The Positive Learner Identities work area has four work packages:
1.The Diverse Journeys work package will build on existing work with the Our Journey digital platform, that encourages reflection, emotional awareness and help seeking behaviour. Our Journey has been successfully trialled in the OU and is being trialled in other HE and FE contexts. In partnership with students and mental health advisors, this work package will: i) develop and test digital wrap-around materials for students, tutors, mentors and advisers to support adoption of the tool; ii) trial the tool in at least three institutions; iii) create diverse journey vignettes to inform university policy and practice.
2.The Emotional Resilience work package will build on existing work with students about the resilience and capacities that distance learners bring to their study, across social differences of race, ethnicity, class, gender, disability and age. Critical and trauma-informed learning materials offer opportunities for students to understand and draw on their lived experiences in a positive way, using these experiences to develop skills and capabilities in study and more broadly. This work package will co-create digital resources, activities and spaces to affirm and scaffold emotional resilience and underpin personal development and social change within higher education institutions.
3.The Study Confidence work package will build on a current project developing discipline-specific guidance on mental wellbeing in technology-enhanced learning (i.e. maths anxiety, fear of group-work, placement-related distress, etc.) Study difficulties can be more acute in a distance or part time environment, and students can struggle to seek help. This work package will scale up this project to: i) develop digital resources for a broader range of subject areas (co-created with students and advisors); ii) work with academics to embed guidance and support in relevant study areas; iii) feed into the positive pedagogies work area to create guidance for practitioners.
4.The Tough Times work package will build on a current project helping students navigate difficult circumstances that impact on their study (i.e. clashes with home life commitments, stressful study periods, etc.) We will: i) co-develop digital resources to help students overcome challenges in study and develop confidence in their personal abilities; ii) work with students to create a suite of positive stories from diverse students that may act as role models in learning and support environments.