Navigating a pathway to create a multi-layered approach to personal tutor CPD

Eve Rapley, Rachel George, Peter Brown (University of Greenwich)

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

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Session Outline

Personal tutoring can make a significant contribution to student outcomes.In 2006 the Global Community for Academic Advising asserted that “academic advising is integral to fulfilling the teaching and learning mission of higher education”(cited in White, 2015). Personal tutors can provide both academic and pastoral support (Yale, 2019), helping tutees to navigate the transition to HE, develop a sense of belonging, and build resilience. Evidence suggests that an effective personal tutor can be the difference between a student dropping out or staying; between suffering a crisis or achieving full academic and/or professional potential (Rapley and Talbot, 2022).However, when most UK academics are or “will at some point in their career be asked to take on the role of being a personal tutor for a group of students” (Mynott, 2016 p.104), there is a significant CPD gap to develop effective practices and most tutors learn the role with little or no formal support (ibid, 2022), with Race (2010, n.p) reporting how tutors are often left to “make it up”.As experienced personal tutors who had recently joined Greenwich, we were conscious of a gap in development opportunities for tutors.Feedback indicated that they felt ill-prepared and under-developed for this increasingly diverse role.This presentation reflects our journey towards creating evidence informed CPD opportunities to enhance tutor confidence and capability.We will chart our progress, mark key milestones and outline our next steps.We will sketch the learning design principles employed when creating our CPD programme.The presentation will include group dialogue time for participants to discuss personal tutoring CPD at their own institutions.This will provide an informal way for participants to reflect on existing provision,and consider other CPD that might be feasible to include.Our journey began in 2019 with what was essentially a personal tutoring policy and a stagnating personal tutoring Moodle site.Fast forward to today and we have a small but growing programme of flexible online CPD workshops and a successful cohort-based UKAT professional recognition scheme.The CPD is designed in the spirit of the constructivist/ social learning principles, inspired by Garrison et al’s Community of Inquiry model (2000) to ensure the design emphasises authentic engagement through teaching, cognitive, and social presence. Getting to where we are now has not been easy.There have been significant hurdles to navigate as we have sought to increase visibility, get senior staff buy in and develop a collegial learning community for personal tutors.We have made mistakes and had successes and failures. We don’t have all the answers but hope our experience to date will be useful for colleagues who are seeking to design/develop personal tutoring CPD.Keen to model the dialogic nature of personal tutoring, we will facilitate audience engagement by inviting questions and comment, as well as facilitating peer group discussions.

This session addresses the following competencies of the UKAT Professional Framework for Advising and Tutoring
I1 - HE Provider mission, vision, values, and culture
P3 - Commit to students, colleagues, and their institutions through engagement in continuing professional development, scholarly enquiry, and the evaluation of professional practices
P4 - Understand the implications of quality assurance and quality enhancement, and engage in on-going evaluation and development of advising and tutoring practice