- Guidance & Support for Personal Tutors
- Helping Students in Difficulty
- Frequently Asked Questions
Group tutorials enable personal tutors and their tutees to get to
know each other and to begin building the mutual understanding and trust
upon which successful personal tutoring depends. Students are more
prepared to seek help from staff whom they know and trust. Tutors, too,
are better prepared for individual tutoring if they already know their
tutees from the group sessions. Everyone benefits from encouragement and support,
not just those who require help with specific difficulties. Students can also be encouraged to support each others' learning through appropriate discussion and mutual inquiry.
Group tutorials can also provide a context for discussing common problems and give students an insight into how others are responding to the kind of difficulties that they are experiencing. This can be particularly helpful to those who may be disinclined or just not ready to seek individual help from a member of staff. The sharing of experiences in a group often alleviates anxiety: it can be reassuring to know that one is not alone in having problems. Group discussions can also provide early indications of individual students’ difficulties, which can then be followed up by the tutor before they become too serious.
Tutorial programmes should be sufficiently flexible to accommodate both students’ and personal tutors’ agendas as they arise. Too much improvisation, however, will quickly lead to unfavourable comparisons with more structured course programmes. Group tutorials need to be planned and organised just as carefully as any other teaching session – perhaps more so, because the content is less tangible. As with all teaching, students need to be given a clear indication of the aims, objectives and content of the programme and the role of each tutorial within it.
Among the topics covered in group tutorials run by personal tutors in UCL are:
- academic consciousness and study management (helping students to think, to understand, to create, to criticise, to organise their time effectively and to develop relevant study skills);
- Personal and professional development planning and review of progress;
- information on the College’s student support services;
- opportunities afforded by the University’s extra-curricular provision;
- relating current learning to contemporary issues; seeing patterns and unifying principles;
- an introduction to London’s resources – its museums, galleries, exhibitions;
- choosing course options;
- careers advice and guidance on CV’s, job applications and interviews.
Page last modified on 03 jan 13 12:16