All posts by Tony

the parent HUB

Newcastle University Peer Mentoring is proud to launch the parent HUB.

This hub is aimed for all students who are parents, foster carers, adoptive parents, or about to become parents, regardless of age, gender or sexuality.

The free online hub allows you to share experiences, ask questions and be part of a parenting community within the university. There will be trained university wide peer mentors as part of the network to offer one-to-one support and guidance, as well as answer any question in the discussion board.

The hub will be based on Microsoft Teams and is an excellent source of advice and support from like-minded, empathetic and patient peers.

There will be a schedule of face-to-face activities for you to meet up with other parents, ask questions, have a chat, share your experiences and support you through the balance of being a student and a parent. And for those of you unable to attend these, there will also be a range of ZOOM online conference activities to allow you to meet new parents and be able to engage in conversation as though you were in the same room from the comfort of your own home.

The parent hub will also allow you to share, lend, borrow, give, donate, sell, and buy those much needed pieces of equipment and clothing via the online discussion group.

The files section of the hub will allow the University to share useful information and documents with you – as well as members of the network being able to upload documents as well.

There will be the opportunity to share your experiences of child-friendly shops, restaurants, taxi companies, as well as provide some top tips of baby-changing facilities in the University and city, and baby feeding friendly places.

To join the parent HUB please email Tony Chapman-Wilson at peer.mentoring@newcastle.ac.uk now.

There will be the official launch of the parent HUB at an activity event on Wednesday 17 April 2019 between 11am and 2pm. This will take place in the Lindisfarne Room in the Hadrian’s Building opposite the Bedson Building and Boiler Room.

There will be refreshments and activities for the children, as well as the opportunity for you to meet other parents. There will be a child feeding room available, as well as the opportunity to speak to members of the University Peer Mentoring scheme and Student Health and Wellbeing Services.

Come along at any point during the event and sign up for the parent HUB on the day as well.

Peer Mentoring Thank You Event 2018

Peer Mentoring Thank You Event 2018

Peer mentors from across the University gathered at the Lindisfarne Room on Monday 26 November 2018 to celebrate another successful year of the peer mentoring scheme.

Peer Mentors and Staff Coordinators were invited to this celebration as a thank you from the University following another excellent start to the academic year with new students being supported and encouraged as they started their journey on their chosen programme of study and made the transition into Higher Education. These students (the mentees) were invited to provide their opinion of the scheme and to share the many benefits they had experienced as a result of having a peer mentor:

“Explained clearly what it was like from a student perspective and what I should expect to know and learn and how to do so.”

Continue reading Peer Mentoring Thank You Event 2018

PGT Peer Mentoring Task and Finish Group

We are looking to introduce further pilot schemes in regards to PGT buddy/mentoring within the University.

An email invitation was sent to Senior Tutors and Peer Mentoring staff coordinators to volunteer to join a Task and Finish Group to consider the best way forward regarding the launching of these pilots. If anyone would like to become a member of this group please contact Tony Chapman-Wilson, the University Peer Mentoring Coordinator for further details at Tony.Chapman-Wilson@Newcastle.ac.uk.

UKAT Annual Conference 2018 – Workshop: Academic Advising for PGT students

Workshop : Academic advising for taught postgraduate students: an exploratory study

Jane Fearon, Alison McCamley and Anna Wawera – Sheffield Hallam University

There had been an institution consideration of how little was done at PGT level. A small exploratory study with students interviewing other students on transition to create some scaffold for PGT support was run.

Development of: Transition support; Personal tutoring and personal development planning; Employability skills; academic literacies and study skills; English for academic/specific purposes; and academic and social integration. Continue reading UKAT Annual Conference 2018 – Workshop: Academic Advising for PGT students

UKAT Annual Conference 2018 – Workshop: Staff and Student perspectives of Personal Tutoring

Workshop: Staff and Student perspectives of Personal TutoringGemma Taylor – University of Derby

MA dissertation research on personal tutoring with a small case study conducted between Jan and March 18 on a UG Programme. Consider student perspective on if the tutorial scheme was fit for purpose and if this enhances the student experience, and for staff to identify any training of changes. Improvement for EDI, widening participation, retention and support. Tutors are frontline for pastoral support; create sense of belonging with relationship with tutor; influence on student engagement; effect on satisfaction, wellbeing and retention rates; development of self-motivation. Continue reading UKAT Annual Conference 2018 – Workshop: Staff and Student perspectives of Personal Tutoring

UKAT Annual Conference 2018 – Workshop: Student perceptions: what is ‘academic support’ and ‘digital academic support’

Workshop 1: Student perceptions: what is ‘academic support’ and ‘digital academic support’ – Andrew Pye – University of Exeter

Peer support scheme has been running for 6 years, based on academic support and led by second year peer leaders. This is formed of group and individual tutorials and they aim to meet 2-3 times a term. The scheme also sees close work with the careers and welfare services. Problem that students do not turn up for tutorials with staff, and if they do turn up they have a quick 5 minutes conversation and leave – how productive was this? Look to offer online support to augment the tutorial system.

