Embedding Academic Skills in Personal Academic Tutoring

Karin Bottom (University of Birmingham)
Sarah Hall (University of Birmingham)

Wednesday, March 31, 2021 11:30 AM - 12:15 PM

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Session Outline

It is well recognised that good academic tutoring develops students’ skills; it can significantly affect student experience and meaningfully impact on learning outcomes and achievement (i.e Battin 2014; McFarlane 2016; Pellagrino et. al. 2015). The University of Birmingham Educational Strategy (2020) offers an ambitious Personal Academic Tutoring (PAT) programme that seeks to support both the student experience and accredited learning. The scale of PAT provision has been significantly developed and reimagined as a result of the Pandemic and the required move to online teaching. It has been recognised that students require increased support and more frequent opportunities for staff and peer contact at this time; this increased need has been realised through the introduction of group tutorials which follow a ‘programme of study’ and which complement individual tutorials.

This session will primarily focus on how PAT supports academic learning, wellbeing, and the development of study skills. The complementarity between the different forms of tutoring (group and individual) will be explored. The session will situate PAT provision within the broader University agenda, highlighting similarities and differences of provision at College, School and department level. Examples of PAT programmes from the School of Government and School of Education will be showcased by two Senior Tutors from the College of Social Science – including discussion of the rationale of policy, pedagogy, practice and philosophy behind the PAT study content. The presentation will discuss the nature of student cohorts and how tutorial provision has been developed in line with student profiles and learning needs. The session will place an explicit focus on academic skill development and in doing so will explore the theoretical underpinning of each module. Module content will be discussed as will experiences around delivery. Student and staff facing evaluations will be addressed and how these have feedforward into the pedagogical design and delivery of PAT for Semester 2.

This session addresses the following competencies of the UKAT Professional Framework for Advising and Tutoring
C1 - Core values of academic advising and tutoring
C2 - Theory relevant to academic advising and tutoring
C3 - Academic advising and tutoring approaches and strategies
C4 - Expected outcomes of academic advising and tutoring
C5 - How equitable and inclusive environments are created and maintained
R1 - Build advising and tutoring relationships through empathetic listening and compassion for students, and be accessible in ways that challenge, support, nurture, and teach
R2 - Communicate in an inclusive and respectful manner
R3 - Motivate, encourage, and support students to recognize their potential, meet challenges, and respect individuality
R4 - Plan and conduct successful advising and tutoring interactions
R5 - Promote student understanding of the logic and purpose of the curriculum
R6 - Facilitate problem solving, decision-making, meaning-making, planning, and goal setting
R7 - Collaborate effectively with campus services to provide support to students
P1 - Create and support environments that consider the needs and perspectives of students, and respect individual learners
P2 - Appreciate students’ views and cultures, maintain a student-centred approach and mindset, and treat students with sensitivity and fairness