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Online questionnaire ‘Risiko Check’ and coaching tool ‘Counselling profile’ in the context of the project Stop Dropout

Tools

Description

The EU-funded ‘Stop Dropout!’ project has developed a ‘Counselling Profile’ (or personal profile) for use by qualified professionals in fields such as counselling, psychology or human relations. It is a structured interview scheme which can be used to use to guide individuals who are at risk of dropping out.

Beneficiaries

The ‘Risiko Check’ is designed for school counsellors to use with first grade students in upper secondary schools. In Austria the following versions of the Risiko Check are currently used:

  • vocational school
  • grammar school
  • polytechnic school
  • apprenticeship

The ‘counselling profile’ (or personal profile) is designed for qualified professionals in fields such as counselling, psychology or human relations and can be used in upper secondary schools, higher educational institutions, adult education centres, job centres, etc. 

Country/ies or organisation that developed the tool

EU-level project (LLP – Leonardo da Vinci). The project has received the Best Practice Guidance Award at the Leonardo da Vinci Thematic Monitoring Conference in 2007. Country specific versions of the tools were transferred to Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic, and Slovenia. In Austria Blickpunkt Identität received the Lifelong Learning Award for the products of Stop Dropout in 2012 and 2013.

Date of creation of toolkit and periodicity of updates

Project funded from 12/2009 until 09/2011

After the project ended, Stop Dropout became a programme in Austria. Since 2012 external school counsellors in 4 different states of Austria reaching thousands of students each year have used the Stop Dropout instruments.

Purpose of the toolkit

Guidance on how to identify and monitor early leavers or those at risk of early leaving.

“The aim of the online questionnaire ’Risiko Check’ is to provide counsellors with a systematic approach to identify students at risk of school failure or dropping out of the educational system on the basis of known factors that predict school failure according to theories, research and practice. The basic idea is that dropout is a process whereby the students gradually disengage from school/ education/training. The sooner students at risk are identified the more likely it is that they will be provided with suitable support that makes it possible for them to carry out a successful educational and/or occupational plan.”

Description of each of the tools

The Risiko Check is an online instrument consisting of a Student’s e-questionnaire, and a programme that statistically analyses the strengths and weaknesses of the student and his or her environment based on the information from the questionnaire. It calculates risk scores and resource scores for each student based on the student’s answers.

According to scientific research on the survey which has been conducted as part of the internal evaluation and improvement process of the tool, the accuracy of the Risiko Check is at 80 percent, which means that 8 out of 10 students being at risk of dropping out can be detected at the very beginning of a school year.

The coaching tool ‘counselling profile’ (also known as ‘personal profile’) is a structured interview scheme for counsellors and other specialists used to guide individuals who are at risk of dropping out.

Type of indicators used in the identification of learners at risk of early leaving

The Risiko Check questionnaire is divided into the following main and sub categories of risk and protective factors that have been found to relate to school failure and drop out:

  • Student background: gender, age, parents’ education, family structure, and language background.
  • Family factors: parental involvement in the child’s schooling, emotional support and supervision, and siblings who have dropped out of school.
  • Previous school experience: previous academic achievement and negative school behaviour.
  • Student’s academic engagement, social engagement and educational aspiration.
  • Psychological adjustment: general self-esteem and academic self-esteem.
  • Working while at school and friends’ school engagement.

A graphic illustration is immediately available after a person has completed the questionnaire.

Source: image sent to Cedefop by project coordinators.

The coaching tool ‘counselling profile’ is structured around the various topics/indicators to be discussed with the student (clusters of the counselling profile):

  • school
  • my family
  • friends
  • hobbies
  • my strengths & weaknesses
  • my lifestyle
  • empty cluster to discuss other topics when needed

Type of guidance given to users

The toolkit provides guidance on how to use the questionnaire and the counselling profile tool.

The Risiko Check questionnaire is to be administered to the cohort of first grade students in the beginning of the school year; at least one month after the school has started. The data should be anonymous so the participants are assigned code numbers which only the school counsellor has access to and can match with the students. Before answering the questionnaire the students are informed of the purpose and content of the questionnaire and asked if they want to participate.

Based on the questionnaire results, the counsellor identifies the learners with high score and offers those students an interview. He/she shows the report to the student so they can analyse the results together and find out possible solutions if necessary. At least two meetings should be planned with the student.

In the first counselling session the counsellor collects information by using the cluster structure and, if necessary, plans other sessions in order to gather further information. It uses the technique of ‘The Storied Approach’ where the counsellor asks questions that motivate the individual to share short moments in his/her life. The aim is to share positive past experiences. The counsellor maps (draws) on a piece of paper the individual’s experiences and the connections with others in his/her life.

When the counsellor believes that they have gathered enough information, he/she schedules the final session with the individual. In the final session, they plan some future steps together in order to better meet the needs of the individual.

Source of information of the different tools

Designed by partners of the LLP project. 

Link/s to the toolkit and further information

Related intervention approaches

Downloads

Risk detection and flexible prevention against learners’ drop out website