The ADOs to whom ‘at risk’ students are referred for academic counselling are postgraduate students appointed to provide academic support within particular disciplines. They receive on-going training and support from the Teaching and Learning Unit since their role is seen as not only related to helping students with acquiring academic concepts but also with encouraging good learning practices. ADOs assist students during individual consultations or small group workshops, covering work on specific content topics as required and providing assignment, test and examination preparation and revision support. ADOs are influential in enhancing the student experience, supporting the process of academic and social integration and positively impacting on student retention, achievement and satisfaction. The ADO role is inclusive with ADOs providing ongoing support with academic and pastoral issues, and acting as points of referral and communication with the wider university community.
Services Available: Test, exam, and assignment preparation, Group discussion on module concerns, Individual content consultation, Handling the textbook, Study approaches
Email: Prim Naidoo – Naidoopri@ukzn.ac.za
Academic Monitoring and Support is concerned with identifying underperforming students early and offering them academic advice, study skills support, academic literacy support, and mentorship. Academic Monitoring and Support focuses on four programmes/initiatives: Academic Development Officers (ADOs), the Writing Place (WP), the First Year Experience (FYE) mentorship programme and the Tutor Training and Development (TTD) programme. All services and programmes offered in the Unit are now available online during lockdown.
Tutor training is considered part of staff induction in order to offer high quality tutorial guidance and support for tutors in the College. Tutor observation and evaluation is undertaken to inform the progressive development of module tutors and tutorial programmes, and results in enhancement of teaching practice related to the tutor role. A well-planned tutorial programme impacts upon students’ sense of belonging, cohort identity, personal development and academic success. The role of the tutor is important and represents a ‘stable point of reference’ and an ‘anchor’ for students during their university experience. The role is key to students’ successful transition into Higher Education and throughout their programme of study to graduation and employment.