Evolving the student support role in a distance learning environment

Karlie M Wagner (MLA College)
Ann Bingham (University of Southampton)

Tuesday, March 30, 2021 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM

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Session Outline

Effective and efficient student support is an essential part of Higher Education, and providing both students and faculty with the services and guidance they need is the sole purpose of those in support roles. The current pandemic has introduced new challenges to those in the sector, being unable to interact in a traditional face to face environment has required many to introduce new and innovative ways of ensuring the needs of students and faculty are met, how we can identify students who are not engaging and how to build relationships with personal tutors in order to facilitate conversations between them and their tutees.

The purpose of this workshop will be to discuss the changes that have occurred since the start of 2020, and the experiences that people have had whilst transitioning to the virtual world, particularly in relation to underrepresented groups. Individuals will be encouraged to share knowledge and best practice with others in similar roles, giving examples of new processes they have developed and how these have helped to strengthen the relationship between tutors and their students. Key areas of discussion will be;

  • Evolution of key processes whilst transitioning from traditional to virtual environments
  • Best practice for ensuring a strong bond is maintained between tutors and students
  • Maintaining a sense of community via digital platforms

Following the workshop, attendees will be able to implement new ways of working within their own roles, therefore helping to strengthen the services they provide in a distance learning environment. Participants will have also established new relationships with others in similar roles, allowing for future networking and knowledge sharing.

This session addresses the following competencies of the UKAT Professional Framework for Advising and Tutoring
R1 - Build advising and tutoring relationships through empathetic listening and compassion for students, and be accessible in ways that challenge, support, nurture, and teach
C3 - Academic advising and tutoring approaches and strategies
R3 - Motivate, encourage, and support students to recognize their potential, meet challenges, and respect individuality