Tutorial structure/dynamic

“Do you approve of the changed tutorial structure/dynamic?: beginning with student summaries of set readings; moving to general discussions on the weekly theme; dedicating the second hour to group work? If you changed anything, what would it be?”

“it creates much less stress and it seems like a more collaborative environment”; “Yes I like the informal nature of the tutorial and its structure”; “I think the freedom to pursue a focused learning path guided by a wider subject structure is really beneficial in getting a lot from the subject”; “I also like the student summaries idea”; “I like it because it means I’m not coming to class every Monday at 9am bored out of my brains because it’s, well Monday”. But: “student summaries are good although it means students like me who are a tad lazy take advantage and don’t bother doing the summaries ours”; “I would actually love it if he [tutor] spoke more each week, showed us videos, websites, more visual aids would be good. I don’t think group work in class works too well unless the assignment is specifically done in a group like the first”; “could be improved. For example, one element is allowing students to view lecture Powerpoints at home in lieu of a traditional lecture given in class. In these scenarios, the Powerpoints are often still setup as a list of notes; however, they are missing a person to explain/talk through the notes (as what would normally happen in a class lecture scenario) … feels like we are missing out on additional insights that could be present if there was an actual human running through what they have written. This may be an issue with Powerpoint as a communication platform itself”; “I like the group work hour it’s good however I’m not sure we utilised as effectively as we should have”.

It seems clear that generally the tutorial structure is liked – students responded well to it: mix of reading summaries and discussion; group work in second half around case studies; after week 7, still mix of reading summaries and discussion, but also group building of test bank for final week; discussion of how to structure essay topics, etc. However, more structure needed. I also need to give students a chance to raise more of their own personal interests and ideas. More audio-visual aides would be welcome (students liked the partial screening of the The Gringo in Mañanaland). Perhaps more short video or web page views to prompt discussion around week’s theme. Reading summaries a good idea, but they then need to be better integrated and discussed in tutorial. Students raised the issue of Power Points: Captivate should help make online lectures more dynamic and sound bites of lecturer’s voice embedded in Captivate  might “re-humanise” online lectures.

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