Keeping records

  • It is advisable to make a brief note of every meeting with your advisees.  You can use Moodle (Brookes Virtual) for making notes and for sharing them with students. When making notes, you should include as a minimum:

    • date and time
    • type of meeting
    • any actions for the adviser or advisee

    How to find and use 'My Advisees'

    Once you enter the Brookes Virtual Gateway, go to the VLE - Moodle virtual learning environment and log in to Moodle.

    1. On your Moodle homepage, you will see an 'Academic Advisers' block in the top right. Click the link in this block to list 'My Advisees'.
      Keeping records screenshot 1
    2. You should now see a table of all your academic advisees, with a link to their profile and status, together with a number of contact records you have for each one.
      Keeping records screenshot 2
      Click on the student’s name to see the details of contact records you have already made for an advisee.
    3. Click on 'Add New' to add a new contact record.
      Keeping records screenshot 3
    4. Once you have entered the information into the record, click the 'Submit' button. You are not expected to compile a full report on the meeting, just some notes for future reference, however you are particularly encouraged to make a note of actions arising from any discussion, both for yourself and for the advisee. 

    Students can comment on the contact records that you make, but are not able to start a new ‘contact record’. You can run a report of all contacts with students through the 'Detailed Reports' tab.

    Note: the 'My Advisees' link is visible only from the VLE Moodle homepage, not from within your Moodle courses.

    A video introduction explaining how to use the 'My Advisees' tool by Peter Marshall, Programme Lead and Academic Adviser for Undergraduate Computing and Communication Technologies. (9:19 minutes)

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    A word about making notes

    You may like to include further notes on what has been discussed, particularly if significant or contentions matters arise. A record is particularly important when advice has been give about a student's academic choices or the impact of regulations on their programme.
    It is important that the advisee agree with you the record held on the system. Advisees can comment on the contact record in the My Advisees facility. Records stay with the student, so be aware that contact records follow them.

    The Data Protection Act 1998 requires that all personal information, whether recorded on paper or held in a computer file, must be kept securely. Records should only be kept for as long as they are needed and must be disposed of securely. The Moodle facility assures this. Do not put paper records in a recycling box or waste-basket unless they have been shredded.

    Academic advisor conversations are by default confidential. You should clarify with the students the confidential nature of the meeting and the limits of confidentiality. Sometimes an academic adviser will need to disclose details to another person that is better placed to help. This might be because an adviser has concerns about the wellbeing of the student (or others), the student has a disclosed condition, or the adviser suspects a criminal offence. It is preferable to come to an agreement with your advisee about the sharing of information in these circumstances. Often students will expect relevant information related to their learning to be shared with Module Leads. Where such agreement has been difficult to reach, it is wise to confirm this in writing. Advisers need to balance the right to confidentiality against other obligations and should not hesitate to consult a senior colleague if in doubt. (Adapted from the University of Plymouth guidance.)