We’re selling a product sometimes they don’t want to buy

Oftentimes the leaders have students who attend classes who just want the answer. They don’t want to think; they don’t want to try; they don’t want to learn. They just want the answer.

How the leader deals with that is a huge skill – how to hear the frustration, hear the desire to get the answer, but also approach the student in a way that persuades and encourages them to see the deeper learning possibilities, not just the shallow memorisation.

One of my leaders reflected on this this week:

Q: Students lead in U:PASS for a wide variety of reasons – to mentor, to gain leadership skills, to improve communication skills, to get educational experience, to see what it’s like working for UTS. What’s something you feel you have gained in one (or more) of these areas over the last fortnight? Why? (You may also choose another area if you wish!) 🙂
A: I think communication skills were important this week, particularly as I had to let the frustrated student know how I could not merely give her the perfect answer. Rather, the purpose was upass was to work collaboratively, and provide a space for “thinking” and developing understanding with fellow peers. Explaining the purpose of upass in a way that would not discourage her attendance, but rather encourage her was important (hopefully this was effective!)

So we shall see if this student comes back or not. But either which way, I think the leader is exactly on track and has done a great job.


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About Georgina Barratt-See

Georgina manages the UTS U:PASS (UTS Peer Assisted Study Success) program, which assists students in 50 first and second year subjects with study sessions run by trained student facilitators. Georgina has 14 years experience in the Higher Education sector with interests in student leadership, mentoring, first year experience, teaching and learning.

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