily embark on challenging activities that they consider themselves to be capable of handling. COVID-19 accelerated a move to online learning which forced students out of their comfort zone and into a digital world.

To explore the experience of mature learners through the pandemic, interviews with full and part-time learners were conducted. This workshop will outline the findings of these interviews, focusing on the increased reliance of students on trusted staff members, often the personal tutor or academic mentor. This presentation will outline the challenges for tutors/mentors of supporting students through the development of digital self-efficacy. Attendees will be invited to participate in discussions relating to the UKAT professional framework: exploring the scope of the role of tutors and mentors in developing digital self-efficacy; identifying training needs for tutors/mentors who support the development of digital self-efficacy

The outcomes of the workshop will be:

  1. to develop a co-produced Venn diagram demonstrating the scope of the role of the mentor/tutor, mapped against the UKAT professional framework. (I6, R7, P1)
  2. a training needs assessment which can inform institutional level discussions around the development of digital literacy training for mentors/tutors (I5, P3)

This session addresses the following competencies of the UKAT Professional Framework for Advising and Tutoring
I6 - Campus and community resources that support student success
P3 - Commit to students, colleagues, and their institutions through engagement in continuing professional development, scholarly enquiry, and the evaluation of professional practices
R7 - Collaborate effectively with campus services to provide support to students