Developing socio-emotional intelligence in first year higher education students through one-to-one learning development tutorials
The relationship between socio-emotional intelligence and one-to-one Learning Development (LD) support offered to HE students is relatively under-explored. Socio-emotional attributes are often difficult to achieve solely within the classroom environment, although we know that engaging students in becoming more confident, resilient and self-aware can reduce their likelihood of withdrawal from their studies and improve personal achievement and success.
This study explored whether the support provided during one-to-one LD tutorials enhances areas of students’ socio-emotional intelligence and, in turn, positively impacts on their overall academic and personal development. Through a focus group with students and analysing feedback given by students from one UK university in the south of England, the experiences and benefits of receiving faculty-based LD support were explored. The findings suggest that students accessing this type of support further develop aspects of socio-emotional intelligence. This assists students in their transition into and through Higher Education, can reduce withdrawal rates and significantly enhances the individual student’s learning experience. We argue that supporting students in developing areas of socio-emotional intelligence such as motivation, self-awareness and confidence as part of the LD provision, empowers them to successfully complete their learning journey and benefit from the wider student experience.
Optimising disruptive approaches: extending academic roles and identities in higher education
Responding to the changing landscape of higher education (HE) requires the development and implementation of flexible and imaginative approaches to continually inspire, engage and support academics and professional services staff in delivering high quality student-centred learning experiences. At Bournemouth University (BU), the cross-university Centre for Excellence in Learning (CEL) was created to promote, support and co-ordinate pedagogic initiatives and embed the explicit valuing of teaching and learning into all aspects of university life. It represents a collaborative, inter-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary model with multiple stakeholder voices. Operationalised through the secondment of academics two days a week, and taking a thematic approach, Theme Leaders ‘bid’ for the secondment, and drive forward an agreed agenda. The BU ‘Fusion’ corporate strategy promotes clear links between Pedagogy, Professional Practice and Research, complemented by the current CEL themes of: Employability; Innovation in Technology Enhanced Learning and Innovative Pedagogies; Assessment and Feedback.
We believe that the sustainability and creativity required to deliver this agenda are promoted through the building of strong networks, the sharing of challenges and the collaborative development of solutions, however, as academics moving into the realms of learning development, our roles and identities are constantly being challenged, contested, and reframed by the responses of peers, students and our wider disciplinary roots. This paper offers a model for mapping and managing change and optimising these and other ‘disruptive’ practices within HE institutional settings, and considers the flexible and blended academic identities that facilitate this approach.