Academic advising in times of COVID-19
Today, in times of Corona, students need even more advice than ever before.
Therefore academic advising has assumed an even more important role.
Students need guidance about any learning issues that they face with online learning.
So we can say that since the educational world has moved to online learning, academic advising has become more important.
There is a new academic advising product in the market known as STARFISH which has been created by Hobsons. This technology makes sure that there is comfortable communication of the learners and teachers. This product operates through a ‘flag” system where the school teachers can easily alarm the advisors about the needy students. These kinds of students are those who can fail. This category of students also includes those who need guidance about their career, financial and psychological health. The software is helping a lot of students now which includes 6 million students from as many as 500 institutions. So, the students are helped a lot by this software.
There was a humongous increase in the number of flags raised from 2019 to 2020.In 2019, between March to May, 35 flags were raised, whereas, for the same time duration in 2020, 11,261 flags were raised.
Advising has suddenly become important for students because they have to deal with online learning. If there, had been a preparation before the change to online learning had taken place then this much advising won’t have been needed. Due to the modification of technology, there have been so many difficulties for students and the rise in problems is that students are unable to browse through technological platforms.
The conclusion of this kind of academic advising is that if one moves into online learning many issues can be resolved. Students want their advisors to take a more proactive approach. But in a much more current study that happened in March 2020, it was found that there was no proper communication present between students and advisors.
This was how this conclusion was reached.
A sample of undergraduate and graduate students was taken, and they were divided into 3 groups. These 3 groups had different kinds of advisors, a personal academic advisor, an advisor from the department and a general advisor. The students who had personal advisors were most satisfied. Those who had advisors from the department were in the second place and the least satisfied were those with general advisors.
Teachers can be advisors also. They can be mentors helping the students to digest this shift from offline education to online education. During online learning, students face isolation which can be handled better by academic advising. They don’t drop off the course if timely counselling is given to them.
There are many problems that this kind of academic advising would be able to solve which includes the decrease in enrollment of students. Moreover, the students are also rebelling against paying the same amount of fees as for online and offline classes.
Academic advisors have also realised their roles in the current times and hence started using technology to help students.
This is how academic advising has been affected by COVID-19.