Teaching Matters

PS2 R1c Singular connections: Enabling students to feel valued as individuals

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Teaching Matters 2020 | Presentation Details | 30 December 202030 Dec 2020


Singular connections: Enabling students to feel valued as individuals


  • Christine Angel, Experiential Education, University College
  • Cherie Hawkins, Experiential Education, University College
  • Jenn Kemp-Smith, Experiential Education, University College*
  • Ana Lobo, Experiential Education, University College
  • Melissa Finnen, Experiential Education, University College
  • Rob Lewis, Experiential Education, University College*



Presentation Type

Lightning Presentation


Room 1




At University College (UC), the student is at the centre of what we do. Every day we consider the student’s wellbeing, and the standard of the learning and teaching we provide. We also aim to ensure that students are engaged, and that their enrolment and other processes run smoothly. This presentation showcases some of the practices undertaken by academic coaches in the UC Experiential Education Team to reach out to, and connect with students.

These were largely engagement practices that included individual telephone calls to students to welcome them to UC; offer advice with enrolment; ensure they had the correct links to register for orientations; confirm whether they were managing with their studies; ensure they had all the information and support they needed; and, to provide encouragement or mentoring if required. Insights shared are based on observations by academic coaches, program registrations to sessions, and informal feedback from telephone conversations.

Findings indicate that genuine singular connections are worthwhile; whether these are through telephone calls or during in-class focus groups or tutorials. The presentation discusses how contact with students on a personal level, followed by positive interaction and support, created a sense of belonging and connectedness, and a feeling of value. This was evidenced through receiving higher registrations for our orientation sessions after making individual telephone calls to welcome newly enrolled students. It was also evidenced, through the expressions of gratitude captured during calls offering support, information, and guidance. The presentation highlights how engagement practices increase the connection students have with us, and why this is so important.

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