Teaching & Learning Programme: Learner Support

Through understanding the diverse needs of all students, we reflect on ways to enhance the inclusivity of our curricula and learning support.

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Please check back regularly for updates. Details are subject to change.

Another Student-led Scheme? How Peer-assisted Learning Raises Student Grades

  • Date tba

Book your place here.

This session is aimed at Academic and teaching staff. This session will look at how Peer-assisted Learning, a well-established and globally recognised scheme of student-facilitated learning, can work well when offered within courses or modules considered difficult or high risk, or which have high drop-out or failure rates. We will explore how successfully PAL works at other universities, and how to implement PAL at Reading to enable students gain higher grades. This session aligns with A1, A4, K3, K5, K6, V1 and V2 of the UKPSF.

ASD/Asperger Syndrome - Learning From Experience

  • Thursday 1st March 2018, 09:30-12:30
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This session offers a chance to find out more about Autistic Spectrum Disorder/Asperger, the types of support available for students and classroom strategies which have proved helpful for students. The session is led by a clinical psychologist who specialises in ASD/Asperger. This session aligns with A2, A4, K3, V1, V2 and V4 of the UKPSF.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder : Effectively Supporting Students

  • Thursday 14th December 2017, 09:30-12:30
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This disorder is becoming more prevalent amongst the University's students. This session will explain the disorder, symptoms and ways to effectively support students. This session aligns with A2, A4, K3, V1, V2 and V4 of the UKPSF.

Demystifying IELTS - What English Language Entry Levels Really Mean For You And Your Students

  • Date tba
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This session is for Teaching staff. This workshop will show colleagues some of the linguistic challenges that international students face at different IELTS levels, in terms of what they can and cannot do, the language acquisition process and the impact on the level of engagement with the host academic discourse community. Examples of problematic discourse situations will be explored with the aim of raising awareness amongst staff, and giving them simple but effective strategies to enable a more considered response to international student language needs.

Staff who attend this workshop can expect:

  • Clear guidance on the differences between 5.5/6.0/6.5 and 7.0/7.5 IELTS levels across different skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing);
  • A greater understanding of how these levels may relate to international students' linguistic and academic performance on their degree programmes;
  • Interactive task-based discussions on how challenges connected with linguistic issues can be tackled in the classroom.

This session aligns with A1, A2, A4, A5, K2, K3 and V1-V4 of the UKPSF.

Destinations And Employability Insights

  • Thursday 28th June 2018, 12:00-14:00
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This event is designed to provide a briefing on new DLHE results and new graduate employability information which will be of particular interest to Heads of Schools, T&L Deans, SDTLS, DTLs, and leaders in Admissions, Student Support, Marketing and Planning departments, as well as all those working on employability initiatives. This annual event runs as a lunch and showcase of the new DLHE results (destinations of leavers) on our new Tableau application as well as insights from our annual student and employer surveys and results from the first year of career registration at enrolment. The session will conclude with an open Q&A and discussion session. Following the session you will be able to:

  • Use the new DLHE Tableau application to interrogate the new year's destinations data and use this to inform design of academic or student support programmes.
  • Reflect on key messages from our data collections to inform your own work

This session aligns with A1, A4, K6, V3 and V4 of the UKPSF

    Dismantling Barriers To Student Participation

    • Wednesday 7th February 2018, 14:00-16:00

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    This session is for all staff who interact with students in any capacity. It will explore how students' experiences of university may be affected by their personal background. Particular attention will be given to those characteristics protected in the Equality Act 2010 (including age, nationality, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and disability) and monitored in the University of Reading's annual Access Agreement (including educational background and household income).  Through interactive activities, participants will be equipped to:

    • Reflect on our individual and institutional expectations of students.
    • Recognise the ways in which our practices might exclude or disadvantage certain students.
    • Take local action towards making the University of Reading a more equitable and inclusive environment in which to study, work and live.

    This session aligns with A2, A4, A5, V1-V2 and V4 of the UKPSF.

    Developing Your Students' Critical Thinking Skills: Workshop

    • Date tba
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    This session is for teaching staff. In this session we will explore a working definition of critical thinking and what it means to be critical in the different disciplines. We will also explore what the literature says about critical thinking and how it is demonstrated in university study. By understanding what critical thinking means within the disciplines we will then be able to explore how best we can support students to develop these skills. Participants should come prepared with a short section from one of their student's work which to them demonstrates critical thinking skills. This session aligns with A2, A4, A5, K2, V1, V2 and V3 of the UKPSF.

    Dyslexia And Other Specific Learning Difficulties: Impact At University

    • Monday 23rd October 2017, 14:00-16:00
    Book your place here.

