As we adapt to a model of remote learning for our students it may become necessary to also conduct advising remotely. Advisors may use the following information to help transition to remote advising for the upcoming advising season. UNC students will appreciate your personal touch to advising during this stressful time.
Microsoft Teams is a great tool for online advising. You can set up a Team meeting quickly and students do not need to download anything. Teams is also a good tool because you can video chat, which can helpful in advising meetings to let you see student facial expressions (i.e. confusion). Teams can also use just audio and also allows screen sharing so that you can see Degree Works with the student. There is even an app, which is helpful for students working on a mobile device. The app also means that you do not need to be on your computer to meet with students.
If you have a UNC computer Teams is already installed. If you are using a personal computer you can access it and download in UNC's Office 365 portal.
The following video will walk you through how to schedule an advising meeting in Teams. To turn on subtitles select the cc button in the lower right corner of the video.
Other Options for advising meetings
Other options include using your phone for video chat or a phone call. This is dependent on your comfort level with providing your personal phone number to students. This is not required.
You can also use Zoom to set up conference calls with your students.
Communicate Plans with Advisees
Once you’ve made a choice for how you will conduct advising meetings, communicate this to your advisees via email. If you are using Teams, this is a great time to send them a link to the quick video on how they will access their team meeting link. Right click on the link below to copy the link quickly.
The Advising Meeting
Update one another on what’s going on in and beyond the classroom
Taking just a minute to discuss the things going on in one another’s lives can be a nice way to help focus the meeting and get to know one another or to enhance your conversation. Check-in with your students about their dealing with online learning and make sure they have updated UNC information about the current situation.
Review Degree Works together to assess progress toward graduation
When using Teams both you and your student can share screens so that you can each see the student's Degree Works page.
Beginning at the top and working down together allows the advisor and advisee both, each semester, to see things like: What is the student’s gpa? How many credits are still needed prior to graduation? What general education requirements are yet to be met? What courses are still needed to complete a major?
Discuss LAC status
Show the student how to read the LAC section of Degree Works that highlights the missing areas with “still needs” an recommend the LAC areas that should be addressed first. Encourage students to look up course descriptions in the online catalog.
Take an “overview” look at all remaining requirements as they fit within the coming semesters
Spending a few minutes each semester looking at all remaining requirements and how they fit within the space available can help students make the best use of their college years. Literally listing out the remaining semesters and placing within each at least the area of the courses if not the courses themselves can be especially helpful.
Plan courses for the upcoming semester
This may well be the easy part of the meeting, since following this process for a few semesters can mean having a sense even before the meeting of what courses (or at least what kinds of courses) students are likely to be taking each semester.
Discuss long-term goals and plans (educational, professional, personal)
Although students are often uncertain about their long-term professional plans, many already have a sense of the kind of life they’d like to live, the types of careers that interest them, and even the parts of country where they’d like to live. A conversation about how choices made during college can help shape opportunities later (e.g., how an internship now might help secure a job in a chosen career area) can be helpful. Most of us work our ways along in life without a clear path or plan, encountering many surprises along the way, so clearly the intent of this conversation is mostly just to help advisees keep in mind that choices do guide us in different directions, and that includes choices made during the college years.
Identify appropriate resources for answering unanswered questions or addressing concerns
Although neither individual advisors or advisees have all the answers, the resources are here somewhere to help find answers to any questions or concerns that may arise. An advisor may be more familiar with the university and may therefore be better able to point students to appropriate resources.
Talk about anything else that comes to mind and mention your next meeting/contact
Sometimes an advisee has something on their mind that hasn’t come up yet during the meeting. Taking a moment to ask, “Is there anything else?” can allow the opportunity for that concern to arise. If there’s nothing else, mention when you’ll likely be in contact again and be sure to pay attention to e-mails from one another.
Provide the PIN for registration. Encourage the student to contact with you if they would like you to look over their schedule or if they have other questions. Students also have Teams, so they can schedule a video chat with you as well.
In emergency remote advising it is also a good idea to follow up with the student via email since students are not on campus.