A Student Coaching Scheme for First Year University Students: Positive Learning Experiences and Individual Success in Biosciences

By Jyothi Thalluri, Beverley Kokkinn and Jackie O'Flaherty.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Students studying Nursing and Midwifery at the University of South Australia, Australia, come from widely diverse cultural, linguistic and educational backgrounds and are challenged by the differing disciplinary demands that constitute the Bachelor of Nursing and Midwifery degree including sociology, psychology and bioscience courses. The variation in their preparedness for learning science in particular presents lecturers of science based courses with challenges of finding ways to maximize each student’s learning and of alleviating the negative effects of high levels of anxiety. Students are offered a range of supports like online exercises and a handout on “How to learn Bioscience” but the addition of the ‘Student Coaching Scheme’ (SCS) has provided an effective and efficient process for peer support for individual and small groups of nursing and midwifery students. It recognizes and rewards successful senior students; provides individual and group coaching for students with little or no science learning background, provides employment to academically able students, and reduces the workloads of the Course Coordinators and other teaching staff. The Coaches are enthusiastic about the program and the opportunity to help fellow students, as well as improving their own skills. The scheme, including individual as well as large group revision tutorials, has had a positive impact on student learning outcomes. Recommendations from the teaching staff and the Coaches to further improve the scheme are under consideration by the faculty.

Keywords: Student Coaching Scheme, Nursing Students, Biosciences

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 15, Issue 9, pp.135-144. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 929.054KB).

Dr. Jyothi Thalluri

Senior Lecturer, School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, Division of Health Sciences, University of South Australia, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Jyothi Thalluri holds a doctorate degree in Neurosciences from Australian National University, Canberra. She has over 21 years of teaching experience at the University of South Australia. She teaches Human Anatomy, Human Physiology, Pathophysiology, Pathology and Neurosciences to various programs across the division.

Beverley Kokkinn

Learning Adviser, Division of Health Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Bev Kokkinn has a Masters degree in Applied Linguistics from Macquarie University, Sydney. She has worked in the area of academic language and learning at the University of South Australia for over 16 years and has worked predominantly with students in health sciences, business and the social sciences.

Dr. Jackie O'Flaherty

Lecturer, Division of Health Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Jackie O’Flaherty holds a doctoral degree in Biochemistry. She has worked as a research scientist and also taught in problem based learning at both the Flinders and Adelaide medical schools for 10 years. She is currently a lecturer at the University of South Australia.

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