Survey learners - Before a programme or course begins, survey learners to identify their specific needs such as levels of ability, access to technology and broadband data. Surveys enable learners to say what they think, feel and need. Google Forms and Microsoft Forms are easy to use options.
Run wellbeing assessments – An increasing number of online wellbeing assessment tools are available. These enable learners to easily communicate how they are going, and in turn support training providers and tutors in implementing regular check-ins and monitoring learners’ wellbeing. Skodel is one example being rolled out in schools across New Zealand.
Bring family and whānau on the journey - Some learners benefit from having family involved in their learning journeys to help support and motivate them. Apps such as TalkingPoints provide platforms to engage families. In food and fibre sector training programmes, platforms like TalkingPoints can be repurposed to connect with a learner’s employer, training advisors, or other mentors.
Check out the Code of Practice - A new code of practice for pastoral care for tertiary learners was released in 2021, which outlines a renewed set of rules and expectations for tertiary providers to support learners in ways that best suit their needs, including in digital learning environments.
Create awareness of student networks and support services - Ensure learners know about and have access to support services and networks. Universities have student unions and networks, but for vocational pathway learners these services are less obvious.
- The New Zealand Union of Students’ Association and affiliated members Te Mana Ākonga, Tauira Pasifika and National Disabled Students' Association provide learners with opportunities to connect with others and access support.
- For international learners, promote links to organisations such as Newcomers and NaumaiNZ.
- There is also a list of mental health resources at mentalhealth.org.nz