Top 10 Tips for Digital Inclusion - Learn and Share

Dionne E Barton (University of Birmingham)
Karin Bottom (University of Birmingham)
Sarah Hall (University of Birmingham)

Thursday, April 01, 2021 1:30 PM - 2:15 PM

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Session Outline

Student support is critical to the success of education provision and personal tutoring plays a vital role in supporting students to fulfil their academic potential, feel secure and be resilient (see Grey and Osborne, 2020). Over the last ten months, students have had to – and continue to – navigate unfamiliar and changing learning experiences and personal tutoring has provided a crucial mechanism that has facilitated engagement and developed a sense of community. The Pandemic forced a rapid move to online personal tutoring across the sector and one way in which the University of Birmingham responded was to provide a general set of guidelines ‘Netiquette’ for online tutoring/learning. A further step has considered how to create more inclusive online personal tutoring experiences for our students, for example, there has been much debate about cameras on or off for teaching (Cheetham and Thomson, 2020) and we have discussed the challenges around teaching and tutoring students who are not present on line (talking to a black screen). From this, we created a ‘top ten tips’ for inclusive online tutoring document which UKAT have published. In doing so we considered staff and student expectations around traditional and professional programmes, taking the needs of different student cohorts into account.

Recognising the need for the ‘top ten tips’ to be dynamic, evolutionary and responsive, as we move through uncertain and unfamiliar territory, this workshop will further develop the guidelines. We will to share our experiences to date and are particularly keen to learn from colleagues’ experiences around engagement, inclusivity, particular learning environments and tutoring specific student cohorts. The workshop will adopt a conversational focus that is led by an appreciative enquiry approach which adopts the four phase method of definition, discovery, dream and design (Watkins et al. 2011). The top ten tips document will be shared within the workshop and pointers for discussion will be provided. In small groups we will discuss and reflect on delegates’ own experiences. We will collectively identify ways to make online personal tutorials more inclusive, responsive and reflective of our diverse student populations and their real and perceived learning needs. The workshop will develop ‘the top ten tips’ and following the workshop, a revised version will be shared and make available on the UKAT website. We hope this will be a lively discussion session, out of which new ideas, synergies and partnerships will arise to influence personal tutoring in HE.

This session addresses the following competencies of the UKAT Professional Framework for Advising and Tutoring
C3 - Academic advising and tutoring approaches and strategies
C5 - How equitable and inclusive environments are created and maintained
R2 - Communicate in an inclusive and respectful manner