StudiosityHow universities can offer students the helping hand they need

How universities can offer students the helping hand they need

With the shift to blended learning, institutions can partner with study support providers to empower students to seek help when they need it most

Universities must adapt their offering to give students the flexibility to access personalised study support 24/7, agreed a panel of higher education experts.

The session, held in partnership with Studiosity, was part of Times Higher Education’s Digital Universities Week and examined how a collaborative approach could provide high-quality individualised study support, at scale.

Lewis McKinnon, head of partner development for the UK and Europe at Studiosity, said that, with the Covid-19 pandemic shifting institutions to a blended learning approach, students wanted to access support when they needed it.

Studiosity research found that 71 per cent of students had considered withdrawing from university because of the struggles of studying alone during the pandemic. Nearly half of those surveyed said that the top study stress prevention method when students were not in class or on campus was 24/7 online support. And 63 per cent said that they would use such a service if it was available and meant interacting with a real person.

“The pandemic is highlighting some of these factors, but they were always present,” said McKinnon. “By identifying the expectations from students, we can take a collaborative approach with institutions. This gives a holistic support ecosystem between the two, differentiating the support to target all students and help support them most effectively.”

Alison Truelove, director of the Centre of Innovation in Business Education at the University of Exeter, said that the university had integrated Studiosity into its student study support offering in 2018. Since that initial pilot with business school students, the platform has been made available to the university’s 25,000 students across three campuses.

Truelove said that Studiosity was used to “complement” the other study support services within the university, with a goal to normalise accessing support.

“The assumption is sometimes made that because our students are very capable, they wouldn’t need additional support, but of course that’s not true,” Truelove said. “Many of our students come to university with very high grades and they’re used to being successful. And it can be quite a struggle to convince them that it’s OK to access support.

“Part of our overall approach is that there is no stigma attached to that and we expect them to be continually developing their approaches to study.”

Analysing data on the Studiosity portal, combined with the university’s own internal analysis, meant offering students targeted support.

“Across the whole university we are starting to do a lot more diagnosing where the service will most benefit students,” said Truelove. “And making sure that those students who will benefit the most from this service are the ones that we are mostly targeting in terms of that support.”

Watch the session on demand above or on the THE Connect YouTube channel.

Find out more about Studiosity.

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