The experience of students with learning contracts - a longitudinal study

Karl Baker-Green (Sheffield Hallam University)
Alison McCamley (Sheffield Hallam University )

Thursday, April 01, 2021 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM

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Session Outline

There has been educational research interest in the area of provision of disabled student support across the higher education sector which has argued for significant changes to provision in order help reduce barriers for these students (Williams et al., 2017; James et al., 2017). At Sheffield Hallam University’s (SHU) the department of Psychology, Politics and Sociology (PSP) has an embedded model of student support across the three undergraduate degree routes. At the undergraduate level, the first year is timetabled and assessed and then the further two years operate different patterns of contact and assessment. Over the last fifteen years disabled student numbers have risen consistently in higher education (Wilson & Martin 2017) including a rise in the numbers of first-degree new undergraduates declaring a disability (HEFCE, 2017b.). The numbers of students with a learning contract has also increased and remains relatively high in the PSP department in Sheffield Hallam. A scoping exercise has identified staff concern about the extent to which there is a consistent and joined up approach for students with learning contracts, something further highlighted in staff support drop-ins during the remote working period semester 2 academic year 2020. It is this staff concern about a lack of consistency and joined up practice across the department/university that is the basis of this presentation.

We are currently evaluating a number of strands that we would like to discuss with you (some of which may still be a work in progress at the conference):

  • From a student perspective in relation to their support for learning,
  • From an academic advisor perspective reflecting on their role as a named academic, and
  • From a module teaching team perspective on awareness of students with learning contracts.

This session addresses the following competencies of the UKAT Professional Framework for Advising and Tutoring
C5 - How equitable and inclusive environments are created and maintained
I3 - HE Provider policies, procedures, rules, and regulations
R3 - Motivate, encourage, and support students to recognize their potential, meet challenges, and respect individuality
P1 - Create and support environments that consider the needs and perspectives of students, and respect individual learners