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Event invitation: celebrate the launch of the new personal tutoring website

12 September 2013

Paul Walker discusses UCL's new personal tutoring website, which features guidance videos and will be launched at an event in October.

A UCL tutor gives a student feedback on her work

Every taught student at UCL is assigned a personal tutor, who should know their tutees well enough to keep an eye on their general academic progress and be able to give good guidance in their personal and professional development (PPD). A student's personal tutor can also offer them support and appropriate referral to specialist services if they experience difficulty at any time.

But how are personal tutors supported in this sometimes unfamiliar role? In the past, the primary means of briefing staff for this aspect of their work was a face-to-face session held once or twice a year, as well as ongoing collegial support in teaching departments with the local arrangements overseen by departmental tutors. With UCL now much larger and more widely distributed geographically, such a briefing session has not been feasible for some time.

An onilne Personal Tutor's Handbook has been the main resource for advising personal tutors and for sharing good practice between colleagues in different departments – but it’s ironic that, given the subject matter, this can't be itself more personal. To enrich this resource, colleagues from the UCL Centre for the Advancement of Learning and Teaching (CALT) have interviewed experienced tutors on camera and updated the handbook site with the resulting video clips to provide the next best thing to personal advice for fellow tutors, covering both the developmental and pastoral aspects of personal tutoring.

CALT is holding an event at lunchtime on Wednesday 16 October to launch this updated resource and to hear from services providing the key services personal tutors should know about: Student Support and Wellbeing, UCL Careers Service, the Transition Programme and Student Psychological Services. This is the first event of a new series called the Learning and Teaching Exchange, so look out for other lunchtime sessions on relevant topics.

It is also worth drawing attention to the resources for students on UCL's PPD website. These are intended to support students in planning and implementing their personal and professional development, enhancing all of those skills and attributes that employers value but that can also make the difference in their academic engagement now. Sometimes students struggling with issues like time management, group working, giving presentations or academic communication can be helped greatly by personal tutors referring them to self-study materials and other resources. There is an extensive suite of locally developed materials but also links to external sites including the commercially developed 'skills4studycampus', which UCL has licensed from the publisher Palgrave Macmillan.

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Page last modified on 11 sep 13 13:47

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