3.8 Student support

OU tutors work with a wide range of adult learners and, sometimes, these learners face challenges that are not related to the academic content of the module. The university has a matrix-accredited student support service to address any queries that are outside a tutor’s area of competence; degree planning, careers advice or studying with a disability for example.

The matrix Standard

The matrix Standard is an international quality standard for the provision of information, advice and guidance. You can find out more on the matrix Standard [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] website.

There is a simple process for referring students who need some help. While they are often the first port of call tutors are not expected to be able to deal with everything, there are specialists who will pick up on these things; tutors are part of the wider team and may be able to identify problems that a student is not aware of.

Activity 1

Now reflect on how the “Supported open learning” principles apply to your current practice.

Make a post in the discussion forum which briefly compares your current work with the “Supported open learning” principles:

  • Do you already follow any of the principles?
  • Are there any aspects which you do not currently adopt? This might be because of the nature of the learners you work with or other reasons.

Read through other contributions and comment on at least two.

Look for similarities and differences between your response and those of others.

Use this activity to consider how your current experience might prepare you for work as an OU tutor.

3.7 Correspondence tuition