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LEARNING COACHING

  • Feeling unmotivated to study?

  • Having trouble managing your to do list?

  • Are the strategies you are currently using not as effective as they used to be?

  • Struggling to complete your thesis or dissertation?

  • Overwhelmed by the amount of reading and writing in college or university?

  • Can't quite figure out how to manage your time so you can prioritize your academics, friends/family, and hobbies?

If you said yes to any (or all) of the above, you may benefit from working with a learning coach!

WHAT IS A LEARNING COACH?

Learning coaches work with secondary and post-secondary students to attain academic success.

More specifically, coaches help students develop and apply evidence-based learning skills to strategically navigate learning at school and achieve their goals.

Lizz Alexander, PhD, and Sarah Davis, PhD, RCC, are both available to work with students as learning coaches. Read more about their professional and educational backgrounds and interests by clicking on their names.

At this time, all of our sessions will take place virtually, which allows us to work with clients across Canada (and beyond)!

The support and guidance we provide is informed by theory and research in the fields of learning and educational psychology, with an emphasis on self-regulated learning. Through working with us, students will embark on a journey of exploration and experimentation to gain insight into their own learning processes, tackle challenging tasks, and discover how they can efficiently and effectively pursue their learning goals.

Our ultimate aim is to help students become confident, autonomous learners who strategically approach, manage, and adapt to new or challenging learning opportunities at school and beyond.

*For more information about learning coaching, please see our

General Learning Coaching FAQs,

Graduate Student FAQs,

High School Student/Parent FAQs,

and Undergraduate FAQs

LEARNING COACH SERVICES

FREE

Learn more

Set up a free 20-minute consultation to learn more about our services for all ages of undergraduate and graduate students.

$80

Our most popular service!

One hour learning coach session for one student.

$40

30-minute learning coach session

For returning learning coach clients only.

LEARNING COACH TESTIMONIALS

As a university student at UVic with a learning disability, I find it challenging learning new concepts and reading. Lizz helped me with strategies breaking things down in a simplified manner so I didn't feel as overwhelmed as I did at the beginning of the course. I struggle at school but with the help of Lizz...I was able to get a 92% in PSYC 100a at UVic. My highest grade ever, and I am now a successful 3rd year university student.

Michael Young

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LEARNING COACHING FAQS

 

WHAT SHOULD I DO TO PREPARE FOR MY LEARNING COACH SESSION(S)?

  • Spend some time thinking about what you want out of your session. Every session will start by setting a goal with your learning coach to direct what you will talk about.

IS LEARNING COACHING THE RIGHT SERVICE FOR ME?

If you answer YES to the following questions, you are likely in the right place!

  • Do I want to improve my learning?

  • Am I willing to put time and effort into achieving my goals?

  • Am I open to trying new approaches to studying and learning?

  • Am I looking for someone who will guide me by asking questions and offering suggestions rather than telling me what to do?

  • Am I comfortable with the idea that change and development take time, experimentation, and learning from past experiences (good and bad)? 

WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT TO HAPPEN DURING A LEARNING COACH SESSION?

Each session with a learning coach will look similar, as each session format is based on engaging students with self-regulated learning strategies and processes:

  • Check in

  • Set goal for the session

  • Work toward goal 

  • Evaluate progress so far

  • Continue work toward goal or other goal 

  • Wrap-up session/final questions

WHAT DOES A LEARNING COACH SESSION LOOK LIKE FOR TWO OR THREE STUDENTS?

We offer group sessions to not only reduce the cost per student, but to also capitalize on the benefits of learning with peers who are going through a similar experience. Please note: You will need to organize your own group of students to work with a learning coach. The session will still have the same format as with one student, and each student in the group will be able to work through one or two main problems they are having. Students in the group don’t have to be in the same courses. Most students have similar problems (e.g., motivation to study, time management, studying for tests), and attending a learning coach session with one or two other students can be a good way to build a supportive group during a semester.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I SEE A LEARNING COACH?

Most of the students we have worked with in the past meet with us weekly over a semester (e.g., ten weeks). Some students will need more and some students will need fewer sessions. This can be something you discuss with your learning coach in your first session or in the free consultation.

HOW ARE YOU DIFFERENT FROM THE FREE SERVICES AVAILABLE AT MY UNIVERSITY/COLLEGE/HIGH SCHOOL?

One of the reasons we started offering learning coaching is we saw that the services available for students were often not based on educational psychology principles and research. We use knowledge from our own doctoral research and years teaching students how to learn more effectively by using self-regulated learning processes and strategies to provide customized learning coaching for all students.

WHAT IS SELF-REGULATED LEARNING AND WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THAT AS YOUR FOUNDATION FOR LEARNING COACHING?

Self-regulated learning (SRL) is a widely-studied learning theory in educational psychology for students of all ages. Lizz and Sarah met during graduate school at the University of Victoria when they were both studying SRL and working in Dr. Allyson Hadwin's research lab. We’ve chosen it as the foundation for learning coaching because SRL helps students be aware of and take control of their behaviour, feelings, thoughts, motivation, and well-being during learning through metacognition. Metacognition is the quality of your thoughts about your thinking and is one of the key aspects of SRL. In other words, when you are studying and learning, being able to understand what you are doing, plan what to do, choose effective strategies, and adapt as needed is all guided by checking in as you go along and making sure you are on track.

WHAT ARE THE LEARNING COACH CANCELLATION AND PAYMENT POLICIES?

  • Making appointments: Appointments can be booked by using the Square Appointments scheduler. You will require a credit card to book an appointment, but you will not be charged at the time of booking.

