Safeguarding Student Learning Engagement

University of South Australia

These institutional resources or artefacts illustrate the social justice framework and principles in action and show the inter-connected nature of the principles.

Members of the University of South Australia project Working Group have kindly agreed to make these resources accessible via the project website.  The project team would particularly like to acknowledge the contribution of Tim Rogers in developing the case study and providing the artefact.

ESAP Support Scenarios (PDF 214KB)

Artefact type: Training


This two-person exercise allows the trainee Student Advisers to practice dealing with common scenarios. The idea is that the student advisers will get into a sufficiently deep conversation to uncover not just the surface issues but also the underlying, and often hidden, issues.

The trainee ESAP Student Advisers undertake this exercise after two three-hour sessions on interview skills that include non-judgemental questions, open questioning and various strategies for keeping the conversation going such as paraphrasing and summarising.
In total there are seven scenarios and each scenario has three cards: The ‘Student’s notes’; the ‘Adviser’s notes’ and finally, the ‘Elements of a Solution’ card.


1.  Form pairs and pick one scenario. There are two roles in each scenario. One adviser trainee role plays the Student Adviser role; the other takes the role of the student. Each role has a written background description. These student and adviser role descriptions are on separate cards so that the advisers in a scenario will not be aware of the student’s underlying issues.
2.   The ‘student’ and ‘Student Adviser’ now read their cards. When both are ready, the Adviser ‘makes the call’. The aim is to engage the student and tap into the underlying issues the student has. When finished (should take no longer than 5 minutes) the trainees swap notes to see the other half of the role play back-story. They can then discuss the strategies the adviser took in the call and how they might be improved to get at more of the underlying story.
3.  Finally, they can look at the ‘Elements of a Solution’ card to see if that adds important considerations.

Alignment to the Social Justice Principles:

This resource articulates both the principles of access and equity. The information transfer from advisor to student interprets university systems and protocols. Engagement with another student humanises the sense of confusion or isolation the student may be feeling at university.