Lightning Talks

Lisa Gannon (Leeds Trinity University)
Barbara L Silcox (Leeds Trinity University)
Melissa Jacobi (Sheffield Hallam University)
Corinne Woodfine (MMU)
Jean Assender (University of Birmingham)
Alison Raby (University of Lincoln)
Helen McCarron (University of Lincoln)

Monday, April 8, 2024 4:00 PM - 4:45 PM

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Session Outline

Using the 3 ‘C’s to unlock student success: A closer look at a coaching approach to personal tutoring.

Lisa Gannon (Leeds Trinity University); Barbara L Silcox (Leeds Trinity University)

It has been recognised that adopting a coaching approach to personal tutoring facilitates the development of resilient, self-confident and self-reliant individuals (Seraj & Leggett, 2023), and that learner-centred coaching approaches, based on relational pedagogy, can be a useful way of framing positive, developmental tutor : tutee conversations (Gurbutt and Gurbutt, 2015; Cook-Sather & Felton, 2018).

The reflective process of coaching, which will be a new skill for many students, can help support them to address issues in their personal, academic or professional life (ICL, 2023). Ultimately, coaching can provide a forum for student stories to be turned into strategies, which will enhance the student experience, leading to success.

Models (e.g. GROW, Whitmore (1992) to guide structured conversations have previously been presented and reviewed Kamarudin et al., (2020).

However, the process by which the coaching approach is introduced, and a structure to guide tutors in how to do this has not been demonstrated in detail. The objective of this professional development session is to provide a practical framework for those wanting to adopt a coaching approach for the first time. This is based around the three ‘C’s - (connecting, contracting and conversations).

The objectives of the session

This session aims to provide professional development in the area of coaching. It will introduce delegates to the three ‘C’s of coaching, to bring about successful personal tutoring interactions. By adopting a coaching approach to personal tutoring through connecting (relational pedagogy), contracting (setting the boundaries of roles and expectations) and structuring clearly focused coaching conversations, it is proposed that tutors will be able to support students to experience an enhanced feeling of autonomy, mastery and purpose, which has been specifically linked to intrinsic motivation (Pink, 2018) and satisfaction.


• A deeper understanding of how a coaching approach to personal tutoring supports student success.

• A simple framework of reference to support a coaching approach to personal tutoring using the 3 'C's - connecting, contracting and conversations.


“Why don’t they attend?”

Melissa Jacobi (Sheffield Hallam University); Corinne Woodfine (MMU); Jean Assender (University of Birmingham)

The UKAT Student Engagement Special Interest Group (SE SIG) led by Jean Assender from the University of Birmingham are running a collaborative research project using Listening Rooms (Heron, 2020) to explore barriers to student engagement with Academic Advising/Personal tutoring in three institutions. Students from the University of Birmingham, Sheffield Hallam University and Manchester Metropolitan University who are identified as not engaging with their Academic Adviser/Personal Tutor were invited to participate in a Listening Rooms conversation where friendship pairs undertake ‘recorded, private, guided conversations without a researcher present’ (Heron, 2020, p393) to help identify barriers to engagement with advising/tutoring.

This Lightening Talk will provide details of the project to date and outline interim findings which will be used by the authors to influence and affect change at their institutions (Parkin & Heron, 2022) to support the ongoing development of their advising/tutoring offer as well as adding to sector knowledge about barriers to engagement.

It has long been suggested that understanding how students experience their time at university is vital in terms of ensuring we can tailor provision to meet the needs of diverse student populations rather than homogenising our understanding and potentially alienating groups of students (Sabri, 2011). This concept is taken further by Hews et al (2022) who identified that it is necessary to consider how the way that students interact with the broader systems and processes at an institution affects how they derive value from their higher education experience. By listening to the voices of our students we will be able to identify and rectify institution - specific barriers as well as identifying themes that resonate with each institution and can support further research into ways to overcome these challenges.

The SE SIG Listening Rooms project was proposed following the 2023 UKAT Conference. Interim findings will hopefully be presented at the 2024 UKAT Conference with a view to a full presentation of findings and impact at the 2025 UKAT Conference.

Case study: Career Readiness Programme at the University of Lincoln

Alison Raby (University of Lincoln); Helen McCarron (University of Lincoln)

At the University of Lincoln, we have started a Career Readiness Programme for all our undergraduate students, demonstrating collaboration between the careers staff in professional services and personal tutors who are academics.

This programme was started in 2021-2022 and involves all students receiving a group session led by one of the careers team. These sessions are timetabled and count towards the students’ attendance. Some are scheduled into specific modules, and in other departments they are standalone sessions.

The programme consists of three stages: Explore, Develop & Apply, with specific activities within each of the stages. Following the large group sessions co-delivered with students, academics and industry, personal tutors contact their tutees either individually or in small groups to consolidate and personalise the information they have received during the large sessions. For postgraduate students, there is a PGT Horizons programme, designed to be embedded into the curriculum with a flexible approach to personal tutoring.

Personal tutors are provided with a Careers Education Hub which contains extensive resources and guidance for staff working with their tutees. The hub was designed by a university wide working group including academic staff co-lead with the university Careers & Employability team and Lincoln Academy of Learning and Teaching. Within this hub, tutors find conversation starters for either small group or individual contact, with signposting links for students to gain more expert information from the careers department. Also part of this is the learning guide, which explains the wider context and benefits of embedding employability within the curriculum.

The talk will outline the programme and how personal tutors work in collaboration with the careers department to enhance student employability, including data on follow-up appointments and referrals made by personal tutoring. An evaluation into student delivery and attendance within the Career Readiness Programme showed the increase in knowledge and confidence.

There will be an opportunity for audience participation through asking questions.

This session addresses the following competencies of the UKAT Professional Framework for Advising and Tutoring
C3 - Academic advising and tutoring approaches and strategies
P1 - Create and support environments that consider the needs and perspectives of students, and respect individual learners
R4 - Plan and conduct successful advising and tutoring interactions
C5 - How equitable and inclusive environments are created and maintained
R4 - Plan and conduct successful advising and tutoring interactions
P2 - Appreciate students’ views and cultures, maintain a student-centred approach and mindset, and treat students with sensitivity and fairness
I6 - Campus and community resources that support student success
I7 - Data and information technology applicable to tutoring
P3 - Commit to students, colleagues, and their institutions through engagement in continuing professional development, scholarly enquiry, and the evaluation of professional practices