  • Payment: Session payment is due before the learning coaching session can start. This can be done by (a) sending an Interac e-transfer to your learning coach’s email before the scheduled start time, or (b) letting your learning coach know at the beginning of the session to charge the credit card you used to book the appointment in Square Appointments. Please note to pay by credit card, you need to store your credit card for future purchases when booking your first appointment in Square. To do this, check the first box after entering your credit card information when reserving an appointment. If you do not authorize us to store your credit card in Square, it will take about five minutes at the beginning of your first session to process your payment.

  • Cancelling a One-on-One Session: If you need to cancel an appointment, there is no charge if you cancel at least 24 hours before the appointment start time. If you cancel within 24 hours of the appointment or miss your appointment, your credit card will be charged a cancellation fee on Square Appointments. Cancellation fees are $80 for regular sessions (50 or 75 minutes) and $40 for follow-up sessions (25 minutes). We understand sometimes emergencies happen, so please contact your learning coach by email in case of emergency.

  • Late Policy: If you are late to your session, the session will still end at the scheduled end time, and you will be charged the full session price. In some cases, time can be made up at the end if your learning coach does not have another appointment. If the learning coach is late or cancels your scheduled session, they will communicate with you by email as soon as possible in order to make up the missed time or to reschedule if needed.

  • Group Session Policies: Group members are responsible for communicating with one another about making, changing, or cancelling appointments. If a group appointment is cancelled at least 24 hours before the appointment start time, there is no charge. If any member of the group cancels within 24 hours of the appointment or misses the appointment, that group member's credit card will be charged a cancellation fee on Square Appointments. Cancellation fees are $50 per student for a 2-student session and $40 per student for a 3-student session. In order to make the most of the session, latecomers to the group sessions will be allowed on a case-by-case basis.

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GRADUATE STUDENT FAQS

 

I AM REGISTERED WITH THE CENTRE FOR ACCESSIBLE LEARNING (I.E., THE CENTRE ON CAMPUS THAT PROVIDES SERVICES FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES) AT MY UNIVERSITY. IS THERE FUNDING AVAILABLE TO HELP ME PAY FOR A LEARNING COACH?

Post-secondary students who have a disability and are registered with their university may have access to government funding to pay for learning coaching sessions (i.e., academic strategy sessions). Contact your advisor at your institution for more information as we cannot help you with this application.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I SEE A LEARNING COACH?

Most of the graduate students we have worked with in the past meet with us weekly over a semester (e.g., ten weeks). It depends on where you are in your graduate program; students in their first year may need support focusing on the increased reading and writing demands whereas students in their final years may need support during the thesis/dissertation writing process. This can be something you discuss with your learning coach in your first session or in the free consultation.

CAN I USE A LEARNING COACH TO HELP ME COMPLETE MY THESIS/DISSERTATION?

Absolutely! Both Lizz and Sarah recently completed their PhDs and are very familiar with the ups and downs of completing a master's thesis or a doctoral dissertation. We can help you hold yourself accountable to deadlines, plan your writing time, enact reading strategies, structure your time effectively, etc. We can also help you navigate meetings with your supervisor and/or committee, advocate for yourself, understand graduate supervision policies, and many other aspects of being a graduate student.

WOULD USING A LEARNING COACH BE HELPFUL FOR A WRITING GROUP?

If you already meet with two or three other graduate students to provide support and accountability during the often lonely thesis/dissertation writing process, a learning coach can help boost your academic writing! A learning coach can provide you with tools and techniques to increase your motivation, set more effective goals, structure your time more efficiently, elicit better feedback from your advisor/committee, and much more.

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UNDERGRADUATE FAQS

 

WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON PROBLEMS UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS FACE WITH THEIR LEARNING?

The most common problems we see with our students are motivation and time management. We use these two areas as a starting point to help narrow down the challenges even further, so you understand what is going on and how you can use strategies to overcome these challenges. This could include emotions, behaviour, cognition, mental health and well-being, etc. One of the differences in working with a learning coach is you will learn a framework of metacognitive thinking about academic work that you can then apply to any content area and context.

I AM REGISTERED WITH THE CENTRE FOR ACCESSIBLE LEARNING (I.E., THE CENTRE ON CAMPUS THAT PROVIDES SERVICES FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES) AT MY UNIVERSITY. IS THERE FUNDING AVAILABLE TO HELP ME PAY FOR A LEARNING COACH?

Post-secondary students who have a disability and are registered with their university may have access to government funding to pay for learning coaching sessions (i.e., academic strategy sessions). Contact your advisor at your institution for more information as we cannot help you with this application.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I SEE A LEARNING COACH?

The majority of the undergraduate students we work with meet with us weekly over a semester (e.g., ten weeks).  The reason behind this is because there are different challenges during a semester, from reading to notetaking to preparing for exams, and our students have found it helpful to have a regular weekly session to help navigate these challenges. This can be something you discuss with your learning coach in your first session or in the free consultation.

IS WORKING WITH A LEARNING COACH ONLY FOR STUDENTS WHO ARE GETTING LOW GRADES?

The students we work with tell us they get grades from Fs to As, however just because you are getting As doesn't mean you wouldn't benefit from working with a learning coach. Sometimes students who are getting top marks are at risk for burning out if they are spending excessive amounts of time reviewing their materials or experiencing anxiety or stress due to their academics. Conversely, students who are getting low grades may be using some effective strategies, just not enough of them or not with enough consistency! We work with students of all academic levels enact effective strategies that are customized to your specific situation so you can be an engaged learner.