Week 1

  1. What have you learned about the practice of supporting student learning in HE?

Supporting student learning in HE:

Learning support are tools and resources, strategies, practices that provides social, intellectual, emotional and physical support to our students. In simple words all those things that we do for our students to help them to achieve their goals and to perform well in their field are actually called supporting student learning.

My learnings about the practice:

There are so many ways that I adopted to support my students in a well manner, some of them are those which a learned through my own experience and some of those which I had learned by reading case studies and practices of some well-known universities. 

Things that I had learned by my own experience and the case studies which supports my practice are as follows:

Be passionate:

The very first thing I had learned about supporting student as well as being a professional in my field in passion. If I am passionate about my work, I am well prepared about my subject then I will be able to deliver my best and make my student feel the same I felt for my subject and field. 

Collaboration and current knowledge:

Being a professional it is always necessary for me to be in touch with my field’s current developments and knowledge. For this I always used to meet with my peers and people who are working in a real industry to collaborate with them and to get current knowledge and to share my experiences with them.

Provide support by connection:

Being a teacher, it is always necessary and it actually provides support to a student when his teacher is available to him when he had some question in his mind. I always try my best to be available for my students when they need my help in any of their challenging phase.

Listen and respond:

The very next step which is actually relevant with being connected with your student. When you have connected with your student the very next step is to listen to her problem, understand that problem and respond accordingly.

Face challenges:

The last thing according to me which every teacher must have to adopt is to equip his student to handle change by encouraging independent learning and their ability to reason and question. In future challenges this practice always benefits them in lifetime rather then reading a specific subject.

All the things that I had mentioned here are originated from case study 4.2 which is about Success at Harper Adam University (David Llewellyn, Vice-Chancellor, Harper Adams University), and practiced by me in my own field. [Heather Fry; Steve Ketteridge; Stephanie Marshall, 2015]

  1. How has your understanding of this changed from doing this week’s topic and activities?

Before reading the content and methodologies that (UKPSF) had designed and provided to us, I was practicing the things but categorizing them was not easy for me. Usually when we are working in a professional area, we didn’t focus on categorization of our own strengths, professional values and activities we do in our area. (UKPSF) defines and help us to understand the areas of activities, core knowledge and professional values. We use them and interpret them in our own area of study and we learn that the balance between these three are very important for a good teacher. Side by side some information must be provided by institute on teaching practices, in which peer observation and teaching evaluation is very important (enhancing academic practice, Fry, Heather. 2014).

  1. What has challenged you?

One of my biggest challenge in student support learning is that being a single person I might not have enough strategies that helps me out it this area. Continuous learning is basically very necessary. As mention in (enhancing academic practice, Fry, Heather. 2014), that all academic and professional staff must be engaged in some activities that are related to their careers and those activities help them to share their knowledge and experience with each other. Some specific topics and agendas could be there if complete body or organization is organizing such type of activities for professionals. “In pedagogy of learning and teaching, conferences and events organized by Society for Research into Higher education (http://www.srhe.ac.uk) and the Staff and Educational Development Association (http://www.seda.ac.uk) may be of interest, as well as the HEA.”

  1. What has surprised you?

Being a teacher in my field where all points that I have mentioned in my first question are important but point number three and four which I actually applied really works very well. The result of these were surprising for me. When I started building connection with my students, I gives confidence to them that they can learn my subject, even the weaker one start showing their interest in the work. I use to listen to my student’s queries when it is feasible for me in my routine and start responding them on their queries that really help them in their subject and in learning process. In short, the things I learn from case study (4.2 Harper Adam University) was really helpful for me and it really gives surprising results to me.

  1. What have you learned about your own experience and practice of supporting student learning?

In supporting student learning where all the case studies provide many information and helpful material in it. Some of my experience and practice also help me in this, I use to do some practical session in each of my topic, whether I cover that in a day or two. These practical sessions always help my students to learn and understand the topic in a well manner. This practice also helps my students to raise questions about the topic and it builds a clarity about the given topic. 

  1. In which specific aspects of supporting student learning do you have strong experience?

Supporting student learning have many tools and techniques and every professional choose some of them in a wisely manner and according to his area of teaching or study. I believe in some of those tools that I have used and it really works for me. The very first thing that I use is av aids, all the professional use them in their field and in short this is an important tool for a teacher who is teaching someone. Secondly, knowledge about my subject and research on a specific topic is very important in this respect because I only will be able to answer all the queries of my students when I am having enough information about topic. Lastly, as mentioned above hands on practice and practical sessions that I use to conduct is another area in which I am having strong experience. 

  1. In which specific aspects of supporting student learning do you think you need to develop stronger experience, knowledge and skills?

The only specific aspect in supporting student learning which I need to improve and want to develop stronger experience knowledge and skills is connection with students and listen to their queries. Most of the time we see that many questions arise in a student’s mind when he started doing practice and at that time he uses to contact with his teacher or with his fellow. Most reliable source of getting the right answer is his student, at that time availability of teacher is required. I use to build connection with my students and answer their queries but sometimes I won’t be able to reach them. For this I want to build strong knowledge and experience by sharing this to some of my peers and some experienced professionals that how they manage this area. For this the Staff and Educational Development Association (http://www.seda.ac.uk) may be of interest, as well as the HEA.

  1. What actions might you take to develop your practice in each of the different aspects you identified for further development?

Time to time self-evaluation is very necessary for every professional. To identify all the weaknesses and to know the strength the one must have to set some specific goals for a specific period of time and in that time, he has to evaluate himself and has to see whether he is on a right track or not. Personal review and development (enhancing academic practice, Fry, Heather. 2014, p. 51) explains this process. For my problems it is also necessary when I am applying a new strategy that I learned from other professionals and peers, self-evaluation becomes more important.