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Tutorial system

At Cambridge University and Oxford University, undergraduates are taught in the tutorial system. Students are taught by faculty fellows in groups of one to three on a weekly basis. At Cambridge, these are called "supervisions" and at Oxford they are called "tutorials." One benefit of the tutorial system is that students receive direct feedback on their weekly essays in a small discussion setting.

Student tutorials are generally more academically challenging and rigorous than standard lecture and test format courses, because during each session students are expected to orally communicate, defend, analyze, and critique the ideas of others as well as their own in conversations with the professor and fellow-students. As a pedagogic model, the tutorial system has great value because it creates learning and assessment opportunities which are highly authentic and difficult to fake.[1]

Outside of the United Kingdom, Williams College in Massachusetts has a rigorous and successful tutorial system in many of its junior and senior level classes. The system has been used in other academic institutions too (for example, by the Honors Tutorial College of Ohio University).

Further reading

  • Adamson, J. W. [Briefest of references to the Oxford Tutorial in] "Education." In From Steel and Addison to Pope and Swift. Vol. 9 of The Cambridge History of English Literature, ed. A. W. Ward and A. R. Waller, 459. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1913. This extremely short excerpt can be read through Google Books.
  • Bailey, Cyril. "The Tutorial System." Revised by J. B. Bamborough. In Handbook to the University of Oxford, 279 286(?). Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1965.
  • Beck, Robert J. "The Pedagogy of the Oxford Tutorial." Paper presented at the Tutorial Education: History, Pedagogy, and Evolution conference, Lawrence University, Appleton, WI, March 31 April 1, 2007. See http://individualizedlearning.org/conference/tutorials/2007/rbeck.shtml.
  • Brewer, Derek. "The Tutor: A Portrait." In C. S. Lewis at the Breakfast Table and Other Reminiscences, new ed., ed. James T. Como, 41 67. San Diego: Harcourt Brace, Harvest, 1992. You can actually read the whole of this section through Amazon.com's "Search inside this book" feature.
  • Highet, Gilbert. "Communication: Tutoring." In The Art of Teaching, 107 116. New York: Knopf, 1950.
  • Kiosses, Spyriodon. "Teaching and Studying Ancient Greek Literature: A First Approach to a Case Study." Master s thesis, University of Oxford, 1997.
  • Mayr-Harting, Henry. "Oxford Tutorials." Paper presented at the Tutorial Education: History, Pedagogy, and Evolution conference, Lawrence University, Appleton, WI, March 31 April 1, 2007. See http://individualizedlearning.org/conference/tutorials/2007/mayr-harting.shtml.
  • Moore, Will G. The Tutorial System and Its Future. New York: Pergamon, 1968.
  • Oxford University Education Committee. Policy Guidance on Undergraduate Learning and Teaching, University of Oxford, 2008. See http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/epsc/guidance/uglandt.pdf.
  • Palfreyman, David, ed. The Oxford Tutorial: "Thanks, You Taught Me How to Think," 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford Centre for Higher Education Policy Studies, 2008. See http://oxcheps.new.ox.ac.uk/Publications/Resources/OxCHEPS_OP1_08.pdf.
  • Paper 6: Tutorial Teaching. Oxford: Institute for the Advancement of University Learning, n.d. See http://www.learning.ox.ac.uk/files/Tutorial%20Teaching.pdf.
  • Ryan, Alan. "The Oxford Tutorial: History and Myth." Keynote address at the Tutorial Education: History, Pedagogy, and Evolution conference, Lawrence University, Appleton, WI, March 31 April 1, 2007. See http://individualizedlearning.org/conference/tutorials/2007/ryan-keynote.pdf.
  • Shale, S. Understanding the Learning Process: Tutorial Teaching in the Context of Research into Learning in Higher Education. Oxford: Institute for the Advancement of University of Learning, 2000.
  • "Subject Specific Remarks." Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge, 2008, http://www.corpus.cam.ac.uk/undergraduates/information-for-freshers/195 (October 9, 2009).
  • Trigwell, Keith and Ashwin, Paul. Undergraduate Students' Experience of Learning at the University of Oxford, Institute for the Advancement of University Learning, University of Oxford, 2003. See http://www.learning.ox.ac.uk/files/OLCPFinal.zip.
  • "Tutorials." In Academic Handbook and Code of Practice for Tutorial Fellows, Other Teaching Fellows, College Lectures, [and] Graduate Teaching Assistants. Oxford: Oriel College, 2008, 5 6. See http://www.oriel.ox.ac.uk/images/File/Current%20Members/Tutors_Academic_Handbook_2008-9.pdf.
  • Waterland, Daniel. "Advice to a Young Student, with a Method of Study for the First Four Years." In The Works of the Rev. Daniel Waterland, 3rd ed., vol. 4, 393 416. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1856. Online and in PDF at http://www.archive.org/details/worksofrevdaniel04wateuoft. Of Waterland's Advice. . . it is said that it "is an outstanding monument to the theory and practice of tutorial instruction in early eighteenth-century Cambridge," from Victor Morgan, 1546 1750, vol. 2 of A History of the University of Cambridge (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 342.
  • Williams, Gavin. "Socrates in Stellenbosch and Tutorials in Oxford." Paper presented at the Tutorial Education: History, Pedagogy, and Evolution conference, Lawrence University, Appleton, WI, March 31 April 1, 2007. See http://individualizedlearning.org/conference/tutorials/2007/gwilliams.pdf.

References






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