Project: Online survey to students based on NSS questions, pastoral system, peer support, online materials and what they might do with new apps. Set up Yammer groups and trialled these. Continue reading UKAT Annual Conference 2018 – Workshop: Student perceptions: what is ‘academic support’ and ‘digital academic support’

UKAT Annual Conference 2018 – Workshop: Losing ‘oneself’: Autonomy and wellbeing in tutorial innovations

Workshop 4: Losing ‘oneself’: Autonomy and wellbeing in tutorial innovationsDr Mark Tymms – De Montfort University – and Prof. John Peters

Human beings can be proactive and engaged, or passive and alienated. There needs to be an understanding of the perception of ourselves as people. Within anything there needs to be an intrinsic motivation as it needs to be for ‘us’. Tutoring can add to the problem that we are trying to remedy. Everyone has innate growth motivations creating intrinsic motivation, however tutorial systems may not always allow for this to happen. Continue reading UKAT Annual Conference 2018 – Workshop: Losing ‘oneself’: Autonomy and wellbeing in tutorial innovations

UKAT Annual Conference 2018 – Workshop: Building a Tutor and Mentor Support Programme

Workshop: Building a Tutor and Mentor Support Programme at NTU: The challenges of a collaborative approachDr Liam J Duffy – Nottingham Trent University

This workshop was on the building of a support programme and the review of this. The rationale was the ‘success for all’ and to close any attainment and progression gaps. There was the aim and the review of the improvement of target and non-target groups. It was identified that there were different needs in different schools and departments.  It was acknowledged that in most cases,  where there had been BTEC entry students, the school saw an attainment gap. 11 general principles to underpin tutorial systems and to allow for parity across the institution. A curriculum refresh policy says they will train staff so that the tutorial system will underpin a personalised learning journey for students. Students need to be consulted for what they need, like and want. Students fed back that the worse tutorials saw no relationship with the personal tutor as previous meetings were forgotten and tutors did not engage in learning about their tutees, their needs and their aims within the course. There was a consideration that there might be an issue that academics are hired on the basis of their research profile with limited consideration of whether they can be a tutor and engage with students. Should personal tutoring go to a specific member of staff specifically trained and experienced rather than academics? Can student focus be a risk to academic careers? There are no KPIs for personal tutors on tutorials – and how might the introduction of this engage and encourage the development of a more meaningful tutor/tutee relationship?

UKAT Annual Conference 2018 – Workshop: Academic Mentoring – engaging students in purposeful conversations

Workshop 2: Academic Mentoring – engaging students in purposeful conversations – Alison Braddock and Michael Draper – Swansea University

SAILS – Swansea Academy of Inclusivity and Student

Personal tutoring was revised to use a mentoring approach for students’ academic development and support

Why: There had been rapid growth of the University, and an increase in the demand for student support – wellbeing and academic. The University was aware of staff limitations in regards to understanding of wellbeing and mental health issues. As a result a bottom up initiative was generated by senior staff that began with a visioning day with a range of staff to identify university wide issues and challenges. It was identified that there was the need for teaching and learning and co-creation with students, improved student engagement, additional academic and pastoral support, and that in the past personal tutors had a check list of what to work through in tutorials rather than have student led meaningful conversations Continue reading UKAT Annual Conference 2018 – Workshop: Academic Mentoring – engaging students in purposeful conversations

UKAT Annual Conference 2018 – Workshop: Student Mentoring and Peer Learning

Workshop: Student Mentoring and Peer Learning – Gavin Jinks – University of Derby

Why they ran the pilot scheme: Sometimes students feel more comfortable asking their peers for advice; the reality of students sharing their experience ‘been there, seen it, done it’’; to increase level and type of support for year 1 students.

Recruiting of mentors: In the first year of the project Jinks approached 5 students with high levels of academic achievement. In the second year of the project Jinks saw a need for more mentors and also saw that academic achievement should not be the only criteria. This would allow for stretch and challenge, as well as supporting students with potential, allowing for more student engagement in the programme.  As a result Jinks approached 16 from the year 1 to be mentors.

What they did: Set up a Facebook group for networking and interaction; Induction activities planned and run; choose friendship and study groups; running study skills sessions; providing information and support on looking after yourself in the programme; managing relationships at home and outside the programme; an insider’s guide to lecturers and tutors; information on assessed practice placements. They would like to look at team building for future years. All the sessions and activities were created by the actual mentors,  as well as being run by them. Mentors ran student rep elections. Mentors facilitate study groups.