Guiding learning

Supporting our students through their learning is a central part of our roles therefore it is key for us as tutors to think about the amount of support and the nature of that support, as our students progress and succeed on their programme of studies. It is important for us when planning, creating, and structuring the student learning experiences/activities on our module to consider how we will use the online learning environment as well as face-to-face sessions effectively, to structure and scaffold the learning.  The ‘Guided Learner Journey’ is a way of structuring learning for students so they can see the bigger picture of their studies (including content, learning activities, formative and summative assessments, along with time indications for completion) to help them make informed decisions about their learning and to plan their study time. The Guided Learner Journey:

  • Offers a weekly structure that guides student learning.
  • Identifies pre- and post-class learning activities.
  • Directs essential reading and recommended reading.
  • Provides formative assessment activities (e.g. online quizzes).
  • Communicates assessment information.
  • Enables students to access all their assessments and their feedback.
  • Provides learning data so students can self-regulate their learning.
  • Gives students confidence in acquiring new skills and becoming lifelong learners.

Programmes of study are designed to offer different levels of support for students as they develop independence, and progress to becoming independent learning. When Guiding Learning, it is helpful to consider this progress through the levels of study in relation to the role of the tutor, the role of the learner and the learning environment. The following table illustrates these features:

Progression Model

Level of studyStudentTutor/LecturerLearning Environment
Level 4

Needing guidance.

Requiring direction.

Developing professional/practical skills.

Developing self-awareness.

Managing their time.

Developing their planning and evaluation skills.

Leading and Guiding.

Identifying reading sources.

Giving feedback.

Role modelling.

Promoting self-evaluation.

Helping students make connections between experiences.

Helping students to see theory within practical/real-life examples.

Building a learning community.

Creating a safe learning environment.

Directed activities.

Directed independent pre- and/or post- class activities via the Guided Learner Journey.

Essential and recommended reading set up within Talis and linked to units within the Guided Learner Journey.

Managed group work activities.

Activities to foster motivation and curiosity Opportunities for students to make mistakes.

Level 5

Gaining increasing independence.

Better understanding of collaboration.

Developing of confidence in their learning.

Recognising and reflecting on experience.

Applying theory to practice.

Beginning to evaluate outcomes.

Understanding of own strength and weaknesses and sense of role/contributions.

Enabling a capacity to learn independently.

Presenting options for students.

Promoting decision making.

Encouraging the setting of goals.

Facilitating peer and tutor feedback.

Fostering curiosity and critical thinking.

Facilitating meaningful engagement with peers and external stakeholders (e.g., on placements or work experience activities).

Collaborative working environment.

Problem solving/decision-making activities.

Peer discussion and feedback activities.

Learning from practical/placement activities.

Appraising opportunities.

Suggested pre- and/or post- class activities (e.g., contributions to online discussions).

Recommended reading set up within Talis and linked to units with Guided Learner Journey.

Opportunities for negotiation and influencing.

Level 6

Fully independent learner.


Enhanced self-awareness.


Critical and intellectually curious.

Enquiring, analytical and evaluative.

Creative and able to problem solve.

Socially, culturally and ethically aware.

Sharing knowledge, values and skills.

Challenging assumptions.

Exchanging feedback.

Engaging in learning conversations.

Involving students in research/enquiry.

Modelling collaborative working.

Sharing own research/scholarship.

Well-developed and respectful learning community.

Activities requiring creativity and innovation.

Project management/leadership activities.

Choice in assessment and/or study design.

Collaborative project/enquiry work.

Significant independent study/project.

Signposting to journals but the expectation on students to find their own articles.

Opportunities for decision making in own learning.