Safeguarding Student Learning Engagement
Header

Examples of Good Practice

Examples of good practice in various activities and programs that actively monitor student learning engagement have been identified throughout this project.  A summary of these practices and the principles they illustrate are provided on this page. In the Good Practice Guide these examples are found in Part 2: A Social Justice Framework for Safeguarding Student Learning Engagement and are associated with each of the social justice principles to illustrate how the principles manifest in practice.

 

Self-determination:  Students participate in program design, enactment and evaluation and make informed decisions about their individual participation in the program.

Examples of Good Practice:

  • The development of an ‘Action Plan’ with contacted students involves students and helps self-identification of learning and non-learning issues impacting on their studies and assists in the design of individually useful and relevant support activities.
  • Feedback from student advisers is used to revise the MSLE program and Advisor training materials to incorporate issues or trends articulated in student responses into interventions so that both Advisors and students are involved in the design of the program
  • The MSLE program incorporates an evaluative mechanism (for example, a student survey) to gather feedback from the students on their contact experience

 

Rights:  MSLE initiatives should ensure that all students are treated with dignity and respect and have their individual cultural, social and knowledge systems recognised and valued.

Examples of Good Practice:

  • Programs adhere to ethical protocols around the use of student information.
  • Actions plans for students are tailored to meet their individual circumstances by listening to their responses and issues.
  • Information gathered in the program is confidential and there is explicit training and published guidelines for maintaining confidentiality.
  • Training of advisors incorporates appropriate communication strategies – i.e. Culturally appropriate and inclusive practices, speaking with students from culturally and linguistically diverse background

 

 Access:  Programs are designed to serve as active and impartial conduits to the resources of the institution (e.g. curriculum, learning, academic, social, cultural, support, financial and other resources).

Examples of Good Practice:

  • The Program focuses on making connections to support engagement. The Program has strong relationships and / or service agreements with support programs across the institution – such as mentoring, counselling and academic skills development programs.
  • Training of advisors involves understanding the institutional support ‘map’ and services available to students both within and outside of the university.
  • Training of advisors emphasises historical, social and economic barriers to access.

Equity:  Programs are designed to demystify and decode dominant university cultures, processes, expectations and language for differently prepared cohorts.

Examples of Good Practice:

  • Students’ working as advisors helps to normalise the ‘student experience’ via the use of student ‘language’ and may be effective in dispelling myths or preconceptions about approaching academic staff for assistance. Often the student advisor is recruited from a pool of student mentors who has prior knowledge of processes and protocols. Student advisors who have previously completed the same course of study are well equipped to discuss relevant issues. Consider matching advisors to particular cohorts of students when scheduling outreach activities.
  • A ‘Student Readiness Survey’ is emailed to students prior to the commencement of their studies. The questions and response alternatives help define various expectations which help define what ‘success’ might look like as well as identify potential non-academic barrier that may impede their university experience and make connections to tertiary-readiness activities or programs

 

 

Participation:  MSLE programs lead to socially inclusive practices and students experience a sense of belonging and connectedness.

Examples of Good Practice:

  • A ‘Welcome Call’ to students not only assists in inviting a dialogue about the hidden curriculum but it also offers a friendly voice – assists in breaking down or alleviating pre and mis-conceptions about university life and creates a sense of belonging.
  • Make the student experience a visible one via social media tools to increase connections between peers (example – a blog site, Facebook page).
  • Avoid language based on stereotypes or assumptions when communicating with students; use inclusive language