Student life

Socialising is hugely important, but virtual campuses help learning, too

Submitted by dene.mullen on Mon, 14/06/2021 - 00:01
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Article

Say the word “university” and the image that forms in the mind is likely a physical campus. Campus is where we interact with others in both scheduled and unexpected ways that lend meaning to those interactions, and it can be difficult to approximate the same levels of immediacy and spontaneity online.

Standfirst
The social elements of university help students succeed academically, so we must start transplanting them online, says Elizabeth Lehfeldt
Teaser
The social elements of university help students succeed academically, so we must start transplanting them online, says Elizabeth Lehfeldt

Professors, stop pretending that you never cheat

Submitted by dene.mullen on Fri, 11/06/2021 - 00:01
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Article

I recently read Cheating Lessons by James Lang, and this article is a by-product − that is to say, not plagiarism − of that book.

Standfirst
Academics should drop the holier-than-thou attitude and look at cheating from a student’s perspective if we want to understand and eradicate it, says Hamish Binns
Teaser
Academics should drop the holier-than-thou attitude and look at cheating from a student’s perspective if we want to understand and eradicate it, says Hamish Binns

This model is the future of diversity in higher education

Submitted by dene.mullen on Tue, 25/05/2021 - 01:01
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Article

Back on a cool March morning, I went through my usual pandemic ritual of logging into Zoom, when an urgent message came in from a small group of students in my health justice class – an online class I developed mid-pandemic.

Standfirst
Coming together for support is the only way forward – and the Council of Coalitions is the model for inter-group organising we desperately need, says Pardis Mahdavi
Teaser
Coming together for support is the only way forward – and the Council of Coalitions is the model for inter-group organising we desperately need, says Pardis Mahdavi

The sector’s mental health workers need help too

Submitted by dene.mullen on Fri, 21/05/2021 - 01:01
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Article

Two things changed the direction of my personal and professional life in my early twenties: during my senior year in college, I survived a violent sexual assault, and three months after graduation I experienced homelessness. My family was not equipped to support me with either because they were struggling financially and had strong opinions regarding my queer identity. I was forced to navigate the sexual assault trauma on my own while still trying to earn my degree.

Standfirst
More assistance must be offered to help students survive, let alone thrive – and the same goes for student crisis interventionists like me, says Lula Torres
Teaser
More assistance must be offered to help students survive, let alone thrive – and the same goes for student crisis interventionists like me, says Lula Torres

Using online coaching to support student well-being

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Thu, 20/05/2021 - 08:00
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Article

How are you, really?

Many of us will experience well-being challenges at various points in our lives, and this is especially true for students. The links between mental health and well-being and student engagement, progression, retention and achievement are well documented, and for many the pandemic has added to these challenges. It is therefore important that student health and well-being are promoted throughout university life and that a holistic approach is adopted.

Standfirst
Helen Duff explains how a human approach to providing support online, in the form of coaching sessions, can have a powerful impact on student well-being
Teaser
Helen Duff explains how a human approach to providing support online, in the form of coaching sessions, can have a powerful impact on student well-being

Beware the futility of higher education’s wellness theatre

Submitted by dene.mullen on Thu, 20/05/2021 - 01:01
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Article

Throughout the pandemic, students, staff and instructors alike have received countless emails addressing the collective exhaustion of teaching, learning and working online. Often, these emails contain directives such as “don’t forget to practise self-care”, or “go for a walk” or − my particular favourite − an email sent on a Wednesday that gently advised “don’t check emails on Wednesdays”.

Standfirst
Surface-level emphasis on self-care without discussing systemic problems in HE runs the risk of gaslighting students who face very real barriers, says Fiona Rawle
Teaser
Surface-level emphasis on self-care without discussing systemic problems in HE runs the risk of gaslighting students who face very real barriers, says Fiona Rawle

Cybersecurity is not just for the geeks in the IT department

Submitted by dene.mullen on Thu, 06/05/2021 - 01:01
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Article

While many in the higher education sector view cybersecurity knowledge as solely the domain of the IT department, computer science students or shadowy hackers, this year has highlighted many examples of how online learning, and students’ wider use of online platforms, would benefit from a greater understanding of online security fundamentals.

Standfirst
Our first-year university students might have received no education on cybersecurity since the age of 13, say Andy Phippen and Emma Bond
Teaser
Our first-year university students might have received no education on cybersecurity since the age of 13, say Andy Phippen and Emma Bond

The sector should come together to welcome students back to campus

Submitted by dene.mullen on Fri, 30/04/2021 - 01:01
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Article

As many of us begin to think about getting back to campus, there will likely be anxiety about the potential changes. Imagine, then, how much more anxious our students will be, some of whom missed out on their final months at school and have then missed the normal teaching experience for the past year. 

Bringing these students into our campus communities must be a priority – encompassing not just learning but also the social aspects of university life.

Standfirst
Universities wasted a lot of time developing individual online transition resources last year. Let’s not make the same mistake again, says Donna Murray
Teaser
Universities wasted a lot of time developing individual online transition resources last year. Let’s not make the same mistake again, says Donna Murray

Don’t let Covid disrupt bonding with overseas students

Submitted by dene.mullen on Thu, 08/04/2021 - 01:01
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Article

It’s an unfortunate fact that the global spread of Covid-19 has significantly reduced interactions between international students. Most can no longer travel to destination countries to receive in-person educational programmes, live with their peers or participate in extracurricular activities.

Standfirst
We will need to work harder than ever to create meaningful interactions between international and domestic students in pandemic times, says Futao Huang
Teaser
We will need to work harder than ever to create meaningful interactions between international and domestic students in pandemic times, says Futao Huang

Supporting students with Covid-related anxiety when teaching online

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Fri, 02/04/2021 - 10:00
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Article

It has been a year since universities across the world transitioned to remote learning and in many ways working with students online is starting to feel “normal.” 

However, my college and law students in Europe are displaying levels of anxiety that are decidedly not normal. The growing Covid-related anxiety in university students in the US has also been extensively documented.  

Standfirst
Helping students manage their anxieties is good pedagogy as it helps them learn. Alexandra Dufresne shares her tips for making students feel supported in the online learning environment
Teaser
Helping students manage their anxieties is good pedagogy as it helps them learn. Alexandra Dufresne shares her tips for making students feel supported in the online learning environment