Lightning Talks

Mark van der Enden, Emily Pentland-Hill, Najaah Oozeer (University of Surrey)
Samuel Fairlamb
Juliet Holdstock (Royal Holloway, University of London)
Sally P Laurie (University of Northampton)
Elizabeth Vokes (University of Northampton)

Monday, April 8, 2024 2:30 PM - 3:15 PM

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Session Outline

Collaborative Approaches, Learner Analytics and Personal Tutoring: A Holistic Approach to Facilitating Student Success at Surrey

Mark van der Enden, Emily Pentland-Hill, Najaah Oozeer (University of Surrey)

Personal Tutoring at the University of Surrey, as at many other Institutions, forms a vital part of the infrastructure put in place to support students throughout their degree. At Surrey every student is assigned a personal tutor who, in most cases, continues to function in this role for the entirety of the student’s time with us. As such the personal tutor is often the member of academic staff closest to the student and an important source of support, encouragement, and information, both academically and pastorally. This naturally places significant demands on personal tutor resources as they are required to have the necessary capacity for increasing case-loads and be equipped with the skills and knowledge to support an increasingly more complicated cohort of students with a broad scope of needs.

To facilitate an outstanding Personal Tutor System and to prepare colleagues adequately for the role, the last couple of years has seen the progression of significant pieces of work overhauling Personal Tutoring at the Surrey Business School. The work done has resulted in more streamlined processes and working relationships between Personal Tutors, Senior Personal tutors, our Student Success team and other key stakeholders (e.g., Programme Leaders, Directors of Learning and Teaching, Professional Services). This has facilitated more regular and open communication and the provision of joined up support to those students most at risk. We have particularly focussed on the need to provide proactive support, aiming to intervene early so as to maximize a student's chances of success. The recent acquisition of Learner Analytics, managed by our Student Success team, has greatly facilitated the ability of Personal Tutors and Senior Personal Tutors to do so by providing real time access to the engagement data of their tutees and as such the ability to proactively monitor how a student is doing and offer support if and when required.

This paper will provide an overview of the innovative practices embarked upon, how they facilitated proactive collaboration between Personal Tutors and Professional Services, and how oversight (per School/Department) by a Senior Personal Tutor has enabled a joined-up approach to offering support which has been perceived as highly valuable by both students and staff. Our paper will not only set-out the processes put in place but also share some examples of the way in which personal Tutoring and Professional Services, in this new context/arrangement, have successfully collaborated not only in offering a more streamlined and fit for purpose personal tutoring system, but also in providing tailored support to students who need additional support in order to succeed.

Personal tutoring for large cohorts using linked lectures and individual meetings

Samuel Fairlamb; Juliet Holdstock (Royal Holloway, University of London)

Reforms dedicated to widening access in UK Higher Education have led to the proliferation of large cohort teaching, and subsequent difficulties in how such large cohorts can be appropriately supported, especially within the context of a personal tutoring system (e.g., Stephen et al., 2008). Given how important personal tutoring can be for student success (e.g., McFarlane, 2016; Thomas, 2006; Yale, 2019), it is clear that serious consideration needs to be given to how one might produce an effective but efficient personal tutoring system for large cohorts. The objective of this talk is to provide a case study of one approach to supporting a large (250-300) cohort of students in a UK Higher Education Institution, using a combination of scheduled informational lectures and complementary individual personal tutoring meetings which give the students the opportunity to reflect on and discuss those issues of most personal relevance from the lectures. This approach enables information relevant to the development of core academic skills, such as using feedback, preparing for examinations, and effective study skills, to be delivered in a consistent and efficient way across the student cohort by staff with relevant expertise, while also providing greater structure to individual personal tutoring meetings, which are tailored to provide focused, individualised academic skills development support in addition to ongoing support for wellbeing and career planning. The semi-structured nature of the individual personal tutoring meetings has the additional advantage of providing greater clarity of the role of the personal tutor, and the purpose of the personal tutoring meetings, for both tutors and students (Wakelin, 2019), which it is hoped will increase student engagement with the personal tutoring system and increase personal tutor confidence. We will discuss some of the strengths, as well as limitations, of such an approach, and offer some advice on pitfalls to avoid for those considering deploying a similar system to supporting their students.

Experience of using the UKAT PAT/ Advising Journey Planning Game

Sally P Laurie (University of Northampton); Elizabeth Vokes (University of Northampton)

In this lightning talk, we present an outline of a structured programme of personal tutoring for UK based taught postgraduate international students(TPGIS) that aims to personalise the learning experience, engage students with their studies, and enhance their success within and beyond higher education. The programme is located in an Integrated Learner Support Model. We will reflect on the experience of using the UKAT’s Advising Journey design game, to develop an outline personal tutoring programme that maps meaningful student support interventions to relevant points in the student journey.

Academics and TPGI students participate in a workshop facilitated by UKAT in January 24. The session brought together academic staff who have considerable experience of supporting TPGI students, recent and current UK based TPGI students provided a lived experience viewpoint on issues discussed during the session.

This session addresses the following competencies of the UKAT Professional Framework for Advising and Tutoring
R7 - Collaborate effectively with campus services to provide support to students
I7 - Data and information technology applicable to tutoring
P1 - Create and support environments that consider the needs and perspectives of students, and respect individual learners
C3 - Academic advising and tutoring approaches and strategies
I5 - The characteristics, needs, and experiences of major and emerging student populations
P4 - Understand the implications of quality assurance and quality enhancement, and engage in on-going evaluation and development of advising and tutoring practice
C1 - Core values of academic advising and tutoring