It is widely recognised that there has been an increase in the proportion of students accessing a university education, in particular from groups who would not traditionally enter higher education. With widening participation comes some key challenges, and pressure on institutions to retain students is ever growing. The need for and effective support mechanism for students and maintaining student satisfaction throughout the student journey is key, and pivotal to this is the Personal Tutor. The University of Cumbria offers an Integrated Foundation Year, the purpose of which is to offer a supportive route into HE for those who may need it for a variety of reasons. During this transitional year students gain the knowledge and skills required to succeed on their degree programme. Ensuring effective student support has been a strategic priority of this programme. Understanding that the students’ experience and satisfaction whilst on a programme influences retention makes it additionally important to get this right from the start. This case study outlines how a PebblePad workbook was used to support the programme. The strong positive aspects from this pilot study demonstrate that the workbook helps plan and support a consistent approach to the personal tutoring process. From September 2020 the aim is to integrate this project during Welcome Week so that all students and staff are fully versed in the expectations of the PebblePad Personal Tutorial Workbook.
The above case study is just one of twenty-five brilliant examples from our 2020 'Charting new courses in learning and teaching' conference. With case studies spanning degree apprenticeships, clinical assessment, interprofessional education, showcase portfolios, and many other contexts and disciplines, they are real stories of trailblazing innovation. If you'd like to download all 25 exemplars of pedagogical goodness, click the link below.