Meet the learning centre team

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The friendly and approachable Learning Centre Team is available to provide ākonga (students) with academic guidance to reach their learning goals.     

“Our team provides the academic support, structures and processes which enable ākonga to connect their in-class learning with their formal assessments,” says WITT Te Pūkenga Lead Te Whare Mātauranga Bridget Knuckey. 

This support and guidance is delivered via one-on-one appointments, facilitated rōpū (group) study, in-class workshops and working alongside ākonga in the classroom.

Learning Advisor Dawn Marsh says there’s no typical ākonga when it comes to who accesses learning support and no one size fits all approach to helping each person.

Craig Forsyth supports ākonga in the School of Trade Training, Primary and Creative Industries. He finds being in the classroom helps build trust and rapport with ākonga and kaiako (tutors).

Shelley Gardner, who became part of the team in May this year, says to be good at the job you need to be a person who wants to support people and be flexible to cope with what’s in front of you at any given moment.   

Taj Saleh joined the team last month and says having a space where ākonga feel comfortable to share their academic challenges is important.

For Bridget part of the fun of the job is that everyone is different: “We have ākonga who haven’t studied for some time or school leavers who are adjusting to the step up to tertiary study."

For international ākonga, the academic culture they are familiar with can be very different to what they experience in New Zealand.

“Our approach is very individualised. Some people come once, some come once per assignment, and some come from time-to-time, when they identify a need,” she says.

The team know there are ākonga that could work with a Learning Advisor but don’t know how to connect with the team. They encourage everyone who needs support or is curious about the help available to either book or make use of the new lunchtime drop in to ask any quick queries. This runs Monday to Friday from 12 – 1pm in Te Whare Mātauranga. 

As for the team’s tips to stay on top of your studies, they say:  "Ask if you are unsure and do a little a lot."


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