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David McDade Post 1

18 May 2020, 13:42 Edited by the author on 19 May 2020, 15:27

Section 2, Activity 4

This thread is for section 2, activity 4

Case study Sticker time

A tutor has recently taken on a cohort of 20 students for a particular module. Most of the students in the cohort have studied with the OU. However, there are a few students that whilst having not studied for a number of years, they have also never studied with the OU. After a recent online tutorial combined with poor TMA results, the tutor has become concerned that these students are starting to disengage with their module.

Using the bullet points from section 2.6, what two steps do you think the tutor can take to get the students back on track with their studies? Also briefly describe one or two other methods that can perhaps be used in combination with the chosen steps.

Have a look at some other discussions. Do you agree with the other posts?

These are examples of the types of posts we might expect to see:

"Encouraging students - further individual engagement with students through email or perhaps phone in order to provide support."

"Feeding forward and determining mid to long-term goals – this could perhaps be carried out through feedback in the TMAs and, in particular, through summary feedback that is returned with each marked TMA, as well as through individual conversation. "

Use the "Reply" button below to contribute to this discussion.

(Image CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Flickr user Mooshme https://www.flickr.com/photos/Mooshme/)
Picture of Duncan Hall

Duncan Hall Post 2 (summarised) in reply to 1

4 Jun 2020, 14:34
This is an interesting aspect of the tutor role and to my mind revolves in...
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Jenny Bakkali Post 3 (summarised) in reply to 2

4 Jun 2020, 14:43
Hi Duncan, Welcome the course and the forum. Good to see your comments and...
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Brian Morton Post 12 (summarised) in reply to 2

8 Jun 2020, 21:03
I agree with buddying but I know with remote learning this does not always...
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Cath Brown Post 20 (summarised) in reply to 12

13 Jun 2020, 19:53
The best mark, or to enjoy it the most, or to learn the most? They aren’t...
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Anna Pietrzak Post 26 (summarised) in reply to 2

24 Jun 2020, 11:27
I think the starting point to help the students in this case study is to a...
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Lucy Gillett Post 4 (summarised) in reply to 1

4 Jun 2020, 23:56
'Encouraging students' and 'individualising the learning experience and...
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Tamara Lopez Post 6 (summarised) in reply to 4

7 Jun 2020, 21:32
Hi Lucy, I agree that individualising the learning experience is a good first...
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Theresa Schrem Post 41 (summarised) in reply to 4

8 Oct 2020, 16:20
I like your idea of chalboard walls / poster paper - I would imagine that is...
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David Sherlock Post 5 (summarised) in reply to 1

5 Jun 2020, 10:09
I really like Lucy's answer above, about learning styles, it is really...
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Tamara Lopez Post 7 (summarised) in reply to 5

7 Jun 2020, 21:43
Hi David, I also have not come across the term "Feeding forward" in the...
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David Sherlock Post 8 (summarised) in reply to 7

8 Jun 2020, 11:26
Hi Tamara, That is interesting, I've just done a web search and found similar...
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Jenny Bakkali Post 9 (summarised) in reply to 8

8 Jun 2020, 12:06
Hi all, this is how the OU uses feedback and feedforward in correspondence...
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David Sherlock Post 10 (summarised) in reply to 9

8 Jun 2020, 13:58
Thanks, that makes perfect sense.
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Tamara Lopez Post 13 (summarised) in reply to 9

8 Jun 2020, 21:19
Yes thank you for this information!
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Ian Cochrane

Ian Cochrane Post 33 (summarised) in reply to 5

17 Jul 2020, 15:42
I have never heard of the term "feeding forward" but have used a similar...
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Heather Yorston Post 11 (summarised) in reply to 1

8 Jun 2020, 18:22
I think contacting the student directly is important so they know that you...
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Ben Pike Post 14 (summarised) in reply to 1

9 Jun 2020, 15:29
Being flexible and responsive to the needs of students - Discuss with those...
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Anna Pietrzak Post 27 (summarised) in reply to 14

24 Jun 2020, 11:31
Yes, flexibility and understanding without any judgment is crucial in this case.
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Adrian Hehir Post 15 (summarised) in reply to 1

9 Jun 2020, 17:33
Hi, I initially chose: Individualising the learning experience and making it...
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Pauline Hewgill Post 16 (summarised) in reply to 1

