Author Archives: M

Student Staff Spring Training

Like many departments, the Academic Success Center (ASC) trains student staff over the course of spring term. In training, students develop fundamental skills and engage in extensive practice prior to supporting other students.

Anika Lautenbach, Lead Strategist for the ASC, is currently training new strategists. Whether consulting in-person or virtually, strategists help students locate resources, identify learning strategies/tools, and communicate effectively within the university.

Anika has taken time to answer a few questions about training and share several resources the OSU community can use when training student employees.

Onboarding Strategists

Q: Could you talk a little bit about the general structure for training?

AL: The initial Strategist training is typically broken into three group sessions. Each lasts about two hours and gives us the opportunity to…

  • Talk about the ASC mission and values
  • Discuss the strategist role in detail, as well as other ASC programs and services
  • Engage in team and community-building activities
  • Practice skills with the group before working with students.

Q: What are a few major topics you cover when training students for the strategist role?

AL: We cover what we call Fundamental Skills for Helping. This includes active listening, asking closed and open-ended questions, and validating each student’s experience and ability to succeed. We also focus on how to make effective referrals.

After initial training, new strategists observe experienced strategists and debrief consults. Debriefing gives them the chance to think about what went well, what was challenging, and how they can grow in their role.

One thing we really value is learning from each other, which includes seeking and offering feedback. It’s important for us to start this process early on. I like to share examples from my learning experiences to show that feedback is something we all can benefit from.

Q: How do you prepare strategists with strong knowledge of resources available to students?  

AL: Strategists often say one of the biggest benefits of the position is learning about resources. When we are on campus, I ask strategists to visit popular resources like the Undergraduate Research & Writing Studio, the Human Services Resource Center, and the cultural centers. Visiting as a group gives them an opportunity to bond while experiencing resources. With remote learning, I’m having them explore resources online.

At times, I have also worked with campus partners to acquaint strategists with resources and train on specific topics. For example, we had folks from the Ombuds Office talk with strategists about navigating difficult conversations, and the Career Development Center helped strategists identify ways to represent transferrable skills on their resumes and in interviews.

Q: What are some of the resources, tools, or information you rely on in training? 

AL: Unit 1 of the Peer Educator Training has been extremely useful when onboarding strategists. Unit 1 covers foundational elements of offering peer support, which include active listening and validation. I also use the reflection prompts to guide conversations around creating a welcoming environment.

Students also complete Kognito training to prepare for conversations with students in distress. This training gives strategists practice with skills to feel more confident working with actual students who may need support as a result of academic challenges or other life events.

Strategists also complete FERPA training. Even if they have completed this training for another campus job, I have them revisit the material so they feel confident working with sensitive student information.

Q: What do you enjoy most about training?

AL: A lot of creativity goes into designing training, and I learn more each time I work with a new group of students. I enjoy helping students develop new skills, getting to see them grow in their role, and finding ways to ensure they feel supported and confident in what they’re learning.

Resources to Support Your Training

All of the resources Anika described are freely available to the OSU community. In addition, the ASC also offers training for student employees. Commonly requested topics include making effective referrals, balancing work and academics, and facilitative vs. directive peer education. If you’re interested in learning more about ASC-facilitated trainings, please reach out to Marjorie Coffey, or submit a request using our workshop request form.

Silver Linings of Remote Work

The transition to remote working, teaching, and learning this term has been challenging for everyone. While we don’t want to sugarcoat those challenges or diminish them, we would like to share some silver linings of remote work that have encouraged us and, at times, surprised us. Click the image below to read about experiences across the Academic Success Center.

Silver Linings

Staff Picks – Tools to Support Online Learning

There are many tools to support your students’ success as they adapt to remote or online learning. Here are some recommendations from ASC Staff. Click on the visual to see the full-size version of each tool.

Anatomy of an Email

Chris Gasser

Anatomy of an Email

My favorite resource from the remote and online learning page is the Anatomy of an Email visual. Honestly, as a student I probably racked up tens of hours sitting in front of a blank screen wondering how in the world to write an email to an instructor. The anatomy of an email resource makes it so easy to see how to style an email to be professional, effective, and concise!

Weekly Calendar

Clare Creighton

Weekly Calendar

I’m a big fan of the Weekly Calendar. It’s a tool that works in many contexts. Creating a schedule for the week can help students find or make time for what’s important to them. Now that we’re all working from home it seems even more important to have a way to delineate work vs. play, make time for relaxation, and stay productive with more distractions. The Weekly Calendar is one of the best antidotes to procrastination. If I sketch out what I’m going to work on and when, I’m more likely to follow through with that plan.

Elements of a Productive Study Space

Anika Lautenbach

Productive Study Space

My favorite resource is the Productive Study Space worksheet. As someone who’s working full time and doing an online graduate program, I definitely understand how challenging it can be to make your space work. This tool helps students consider how to get in the mindset for remote working or studying, how to set up and stick to a schedule, and what to do if they’re not able to dedicate a single space to work or study. These considerations have been crucial to helping me continue to do my work this term, and this tool can definitely help other students think about what will work for them.

10 Questions to Ask about Your Course

Sarah Norek

10 Questions

I wish I’d asked these sorts of questions when I was in college. Asking and answering these questions equips students with a kind of a blueprint. They figure out how to engage in the course, who they can go to for help, and how assignments will impact to their grade. Knowing these details early on sets a student up with an understanding of the course’s trajectory and expectations. If they run into any challenges later, already knowing how to reach out—and who to start with—can be a huge stress reliever.

Note-Taking 101

Marjorie Coffey

Note-Taking 101

In synchronous lectures, information might be lost if notes aren’t taken. In contrast, online content often remains available, making note-taking feel less urgent. Even when learning remotely, note-taking is an important starting point for recording information to later transfer to long-term memory. I like the Note-Taking 101 packet because it provides strategies for taking notes and making effective use of those notes throughout the study cycle. When I staff the ASC table for events (for graduate or undergraduate students), the note-taking packet always goes fast! Also, this packet has unicorns in it. And unicorns are cool.

Interested in more tools and strategies to share with students? Check out our Remote & Online Learning webpage.