Not every lecturer sees themselves as a coach, while many lecturers do, more or less, carry out coaching activities. For example while accompanying internships, a thesis, seminars and tutorship. Coaching has the motto ‘be lazy and curious’: you let students do the work as much as possible and only intervene when absolutely necessary. You listen actively and ask open questions. The core of coaching is increasing students’ self-direction.
Starting points for coaching
The role of a coach has a few starting points:
- You want to increase students’ self-direction. The goal is to let a student find out how to best address a certain task in their own way.
- As a coach you are equal to the student. You are open to the way of thinking and ideas of the student.
- As a coach you enable the student to reflect on themselves and become aware of their behaviour, way of thinking and emotions.
- Coaching is result oriented. You work towards a goal, for example developing certain studying skills.
- The student is responsible for their own result.
Coaching versus accompaniment
As a coach you do not go into the content of a certain task as much as a supervisor would do. Instead, you let students think about their way of studying and why they do it in that way. You let them reflect on their own way of acting and how they might improve or make it more efficient.
Coaching can be done individually or in groups. If a group of students is working on a product, you can coach them in how to tackle the assignment and how to solve possible cooperation problems.
With peer-coaching, students support each other. They can help each other solve problems they run into while studying or encourage them to show desirable behaviour. For example, they could study together in order to avoid procrastination