Program Overview

Despite high prevalence rates of distress, students are often unaware of the strategies, resources, or support services available to help them cope and thrive at university. To be effective, information and support needs to be timely, provided if, and when students need it.

The Learning Thermometer is a web-based tool that links teaching, learning, wellbeing and support, meeting the student where they are. The aims of The Learning Thermometer are to:

  1. Encourage students to self-reflect on their wellbeing and academic progress
  2. Ensure that every student is linked with relevant strategies, resources and support, if, and when they need it
  3. Promote autonomy-self-regulation, self-management and problem-solving
  4. Provide teaching staff with group data to inform teaching improvements.

How to use

The Learning Thermometer should only be used as a summative piece of assessment. This ensures the all students learn to self-reflect on their progress and that students who most need support have access to it. Used in at least one core course each semester across a degree program means that every student at the university is provided with support options if they need it.

  1. Administrator adds semester dates to the program

  2. Teaching and counselling support services add university resources and people available to support students

  3. Academics add learning outcomes, aspects of the course they want feedback on, and select resources and support people relevant to students in their course.

  4. Students complete a brief survey four times over the course of the semester

  5. Students who report difficulties are prompted to choose strategies, resources, and people that might help them-their Learning Plan.

  6. Students are emailed a copy of their Learning Plan as a reference.

  7. Academics upload group results at the end of semester.

  8. Academics use group data during the semester and at the end of semester to inform teaching improvements.


Stallman, H. M., & King, S. (2016). The Learning Thermometer: Closing the loop between teaching, learning, wellbeing and support in universities. Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice. 13(5), e22.

Stallman, H. M. (2011). Embedding resilience within the tertiary curriculum: A feasibility study. Higher Education Research & Development, 30(2), 121-133. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2010.509763

Further Information

For more information, contact Dr Helen Stallman with the details below.   Click here to see how The Learning Thermometer fits within a biopsychosocial approach to promoting health and wellbeing of university students.

Dr Helen Stallman
School of Psychology, Social Work and Social Policy
University of South Australia
T: 08 8302 4360
E: helen.stallman@unisa.edu.au

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