    This session is for all staff and provides an introduction to specific learning difficulties, their impact on students and reasonable adjustments. Following the session you will be able to explain some of the differences and similarities between dyslexia, dyspraxia and other specific difficulties, their academic impact and reasonable adjustments. This session aligns with A1,2,3,4; K3,4, V1,2,4 of the UKPSF.

    To see the online version of this training session, please click here (developed by Disability Advisory Service).

Facing up to the Student Attendance Issue

  • Tuesday 20th February 2018, 09:30-11:30
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This session will present work undertaken in the School of Pharmacy and the School of Literature and Languages to assess the growing issue of student attendance at lectures, seminars and tutorials. It will open up the debate about attendance which many colleagues feel is becoming a pressing concern. The session will ask whether attendance matters and, if so, why; what can Schools do to address non-attendance; how can new screens in RISIS assist us; why has non-attendance developed into a perceived 'problem'; what is the relationship between attendance and engagement; has screen capture and the early posting of lecture slides negatively impacted upon attendance?

The session will use debate, student input, research and statistics to assess the situation and it will also provide a conversation space where the questions can be opened up. With colleagues in Schools across the university talking about this issue and reflecting on ways to address it, the purpose of the workshop is to share knowledge and to work towards identifying solutions. This session aligns with A1-A4, K2, K3-K5 and V1-V3 of the UKPSF.

Facilitator: Dr Karen Ayres. Presenters: Dr Catherine Langran (School of Pharmacy), Dr Madeleine Davies (School of Literature and Languages)

    Fostering A Student Sense Of Belonging At UoR

    • Date tba
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    This session is for staff who are involved in teaching and/or supporting students. It will explore the meaning and power of a 'sense of belonging'; its importance to retention and success; and some means by which we can be pro-active in fostering it

    Following the session you will be able to:

    • articulate why a sense of belonging is important
    • reflect on a some specific ways you can facilitate a strong sense of belonging

    The session aligns with A1, A2, A4, K3, V1 and V2 of the UKPSF

    Employability And Personal Tutoring: Supporting Your Tutees

    • Wednesday 4th October 2017, 14:30-16:00
    Book your place here.

    This workshop is intended to give Personal Tutors and other academic staff interested in student development, the tools and information to support employability. Through a series of practical activities, participants will develop a deeper understanding of metacognitive aspects to employability and will consider how they can best foster this important developmental process through the personal tutorial system. The aim is to provide a constructive forum for the exchange of ideas and sharing of good practice, as well as provide reassurance and some useful practical tools and resources. Participants will also gain clarity on roles and boundaries, signposting and referral, and be made aware of what information and support is available. This session aligns with A4, K2, V1 and V3 of the UKPSF.

    Inclusive Teaching

    • Tuesday 10th October 2017, 09:30-11:30
    Book your place here.

    This session is for staff who are involved in teaching and/or supporting students. It will explore the implications of increased diversity of students for our approach to teaching and learning There will be an opportunity to explore practical strategies for removing barriers to learning and enhancing the experience of all students.

    Following the session you will be able to:

    • Articulate the implications of increased diversity for pedagogic practice
    • Evaluate models/approaches to inclusive practice
    • Reflect on specific strategies for making your practice more inclusive

    The session aligns with the following dimensions of the UKPSF: Areas of Activity: A1, A2, A3, A4; Core Knowledge: K3; Professional Values: V1, V2.

    Mental Health First Aid England Course (1 day course)

    • Date tba

    This intensive one day course is delivered by a Higher Education MHFA instructor and covers a number of key topics:

    • What is mental health?
    • Depression and anxiety
    • Suicide
    • Self-harm and eating disorders
    • Psychosis
    • Mental Health First Aid action plan

    The day includes a mix of presentations, group discussions and workshop activities. The course gives a deeper understanding around the issues that relate to mental health. Participants learn practical skills that can be used every day, including how to spot the early signs of mental ill health.

    Places are limited and allocated on a first come first served basis with priority being given to Senior Tutors. To book, please email Lisa Munday l.j.m.munday@reading.ac.uk. This session aligns with A2, A4, V1, V2 and V4 of the UKPSF.

    Supervising Research Students

    • Thursday 9th November 2017, 10:00-11:30

    Book your place here.

    A review of the guidelines on higher degree research supervision will be presented, followed by workshop activities designed to share, explore and discuss common problems and potential responses, as well as points of good practice. This session aligns with A2, A4, K3, K6, V1 and V2 of the UKPSF.

