About This Webinar

The UKAT Student Engagement Special Interest Group (SE SIG), led by Jean Assender, University of Birmingham and Melissa Jacobi, Sheffield Hallam University; are running a cross institutional, collaborative research project to explore barriers to student engagement with Academic Advising/Personal tutoring.

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 students interact with the broader systems and processes at an institution, and how this affects how they derive value from their higher education experience.

The project is therefore using Listening Rooms methodology- whereby friendship pairs undertake ‘recorded, private, guided conversations without a researcher present’ (Heron, 2020, p393) around a series of 6 flash cards that the SE SIG developed around themes such as student awareness of Personal Tutoring/ Academic Advising, barriers to student engagement and what might a good tutoring/ advising experience look like?

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 across institutions.  This could support further research into ways to overcome these challenges and we hope support the ongoing development of our advising/tutoring offer, as well as adding to sector knowledge about barriers to engagement.

So far students from the University of Birmingham, Sheffield Hallam University and Manchester Metropolitan University who self-identified as not engaging well with their Academic Adviser/Personal Tutor have participated in a Listening Rooms conversation and the webinar will provide further details of the project and outline our interim findings.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Understand some of the key variables that negatively affect student engagement with Advising and Tutoring.
  2. Recommendations for improving the student advising and tutoring experience and engagement.

About the Presenters

Jean Assender, University of Birmingham;

Melissa Jacobi, Sheffield Hallam University