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Blended Learning Examples

Academic advisement

Academic advisement

See it in action:

  • Academic advisement

    Academic advisement

    Janet Tatlock explains Combined Studies blended approach to academic advisement

Providing academic advisement of quality to a large cohort of students who have opted for an interdisciplinary approach to higher education is particularly challenging. Students reading Combined Studies undertake subjects in a range of disciplines often at the expense of missing out on the advisement structures enjoyed by those students who take options within one single discipline or School. Given the distinct multidisciplinary nature of their formation, academic advisement in Combined Studies is far from being subject specific and focuses on building successful partnerships between the academic advisor and advisee as well as their peers, all of which contribute to the development of Manchester graduates.

The blended approach to academic advisement provided by Combined Studies combines face to face with online support. Every study area in Combined Studies has an academic member of staff to oversee the academic interests of students in that area. In addition an 'Essentials' site in Blackboard, corresponding to each area of study, is in place providing a wealth of carefully selected resources ranging from induction activities to guidance on academic choice, assisting with the planning of short-term and long-term targets for development (a PASS or Personalised learning folder), careers and employability and proactively monitoring both academic performance and student engagement and advising on constructive strategies for improvement as necessary.

Combined studies approach to academic advisement embody students own personal and enquiry-based approach to development while also takes on board the importance of peer learning and peer feedback in career development. The site promotes communications and the sharing of experience between students across all levels of their studies. It contains common rooms for students in year 1, 2, final year and for all years, while face to face, students can join peer academic advisement groups in their subject area. A community of academic advisement is in place to develop practical and reflective skills of students as well as a learning community.

Benefits:

  • Managing large groups effectively
  • Requires low level of technical expertise/technical confidence
  • Preparing students to understand assimilation and engagement with academic advisement
  • Delivering timely, meaningful and effective support
  • Facilitating/ supporting peer learning
  • Help students develop transferable study skills and student's capacities to be active, critical and independent learners
  • Encouraging motivation and self-responsibility
  • Supporting students to focus effort and devote sufficient amount of time to the most important aspects of the course
  • Personalisation
  • Help students acquire the core knowledge which is necessary foundation to more advanced learning and understanding of their subject, particularly in independent research, essay writing and the avoidance of plagiarism