All students are unique in their prior preparation for higher education studies and commence with different levels of skill and confidence. For some students, success is dependent upon or enhanced by appropriate learning support. Leaders Institute (LI) aims to provide a supportive learning and teaching environment that is responsive to individual student needs. This policy establishes principles for good practice in learning and teaching support for all students, regardless of delivery site or mode.
Extensive: block learning and teaching of five days face-to-face spread over the semester. This allows for students to complete readings, reflection and assessment and prepare for in-class activities between classes. The workload hours are the same as for an intensive.
Face-to-Face: all learning and teaching occurs on campus. Content, communication and collaborations between academic staff and students, and students and students occur on campus.
Intensive: block learning and teaching of five consecutive days of face-to-face classes of seven hours per day followed by 85 hours reading, writing, and assignments.
Learning Support: Any activity beyond the prescribed content of a course or unit that contributes positively to individual students’ engagement, retention, learning, and/or assessment outcomes.
Mixed mode: refers to learning design that strategically, systematically, and effectively integrates face-to-face, online, and other technology enhanced learning across physical and virtual environments, as informed and driven by student needs and support for desired learning activities and learning outcomes. It can include a combination of recorded lecturers and Zoom lectures. Mixed mode delivery might also involve some site-specific learning activities, such as work-integrated learning.
Online: a learning environment in which all students can access course materials, recorded lectures, learning resources, and communication through a virtual learning environment and learning management system.
· LI shall develop an environment where students feel that they are supported to achieve their learning outcomes.
· LI provides staff and students information regarding resources that are available to support student learning, including English language support and academic writing support.
· Information is made available to students on campus and online orientation, and via the learning management system.
· Learning support covers, but is not limited to, the following areas:
o English language;
o academic writing;
o time management;
o academic advice;
o literacy and numeracy;
o using library resources;
o using ICT resources;
o working with others;
o requirements of the relevant course.
· Learning support is made available via workshops in scheduled classes, small group workshops on campus or online and one-on-one meetings either face-to-face or via audio/video link.
· LI also has a mentoring program where students upon enrolment are allocated to either academic or administration staff for any learning support or any other issues;
· Lecturers remain in regularly communication with students throughout the semester via email and Zoom meetings, including those who have undertaken a unit in intensive or extensive mode.
· Students are also encouraged to seek additional learning support if required.
· Unit Coordinators will identify students who might benefit from additional learning support and recommend that they connect with learning support staff.
All staff and students
All students are required to complete orientation activities either on campus or online prior to commencement of classes. The Program Director and Registrar are responsible for the orientation activities for all students across all delivery sites and modes. Orientation encompasses a range of educational, course planning, independent living, and social information sessions. These include:
· registration, ID and campus tour or virtual meeting session;
· living and studying in Australia;
· library orientation;
· Learning Management System and IT systems introduction;
· course planning;
· individual course advice and enrolment check;
· academic expectations including plagiarism;
· student support services information;
being assigned a staff mentor.
Orientation sessions are supported through appropriate resources posted on the website and the Student Learning Management System (Moodle System). The Student Support Officers on campus or delegated member of staff are responsible for checking student completion of orientation activities and following up with students who do not complete all orientation requirements. The orientation and follow up procedures are designed to ensure that all students are appropriately inducted into their course.
IDENTIFICATION OF INDIVIDUAL STUDENT NEEDS
Scrutiny of students is maintained by lecturers and student services staff. Attendance rolls are taken at each face-to-face class, including intensives and extensives. The Unit Coordinator will ensure that online students have engaged in the relevant Moodle content prior to the census date and throughout the semester. Assignment submissions are monitored.
