Intervention for Success is a 2 year project funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) Catalyst Fund as part of a national £7.5 million programme of support to tackle barriers to student success. The project is one of 17 focusing on this subject across 64 institutions.
Working in collaboration with Huddersfield University (lead), Manchester Metropolitan University and Coventry University, the University of Lincoln Intervention for Success project will work to make effective use of data analytics and develop interventions which personal tutors can deploy to enable students to continue and succeed.
A key part of this project will be the development of a suite of online materials which could be utilised by any academic, at any university. This is anticipated to include a range of stand-alone electronic resources, guidance notes for a personal academic tutor mentoring scheme, and supplementary workshops.
Quite a few things have happened since our last blog….
Our personal tutor resources for staff and students are now ‘live’ and being used by personal tutors and students.
They can be found here
Resources can be duplicated and adapted by staff for use with their particular cohort of students. We have continued to request feedback from both staff and students on content, format and relevance of topics and what we have received has, overall, been highly positive. Both staff and students have highlighted the need for resources to be Lincoln specific, something we avoided in the first instance since we knew they were to be used across partner institutions. However, as a result, we are creating duplicates of all the resources so we can ‘Lincoln-ise’ them in terms of branding, images and content. Whilst ‘call outs’ in meetings (in our Senior Tutors’ forum and project steering group for example) and emailing feedback forms have garnered some feedback, we have found targeting individuals to be more successful. For example, I am regularly meeting a tutor to talk through one staff resource at each meeting. In the light of this feedback, we’re continuing to amend the resources (changes happen ‘live’ within Sway). We’re keen to receive any feedback from others too and the links below can be used for this:
Staff feedback form
Student Feedback Form
The staff resources in particular will inform a personal tutor staff development programme we are planning to start in January 2018 (session dates to follow). Members of the LHERI team are welcome to attend (and facilitate!) just let us know.
From an institutional perspective, we continue to integrate the project work into the Lincoln personal tutoring review through hosting the resources on our portal and regularly meeting with the managers overseeing the review. In addition, we have requested to go into all the University’s schools/colleges to talk to the personal tutors about tutoring, the resources, the project and the staff development programme to follow, something we have already done with the Lincoln Business School.
I’ve also planned a Lincoln based research project with themes closely related to the HEFCE project. It will focus on tutors’ views on the effectiveness of their role in the first instance with a planned second phase bringing in students’ views and students’ progress/performance. It will look at the relationship between the intervention of the resources to assess their influence. I had been considering such a project anyway when, last month, the research institute in which myself and Alison are based put out a call for HE research funding awards. My manager Karin suggested I apply. Nothing like a funding application to change thought to action I guess and undergoing that process certainly made me sort out my aims, objectives, methodology, ethics and all the rest…so, thanks Karin.
Lastly , Alison and I are presenting on the project at the fourth national tutoring seminar at Sheffield Hallam University this week, our first time talking ‘officially’ about the project to staff outside our university and the core team. This is organised by the CRA and linked to their personal tutoring award accredited by SEDA. Acronym translations: Centre for Recording Achievement and Staff Educational and Educational Development Association respectively. Should be interesting. One or two of the other presentations look like they could be really useful for us, so more to follow on that.
What with continuing to tackle the challenge of tracking and monitoring the usage of the resources, adding more interactive content to them and meeting with our student consultants, I think it’s fair to say that there’s enough to keep us busy!