10 Jun 2020, 09:09
Encouraging students – they may be feeling overwhelmed with developing study...
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Jerry Tomlinson Post 17 (summarised) in reply to 1

10 Jun 2020, 13:30
Encouraging students Teaching students Facilitating the development of skills...
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Emmanuel Isibor Post 18 (summarised) in reply to 1

12 Jun 2020, 17:12
The tutor could send an email to each of the students with feedback on their...
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Marcus Young Post 19 (summarised) in reply to 1

12 Jun 2020, 19:10 Edited by the author on 12 Jun 2020, 19:11
I would contact the students to start with and ask them if there were any...
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Picture of Cath Brown

Cath Brown Post 21 (summarised) in reply to 1

13 Jun 2020, 20:01
I think restoring confidence is going to be one of the key things, and...
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Quentin McPhee Post 22 (summarised) in reply to 1

16 Jun 2020, 14:53
Encouraging students and determining the mid to long-term goals of the...
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Kate Sim Post 23 (summarised) in reply to 22

17 Jun 2020, 15:05
I like your idea of contacting the student on a one-to-one basis and that...
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Gaby Lama Post 24 (summarised) in reply to 1

19 Jun 2020, 01:45
Agreeing with other colleague, I think encouraging students to assimilate the...
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Michael Liedl Post 25 (summarised) in reply to 1

23 Jun 2020, 18:27
When I started OU, I was so overwhelmed with my new workload (fulltime job...
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Rachael Luck Post 28 (summarised) in reply to 1

4 Jul 2020, 14:28

Activity 4 case study

 Need to encourage students to continue their studies,...
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Manoj Nanda Post 29 (summarised) in reply to 1

10 Jul 2020, 16:26

S2A4 - back on track

 The students who have not studied for a few years, may...
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Picture of Rod Gliven

Rod Gliven Post 30 (summarised) in reply to 1

12 Jul 2020, 22:03 Edited by the author on 12 Jul 2020, 22:06

Activity 4: Case Study

 Individualising the learning experience and making it...
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Picture of Kate Sim

Kate Sim Post 31 (summarised) in reply to 30

13 Jul 2020, 07:13
Hi Rod, As tutors, we have the option to request extra 1-to-1 sessions when a...
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Ganiat Kazeem Post 32 (summarised) in reply to 1

13 Jul 2020, 22:36

Engage, Discuss, Strategise

 I would consider engaging the students at the...
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Ian Cochrane

Ian Cochrane Post 34 (summarised) in reply to 1

17 Jul 2020, 16:04
I would suggest the main interventions would be: Evaluate strengths and...
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Jonathan Hopkins Post 35 (summarised) in reply to 1

27 Jul 2020, 20:51
You could look at all of the strategies suggested and conclude that at some...
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Gail Ollis Post 36 (summarised) in reply to 1

9 Aug 2020, 14:51
Individualising the learning experience and making it personal This would be...
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Coffee on Tyne

Bill Tarpy Post 37 (summarised) in reply to 1

26 Aug 2020, 11:21
Actually out of the list of bullet points I would probably end up doing all...
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Brian Gordon Post 38 (summarised) in reply to 1

17 Sep 2020, 10:10 Edited by the author on 17 Sep 2020, 10:10
From the list, two steps the tutor can take to get the students back on track...
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Jenny Bakkali Post 39 (summarised) in reply to 38

17 Sep 2020, 10:49
Hi Brian Good to see you here on the forum. Hope you are finding the course...
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Petra Wolf Post 40 (summarised) in reply to 1

20 Sep 2020, 16:38
I think the problem here is that the students have done badly in their TMA ,...
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Silvia Varagnolo Post 43 (summarised) in reply to 40

16 Oct 2020, 12:44
Hi Petra, I agree on you points about the importance of meeting the learning...
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Theresa Schrem Post 42 (summarised) in reply to 1

8 Oct 2020, 16:24
I think that I would first try and talk to the students about their previous...
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Silvia Varagnolo Post 44 (summarised) in reply to 1

16 Oct 2020, 12:51
I think I would contact the student to analyse the reasons for being...
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Kussar Khan Post 45 (summarised) in reply to 1

25 Oct 2020, 13:41
If students haven't studied for a number of years but also haven't studied...
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Jenny Bakkali Post 46 (summarised) in reply to 45

26 Oct 2020, 14:32
Hi Kussar, Welcome to the course - I hope you are finding it interesting....
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Dhouha Kbaier Post 47 (summarised) in reply to 46

