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A new approach to academic and pastoral student support was introduced in September 2018, for new Level 4 and Foundation Study Framework students enrolling at the University for the 2018-19 academic year. From September 2019, this new approach will also be rolled out to our Level 5 students. Known as Integrated Learner Support (ILS), this new model comprises 4 main elements:

  1. Centralised professional support from a new Student Support and Advice Team accessed through the Student Information Desk (SID) based on the ground floor of the Learning Hub at Waterside
  2. Centralised professional support from our existing specialist support teams e.g. ASSIST, financial guidance, counselling, Residential Life etc. Also accessed via SID.
  3. Programme focussed support from professional services teams (LLS and Changemaker teams) providing academic, employability and digital skills sessions to all students
  4. Academic support through the programme from the Personal Tutor, Module Team and Programme Leader

Integrated Learner Support is intended to deliver a ‘super supportive’ student experience by ensuring that students are aware of, and able to access the full range of support services that the University provides. More details are available in our online Fact Sheet for 2019 (available to UoN staff only). A new Integrated Learner Support Policy is also available on the Policies and Regulations page.

ILS is being rolled out over a 3-year period:

  • 2018-19 – FSF and Level 4 only
  • 2019-2020 – FSF, Levels 4 and 5
  • 2020-2021 – All UG students at UoN

Proactive Personal Tutoring

As part of the new model, our Personal Academic Tutor scheme will be phased out and replaced with Personal Tutors. This is more than just a name change – the integrated approach to ILS also signals a much more proactive approach to learner support through the establishment of Personal Tutor groups, a strong Welcome and Induction Week entitlement designed to build cohesion among the learners and build a sense of academic belonging and the deliberate and embedded use of group tutorials with regular meetings over the course of the year. Staff development for tutors undertaking the new role is now available to book.

New Approach to Welcome and Induction Week (from September 2019)

As part of delivering Integrated Learner Support, the University has also developed a new approach to Welcome Week. All students will now receive a core entitlement comprising:

  • a welcome to UoN/induction and expectations session led by the Personal Tutor
  • a subject orientation led by members of the Programme Leader
  • a team-building / getting to know you session led by the Personal Tutor
  • a short 1:1 individual session with the Personal Tutor

Programme-focussed, embedded academic, digital and employability skills support

The new Integrated Learner Support model provides for 6 hours of embedded academic skills across each level. These 6 hours will be delivered by our Learning Development, Academic Librarian and Changemaker Hub Teams. Each of these will be delivered over the course of the year in a timely and focussed manner by being embedded within appropriate modules in negotiation with Faculty colleagues to ensure that what is delivered is academically appropriate, tailored to the needs of your students and the programme. Members of these teams will be in touch with you to arrange these sessions, or you can proactively contact them yourselves (see the Get in Touch section on this page). This has been made possible through extending the academic year by 2 weeks. However, there is no requirement for tutors to increase their teaching time. This is about additionality.

Evaluating Welcome Week and ILS

A staff and student evalution of Welcome Week and of Integrated Learner Support as delivered during the 2018-2019 acaedmic year was conducted by the Head of Learning and Teaching Development and is available to UoN staff on Tundra (SEC, June 2019). Feedback from both sets of evaluations has informed the redesign of Welcome and Induction Week 2019 and ILS for FSF and Level 4 as well as the plans for Level 5. A similar evaluation of Welcome and Induction Week 2019 is planned for the autumn term 2019.

ILS Community of Practice

Would you like an opportunity to meet with colleagues delivering different aspects of ILS? If so, why not come along to our informal ILS Community of Practice? This runs monthly at varying times and dates, over the course of the academic year.

Image credits: Image by Paul Michael Hughes Photography T 07790819111 UK E W