Supporting our new students
Whether online, blended or on campus, new students starting this autumn will need more support than ever to survive and thrive in their first year. This will require us to work effectively together to ensure no student is left behind. Here’s an update on how LCC’s Academic Progression Tool and Team can help.
The Academic Progression Tool (APT) is a collaborative monitoring and communication aide for prioritising support to students, providing course teams with a unique combination of information about their students in a secure and interactive workbook, plus assistance with reaching out to students who are struggling to engage. APT was introduced to help reduce year 1 withdrawal rates, and LCC’s Executive Board have asked for it to be implemented across all undergraduate courses as a matter of urgency, following the latest sector recommendations (Advance HE 2020).
During the Covid-19 lockdown an increasing number of courses have been working with the APT Team to reach out to students and offer them the support they need to progress with their studies. APT Administrator Veronica Otero has been continuing to work remotely with course tutors and administrators to update workbooks and adapt them to include new information, including data from weekly Moodle check-ins, introduced as part of UAL’s student online engagement policy, and details of students with Extenuating Circumstances. Courses have also been working with Student Experience Officer, Chris Bryant, to reach out to students who have not been engaging with them. This additional outreach effort has been prompting students to reconnect and to get some of the support they need to keep going, whether that be academic or technical, financial or pastoral.
New APT workbooks will be created towards the end of the summer. These will be for courses to start supporting new Year 1 student engagement from the moment they start in October, whether that’s on-campus or on-line. Whilst the APT Team remain focussed on assisting with outreach support for Year 1 students, course and admin teams are encouraged to keep using their existing APT workbooks to track students as they go through Year 2 and 3 – with the same aim of identifying and noting which students to prioritise support to. After the summer break, courses will be provided with secure links to the new Year 1 workbooks along with a copy of the new 2020-21 APT User Guide.
In the meantime, please contact us with any questions and feedback on your experience of using APT this past year and let us know of any improvement needed to develop APT in a way that best suits your course needs.