Student Support and Development

UK Quality Code

Within this section, we would ask staff and students to refer to the following Expectation shown below from the UK Quality Code. For additional guidance, reference should be made to the relevant Indicators within the stated Chapter of the UK Quality Code.

Expectation (Chapter B4)

‘Higher education providers have in place, monitor and evaluate arrangements and resources which enable students to develop their academic, personal and professional potential.’

Indicator(s)

http://www.qaa.ac.uk/assuring-standards-and-quality/the-quality-code/quality-code-part-b

Introduction: The Scope of Student Support and Development

We offer a range of support and development opportunities to help students maintain and improve their wellbeing, personal and academic development, understanding of us as an institution and partner university practices, employability, and sense of community.

It is important that all parties recognise how student development is about more than helping those students with particular academic or personal difficulties. Whilst such students clearly need our assistance, the best support and development provision will engage with every student to help them to maximise their potential whilst studying with us. This means that we seek to enhance the entry skills of our students and ensure their potential is realised as well as providing ongoing support; and to continually evaluate our student support and development provision to ensure that it is viable and targeted with regard to all students on all courses.

Formal and informal student feedback is routinely collected, acted upon and built upon.

Induction

Induction plays an important role in promoting the success of our students.  We have facilitated a conversation among academic and support staff and established that the two main goals of induction are:

  • To give the student a sense of belonging within our academic community
  • To give the student a sense of self-efficacy in relation to their studies.

In order to achieve these goals we have put in place a formal schema for our induction programme:

  • At enrolment stage, students are given details of their induction session, including date, time and venue.  They are sent email notification nearer to the date.
  • An induction handbook has been created which augments the information given during the induction session.
  • The induction session begins with personal stories from progressing students and staff members in order contextualise the learning experience.
  • Each new student receives an induction pack which contains a personalised letter giving details for their IT and Learning Technology resources, including logins and passwords.
  • Each student is required to attend an IT and Learning Technology induction in a computer lab where they are supported by a member of the Learning Technology team to log on to their VLE, the SSP and student email account.
  • During induction, students are given information about our Personal Advice Network (PAN).
  • Clear signposting is provided to each student on where they can seek support and information throughout their studies, including disability support.

 

In addition to the information given during the induction session, induction activities are also embedded with the delivery of each course.  Specifically, this provides:

  • Guidance on course and module requirements.
  • Guidance on progression and assessment criteria.
  • Support on managing time and workloads.

Feedback forms are distributed and collected at the end of each induction session and are used to improve and build upon our work.

Post Enrolment Support

We have an Academic Strategic Plan which details academic and non-academic support mechanisms which have been designed to ensure our students can attain their full potential. While drafting and reviewing our Academic Strategy we take into consideration the indicators of sound practice and the UK Quality Code ‘Expectation’ with regards to teaching and learning support.

Figure 4 below illustrates the different forms of academic and non-academic student support which are provided outside the face-to-face classes.

To support students and provide them with an effective and high quality educational experience, the following academic and non-academic support is provided outside face-to-face classes:

  • Disability and Special Needs Support, which has been discussed in a Section, is provided by our Disability Coordinator.  We seek to provide students with a proactive, open and transparent assessment of their needs to ensure any reasonable adjustments can be made available as soon as formal teaching commences, thus providing students with a smooth transition.  There will be cases where this is not possible, in particular when a student fails to make a disclosure at the application stage.  We are committed to going beyond a strict legal application of the ‘reasonable adjustments’ test;
  • Diagnostic Testing supports the needs of our students in terms of providing adapted teaching and learning methods including the delivery of the Student Development Module;
  • The Student Development Module, is compulsory and runs alongside all our HND courses (from Level 4 through to Level 7) as an integral value-enhancing element.  This module can be adapted broadly according to the academic skills and learning support needs of a specific group, and for each individual student within a group.  Its primary purpose is to develop our students’ academic skills and to play a key role in the transformation of our students into independent and critical learners;
    • CASE supports the HND Student Development Module with 4 sessions of academic English input.  The sessions are on: Academic Language, Referencing, Punctuation, and Editing and Proofing.  These sessions are team taught by the Director of CASE and the Student Development Module tutor.  By delivering the sessions this way there is a conformity to the input being delivered and also a cascading effect of information and knowledge from CASE to tutors;
    • CASE delivers weekly lectures on key areas of academic study and skills: Academic language; Note taking; Reading strategies; Referencing; Paraphrasing, summarising, synthesising; Paragraphing, introductions and conclusions; Punctuation; Revising, editing and proofreading.  All lecture materials (including audio capture of the lectures) are available from our web site, as well as within the students’ VLE.
    • CASE also offers Academic Surgeries through with students can book one-to-one feedback sessions on their spoken or written academic English. They submit 250 to 500 words of writing (or bring a draft of a presentation) before they come along to the surgery. An academic English tutor looks at their writing before the appointment and then gives feedback on their strengths and weaknesses, and directs them to resources which will help them in the areas in which they need to improve.
  • The Personal Academic Tutoring system aims to provide all students with one to one support through their designated personal tutor;
  • Specialised academic skills and learning support sessions, including English Language development, are arranged as required through CASE.  Such sessions can be tailored to the needs of particular groups of students or individual students.  Examples of such provision include a lecture on writing literature reviews (delivered to Year 3 degree students), one-to-one academic English support for international students, and Academic Surgeries.  The academic surgeries are bookable 20 minute one to one sessions, with an Academic English tutor, through which students can receive feedback on their academic English (spoken or written).
  • Non-academic student welfare and support is provided by the Student Engagement and Success Division.  In addition, our students can seek guidance from specialised staff within Finance and Registry.

Student Responsibilities

All students need to appreciate that a successful undergraduate or postgraduate career will involve more than passing assessments to achieve an award. We provide a wide range of support and development services intended both to assist students in difficulty, and to improve the wellbeing, personal and academic development, understanding of partner university practices, employability and sense of community of every student.

However, it is the responsibility of every student to gain an adequate knowledge of what services are available to and appropriate for them, and to make use of these services as their individual needs and circumstances require.

In particular, students should make all reasonable efforts to prepare for and attend all of their classes and to also ensure they engage with the Personal Advice Network (PAN) and StudyPlus. PAN and StudyPlus offer invaluable opportunities for students to receive one-to-one guidance and help in all areas of their academic lives.

Additionally, students should be aware of the guidance and support that can be obtained from the Centre for Student Engagement Wellbeing and Success (SEWS).  Information on PAN, StudyPlus and SEWS can be found on all students’ online learning platforms, or through a quick visit to our reception desk in Dilke House.

Students are reminded that they are likely to require references for employment or further study from their tutor, and that it is unreasonable to expect their tutors to be able to supply an adequate reference if they have not engaged in a reasonable level of interaction with them.

Monitoring of Student Support and Development

We formally review our operational environment through our Annual Planning Cycle to ensure that we embrace the overriding principle of continuous improvement and enhancement of the students’ teaching and learning experience, which includes the arrangements and resources which enable student development, support and achievement. The Annual Planning Cycle seeks to ensure staff and students pro-actively engage with the process and embrace the importance of the need for critical reviews of every course and institution-wide service (which includes the arrangements and resources which enable student development, support and achievement).

Our Annual Monitoring and Evaluation Report (AMERs) is the principal instrument for the routine monitoring of our activities. The AMER provides comprehensive and reliable evidence on the quality and standards of our academic provision, and on factors that impact upon that provision. It provides intelligence on current and possible future developments within a Course Team’s academic or professional community and across the Institution. The AMER collates data from students (through the Student Module Evaluation Questionnaires) and Module Leaders (through the Module Monitoring Reports).

 

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