On May 24, Mark L, Rochelle T, Nienke vH and Barb B offered a workshop on developing tutorials for lecture courses. The session will be repeated on May 31, 10:00 am – noon, Blu11021.
The goals of the session were to:
- Help to spur and develop ideas for learning activities and assessments geared toward the tutorial setting and their alignment with the course learning objectives.
- Gain familiarity with TA needs and responsibilities in tutorials and per the TSSU guidelines.
- Plan follow up sessions as needed for groups or individuals.
The session was attended by five FHS instructors and generated a productive and positive discussion. To open the session, participants shared their interests and concerns about tutorials.
Participant interest in tutorials:
- Adapting an in-class presentation assessment to a tutorial setting.
- Using tutorials to enhance literature analysis and reading skills.
- Applying Team-based Learning (TBL) approaches to classroom or tutorial.
- Explore tutorials as an opportunity to delve more deeply into topics than lecture.
- Identify ways to support TAs and create a more structured tutorial plans.
- Creating consistency between offerings of the same course, which has a tutorial in the Fall term but not in Summer.
- Interest in creating a rich tutorial environment that is challenging and helpful to all students regardless of academic standing.
- Amount of work required for developing tutorial plans.
- Losing one-on-one interaction with students, how can that be built in?
- Reticence to use participation points as an incentive to attend tutorial.
- Tutorial size caps and managing more than one TA.
- Finding qualified TAs.
- Creating consistency between TAs and tutorial sections.
- Overcoming boundary issues when TAs are student peers.
Mark, Nienke and Rochelle shared their experiences and strategies using tutorials in a large-lecture classroom setting and offered tips about developing structured tutorial plans, activity design, managing TAs and creating consistency. They focused specifically on a lecture-tutorial model. Other teaching modes such as TBL and “flipped classroom” were mentioned, but not included in the scope of discussion.
They emphasized the importance of planning, rubrics and regular communication to promote consistency. Rochelle has developed a very detailed TA guide, which she is willing to share with other instructors.
The session closed with discussion on:
- TA training – what are the specific needs of FHS and how does that compare to training that is currently available?
- How do we apply course design principles to tutorial structure?
The workshop will be held again on Friday, May 31 (10:00 am – 12pm), please join us if you have any questions or concerns about tutorials.