Ever wondered what kind of help you can get from the Learning Advisors? Or who they are?

Your Learning Advisors are here to help you with your academic study. They offer practical support, guidance and encouragement.

"Students often think they have to have something to show us if they've made an appointment with us. But, if you come early, we can look through instructions. We can help with brainstorming and preparation. Often students wait until they have a complete draft, but we can help at any stage of the process."

Learning Advisors run regular workshops that cover skills such as:

  • writing clearly
  • referencing sources, and
  • time management strategies.

They also provide you with tailored in-class sessions that address the specific needs of a programme or group.

At the start of each semester, they also run a series of Tips and Tools sessions. 

These cover things like how to study, essay writing, researching, referencing software, time management, and the other technical skills needed to thrive in the educational environment.

"We often hear students say, I wish I had done this at the beginning of my course, it would have been a really useful starting point."

How can I access support?

Support is available in person or online using a variety of approaches, depending on your needs and preferences. 

To book a tailored workshop or to have a conversation with a Learning Advisor about the support they can offer, please email academicsupport@op.ac.nz

You can also make a booking via our online booking system.

Where are they based?

The Learning Advisors are based at Student Success in the Hub at the Dunedin Campus, but can also be found around campus.

Our Learning Advisors work closely with Student Advisors, the Accessibility team, Wellbeing Advisors, Pasifika Advisors, Counsellors, and Te Punaka Ōwheo. This means they can provide referrals and also introduce you directly to the person they know will be best able to help you. 

Who are the Learning Advisors? 

Ross Gilbertson has been a Learning Advisor for the past 8 years. ‘I gravitate towards working with the trades as I have taught Technology in schools here, Australia and England. I have also lived for 6 years in South Korea teaching ESL. I use my life experiences and qualifications to help students reach their potential as learners. I am motivated by the work ethic and dedication to students shown by my colleagues.’ 

Caroline Brown is a Learning Advisor. ‘While I am a generalist, I also support our peer tutors. My background as a primary school teacher means that I can help students work through content that they did not understand in class. What I enjoy most about my job is the variety of students that we work with.’

Marje Schaddelee is from the Netherlands and worked in HR and as a lecturer in OP’s School of Business before becoming a learning advisor. ‘I enjoy working with students to try and make things easier, to break work down to work on planning for assessments and working in manageable chunks. Helping students find their motivation to get started is rewarding.’

Sarah Wood is a Learning Advisor. ‘I come to the role with teaching and academic research experience. It’s a privilege to work with our learners, especially those who haven’t previously found success in education or have faced hurdles along the way.’

Kristen Bracey has been a Learning Advisor at OP for 10 years, and has worked in several other roles at OP. ‘My previous roles at OP mean that I understand many of the difficulties that students may encounter. I would like to point out the team’s experience working with neurodiverse learners to meet the particular challenges that they encounter. It is my goal to see students a little less stressed, and more confident.

Published on 24 Apr 2023

Orderdate: 24 Apr 2023
Expiry: 24 Apr 2025