25 Nov 2020, 11:45
Keeping an eye on these students, trying to engage them, if they don't ask...
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Kevin Frost Post 48 (summarised) in reply to 1

20 Dec 2020, 23:23
I think encouraging the students is one key thing although this may take...
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Tony Sheppard Post 49 (summarised) in reply to 1

7 May 2021, 14:57
It is hard to respond without just repeating things that others have said...
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Kate Sim Post 50 (summarised) in reply to 49

7 May 2021, 15:05
It is hard to respond without just repeating things that others have said...
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Sian Armstrong-Hollins Post 51 (summarised) in reply to 1

17 May 2021, 20:44
I think that the tutor needs to fulfil two roles here to help the struggling...
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Jenny Bakkali Post 52 (summarised) in reply to 51

18 May 2021, 12:52
Hi Sian, Welcome to the forum.  Hope you are finding it useful. Please post a...
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Fiona Baxter Post 53 (unread) in reply to 1

18 Jun 2021, 13:14

Poor marks does not necessarily equate to disengagement, nor does it necessarily mean there is issue with the online tutorial.

It could be that the learners have had difficulty matching their knowledge and skills with the learning outcomes, especially if they’ve not studied for a long time. The marks may give indication of where there are strengths and weaknesses in their knowledge or skills, which in turn may suggest an appropriate action plan to help facilitate improving their competence in particular areas. You can then be more individualised, encouraging their strengths whilst focusing on supporting with examples of how they can meet gaps in the learning outcomes and improve their assignment towards this.

It is also possible that there are other reasons why they have performed poorly so I’d prepare to be open, flexible and respond to any other needs appropriately.
Picture of Michael Coggins-Lunt

Michael Coggins-Lunt Post 54 (unread) in reply to 1

24 Jun 2021, 12:20

  • Individualising the learning experience and making it personal
  • Identifying the next steps in learning

By individualising the learning this can make students re-engage and take ownership of their learning.

By making clear the next steps, students will feel in control again after maybe losing their footing. They can refresh and focus on what needs to be done to achieve their goals.


Picture of Elena Sanchez-Heras

Elena Sanchez-Heras Post 55 (unread) in reply to 1

4 Jul 2021, 18:34
As a tutor, I would evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of these students and identify the next steps of their learning. To aid these aims. I would facilitate the development of distance learning skills and encourage independent learning.
Picture of Charlotte Jukes

Charlotte Jukes Post 56 (unread) in reply to 1

5 Jul 2021, 12:42

Firstly, I would find out if there are any issues preventing the student from engaging with their studies. They may have things going on in life that are taking precedence. I would offer any support necessary to encourage the student. 

If the student had not studied for a long time, or not studied with the OU, I would suggest some support with their study skills. They may be struggling with working independently, or online. They may not be aware of some of the ICT support available, or how certain aspects of online learning work. I would ensure that the student was confident in accessing the information needed to carry out their studies. 

I would encourage the student to look at feedback given for previous TMAs and reflect upon their learning. This would help them to feel motivated, but also to have an awareness of any areas needing improvement, providing them with a goal. 

Picture of John Dunning

John Dunning Post 57 (unread) in reply to 1

7 Jul 2021, 11:12

I would look at individualising the learning experience for those students whilst encouraging them to ask me questions or express concerns to me, so that I could better assist them.

Picture of Ann Kretzschmar

Ann Kretzschmar Post 58 (unread) in reply to 1

7 Jul 2021, 23:23

Get to know your students as individuals so that you have an understanding of any issues they have come in with as this can help you to help them move forward and break down the learning barriers.

Try to identify any specific issues and work with students to set a series of short term acheivable goals so they feel less over-whelmed by the experience.

Me on the Golden Gate bridge in 2008

Stephen Butler Post 59 (unread) in reply to 1

14 Jul 2021, 14:24 Edited by the author on 14 Jul 2021, 14:26

From the list I would say the two steps to try and re-engage the students would be:

* Encouraging students,

Helping students attain learning outcomes.

It can be demoralising if it seems like you're struggling and/or falling behind. In these situations it can help to try and find some "quick wins" for the student to improve their self-confidence and help them win back some motivation to continue. Also, it's worth trying to find out what their personal situation is at the time. They may have other difficulties which are impacting their studies at this time or they may need help with developing study skills and routines so that they can learn to keep up etc.


Discussion tags: section 2