Supporting Disabled Students' Success Through Inclusive Teaching

  • Wednesday 21st March 2018, 09:30-11:30
Book your place here.

This session is for all teaching staff. This session will introduce and discuss the range of disabled students we have, their needs in teaching and learning, and how to make your teaching and assessment more inclusive. All those who teach and/or advise colleagues about teaching are welcome (including, eg, SDTLS and Teaching Assistants). This session aligns with A1-A4, K2-K4, K6 and V1-V2 of the UKPSF.

    Supporting International Students And Responding To Cultural Difference

    • Date tba
    Book your place here.

    This session is for all student-facing staff, and aims to help you understand some of the issues and problems faced by students when they come to the UK, and to respond effectively and positively to cultural differences in order for students to adapt to the UK university environment. This session is for anyone who would like to know more about how to improve communication and increase understanding between themselves and international students. Topics covered will include general differences between cultures, culture shock, and the adjustment process in both academic and social situations.

    Staff will be encouraged to reflect on their roles and how they and their School/Department might help with the adjustment process. By the end of the session you will be able to:

    • Understand some of the transition process of working and studying in a different culture.
    • Understand cultural differences and how to provide a supportive response.
    • Appropriately signpost students to further support.

    This session is not intended for those who are visiting a particular country and want a guide to cultural etiquette. This session aligns with A2, A4, A5, K2, K3, V1, V2, V3 and V4 of the UKPSF.

    Supporting Students With Mental Health Difficulties

  • Monday 29th January 2018, 09:30-12:30
  • Wednesday 27th June 2018, 09:30-12:30
Book your place here.

    This session will give practical guidance on how to identify and support students with mental health difficulties. Staff will learn to identify signs of students who may be experiencing mental health problems, and learn some strategies to respond appropriately to support them e.g. signposting to support available, and general resources. Attendees are invited to bring examples from within their own experience (without names to protect confidentiality). This session aligns with A4 of the UKPSF.

    Coaching Skills For Personal Tutors

    • Wednesday 17th January 2018, 14:30-16:30
    Book your place here

    The aim of this session is to give personal tutors communication tools and coaching techniques to support our students in developing their proactivity and personal effectiveness. In this session we will:

    • Identify key challenges in exchanges between tutor and tutee
    • Encounter coaching techniques including motivational interviewing, contracting, coaching models and questioning techniques suitable for personal tutors to use.
    • Try out the techniques discussed in a series of 'scenarios' to assess their use in practice
    • Ensure that personal tutors are clear on the referral processes in place for students that need support from other services

    This session aligns with A2, A4, V1, V2 and V4 of the UKPSF.

    The Academic Integrity Toolkit

    • Date tba
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    This session is for School and Departmental Directors of Teaching and Learning and other members of teaching staff. This event will relaunch the Academic Integrity Toolkit now updated and in a new and accessible format.

    Engaging students with good academic practice in finding reputable academic information, using it to support their writing and arguments, then citing and referencing it correctly is a recognized ongoing concern for academic tutors. The Toolkit, now available online as a multi-media resource, provides a single point of reference to make it simpler for tutors to introduce their students to these issues and to encourage the development of good academic practice. This should mitigate the risk of unintentional plagiarism.

    We will …

    • Showcase the materials available in the Toolkit both on and off-line
    • Explore the potential for these materials to be easily embedded into your teaching and disseminated to students.

    A light lunch will be available from 12:30 with presentations starting at 13:00. This sessions aligns with A1-A4, K3, K4 and V1 of the UKPSF.

    The Transition To Higher Education

    • Date tba
    Book your place here.

    This session is aimed at Academic and Teaching Staff. As our student population increases, so does the diversity of the qualifications our student population arrive with. Ensuring that each student is supported during their initial transition in university life is clearly important. As academic staff, we have to ask the question - does our teaching allow for a smooth transition to university level learning for all students? This session is a chance for us to discuss issues we all face with the student transition into higher education, and share good practice that might help others in similar disciplines. In this session, we will explore:

    • How do we know what our students know?
    • What kind of support can we provide to ease the transition to higher education?

    This session aligns with A2, A4, K1-K3 and V1-V4 of the UKPSF.

    The Roles And Responsibilities Of Doctoral Examiners

    • Wednesday 14th March 2018, 14:30-16:00

    Book your place here.

    A session to explain the roles and responsibilities of doctoral examiners, including an exploration of the variety of practices which exist on examining a PhD thesis and conducting the viva, with a discussion on practical hints and tips for effective practice. This is provided as a part of the University's plan to improve the support available to PhD supervisors. This session aligns with A2, A4, K6, V1 and V4 of the UKPSF.

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