Students who fail to attend class regularly, engage online with Moodle content during the semester, and/or who fail to submit one or more assessments are contacted by the Program Director. The Program Director may identify these students as having learning support needs. The Program Director will consult with each student identified as having learning support needs. Learning support needs may be identified:
· by poor attendance, poor engagement on Moodle, and/or poor assessment outcomes;
· during initial orientation activities;
· by self-referral by a student;
· when a lecturer/tutor has identified that a learner is experiencing difficulty (this may be by observation in class, in mixed mode delivery, engagement with online Moodle material, or upon analysis of assessment items submitted early in the term);
· when a learner seeks assistance from the Student Support Officer, Program Director or some other member of staff;
· after a student subject evaluation survey;
· during a face-to-face or online interview with a student;
as part of an intervention strategy agreed between the learner and the Program Director.
ONGOING STUDENT LEARNING SUPPORT
Orientation activities include information to assist students with the relevant AQF level study requirements. The activities include on campus or online workshops, individual interviews with students and informal support provided by lecturers/tutors. The support programs utilise a wide range of resources available on Moodle system and in the library. Individual assistance is available from specialist support staff. This includes:
English language and academic assistance
English language and academic advice workshops and resources include such topics as essay writing, report writing, APA referencing, avoiding plagiarism, using Turnitin, making oral presentations, and examination tips.
The on-campus and online orientation activities include library information sessions. Additional workshops are scheduled throughout the year to assist students to effectively utilise the online library catalogue and resources. These workshops are designed to improve information literacy skills of students. The Librarian and other support staff are available during work hours (9am to 5pm Monday-Friday) to give individual assistance and advice to on campus, online, and mixed mode students.
Information technology staff and other support staff are available to help students on campus or online during work hours (9am to 5pm Monday-Friday) with the technology available to them and with connectivity issues related to their course.
The mentor and student meet regularly during the academic year to ensure that each student has personalised care throughout their learning journey.
The Student Support Officers provide academic advice to students, such as time management, exam preparation, essay and report writing, referencing, avoiding plagiarism, library research, and stress management. The Student Support Officers also provide individual counselling with students by referral from staff or self-referral by students. Appointments can be made in person, by email, by phone, or via video. Times available for appointments are advertised and sent in electronic form to each student.
Documentation of students seeking support
Records are maintained when students are referred for additional academic or English language support. The Program Director also keep records of students seeking assistance. Summary data form part of the educational metrics reported to the Learning and Teaching Committee.
Academic staff consultation
· Consultation: student consultations with the Unit Coordinator, unit lecturer, tutor, or other appropriate academic are an integral part of the learning experience for each unit. They may occur on campus, by phone, or by video. The normal weekly teaching pattern provides face to face, online, or mixed mode lectures. Further diagnostic tutorials are scheduled to allow students the opportunity to clarify points of confusion, discuss aspects of the subject in more detail and obtain feedback on their assignments, both in draft form and on completed work.
· Web-based Support: Each unit is enhanced by an individual web-based support site through Moodle System. The Moodle System provides students with access to unit resources and includes a ‘forum’ and group email facilities that allow for the posing of questions by students and lecturers and response by both students and lecturers. Such community-based facilities are moderated and controlled by the Unit Coordinator. All students enrolled in a unit have access to the unit web page. All LI students and staff (academic and administrative) have unique LI email ID that acts as a conduit between them. Students are encouraged to use these email ID to contact lecturers or other administrative staff for any queries.
· Web-based support: Each unit is enhanced by an individual web-based support site through the Learning Management System (Moodle). This system provides students with access to unit resources and includes a ‘forum’ and group email facilities that allow for the posing of questions by students and lecturers and response by both students and lecturers. Such community-based facilities are moderated and controlled by the Unit Coordinator. All students enrolled in a unit have access to the unit web page. All LI students and staff (academic and administrative) have unique LI email ID that acts as a conduit between them. Students are encouraged to use their email ID to contact lecturers or other administrative staff for any queries.
Other consultations: In addition consultations and web-based support, a Unit Coordinator or lecturer may facilitate additional student learning support e.g. zoom meetings, study networks, mentoring sessions, research development sessions, course management advice, student feedback, further study options etc.