3 March 2014 Tutoring Workshop Facilitated by: Simon Winberg & Renee Smit Department of Electrical Engineering For the benefit of new Tutors and TAs
Outline • Introduction by Renee • Presentation by Simon:“Being an EE Tutor” (10-15 min) • Workshop • Summing up
How do students learn? The fact that teaching has happened, does not necessarily imply learning has taken place!
Engaging in Learning Learning happens when students engage meaningfully with the material of the course and are free to seek feedback on their learning as frequently as necessary.
Approaches to learning • Surface approach: focus on rote, “plug-n-chug” • Deep approach: active search for meaning
Why are tutors important? • More of them, more available to students • Closer to the students • An essential part of the feedback loop Lifecycle of teaching & tutoring
Feedback from survey • The study • Lecturers • Tutors • Students
A few crucial points…. Language Diversity Quality Feedback Learning from one another A tutor should help to facilitate this structure
What is a Tutor? • Generally: • A tutor is some whoassists others to learn • A university tutor has a variety of other responsibilities and tasks to do Helping a student learning how to solve a knotty problem
Guiding vs. Doing • A tutor should not do the work for the student!! • Rather the tutor should act a coach • Guiding • Listening • Observing • Motivating
Being an EE Tutor • Some electrical engineering tutoring tasks • Laboratory practicals (or “Pracs”) • Marking assignments • Facilitating students’ project work • Tuts / hot-seat / extra-tuition • Invigilating exams/tests • General assistance to lecturer
Pracs and Tutorials • Prac • Takes place in a lab • Students use computers or specialized equipment to work through a set of practical tasks. • Tutorial • An intensive tuition session, done by a tutor or lecture to a small group of students • Usually done in a “tut room” Prac venue Tutorial
General Assistance • Website maintenance • Testing exercises / pracs • Finding resources (e.g. open-source tools) • Photocopying
Claim forms and Remuneration • Claim forms • Available from Marlene Joubert • Completed, signed by lecture and handed back to her by the 25th of the month • I recommend handing them in earlier • Keeping track of your time • Could use a book or aspreadsheet to keep trackof your time You don’t need to submit; it’s just for your own use
Tutor Application Form Tutors are supposed to do at most 20h per month per course. If you are tutoring multiple courses, lecturers on all courses should be made aware of your other tutoring commitments. You should check with your supervisor that he/she agrees with the tutoring commitments you have set yourself as it may hold back your main objective to get a degree.
Pracs / Project Support • Pracs are often the main thing tutors do • Usually close interaction with the students, e.g. you assisting an individual or a small prac/project team • Not always so easy... • Consider the mainaims for this tutoring task
Overall aim for tutoring in pracs • Ensure the students are able to make progress on the assigned prac • How can this be accomplished?...
Prac Tutoring Techniques • Be prepared • At least read through the prac sheet… • Preferably work through the prac on your own • Be on time, preferable early • Arriving a few (e.g. 15) minutes early is good to get set-up and ready • Ensure all needed items for prac are in place • These are the main things to get right first It’s considerate to send an email to the TA / lecturer to confirm you will be there, and possibly afterwards (e.g. went well? And difficulties? Improvements ideas?)
Prac Tutoring • Sometimes you may have little to do during the prac • In such cases, it makes sense to have some other work to do. However… Only one student, who will surely call if I’m needed Eish, but this is too difficult! You are responsible to check that people are behaving, making progress. Occasionally walk about to see if anyone is stuck.
Invigilation • Arrive around 15-20 min before the start • Email your lecture to confirm you’ll be there • Usually, you can take turns with the other invigilator walking around the room and sitting • (tea staff come by ~20 min prior to start of exam to ask your refreshment options)
Tutor teams • For larger classes, a “tutor team” approach may be better • Members of the team are given certain responsibilities • Often need a team leader or “chief tutor”: • Assists in organizing the tutor team(s) • Ensuring all tutors know what to do & when • Act as a rep, provide feedback to lecturer
Improving tutoring abilities • Matching student / tutor learning styles • Some students may handle certain ways of learning better, or worse, than others • E.g., more visual vs. more textual learning, thinking vs. doing, independent vs. group • Accommodating diversity • Students are not all the same; they have different experiences, ability, likes/dislikes, among many factors that influence the way in which they act and interact with others.
Improving tutoring abilities • Some things to try… • Listen to students explain their problems • Ask them to repeat things back to you • Sketch and jot notes to aid explanations • Keep a journal • Act & look professional(see handout)
Adding value • Being a tutor can improve your skills, e.g. • Improved communication, if not some empathy • Patience • Positive attitudes and • Social skills / dealing with people • Leadership abilities