UKAT Annual Conference 2018 – Workshop: Staff and Student perspectives of Personal Tutoring

Workshop: Staff and Student perspectives of Personal TutoringGemma Taylor – University of Derby

MA dissertation research on personal tutoring with a small case study conducted between Jan and March 18 on a UG Programme. Consider student perspective on if the tutorial scheme was fit for purpose and if this enhances the student experience, and for staff to identify any training of changes. Improvement for EDI, widening participation, retention and support. Tutors are frontline for pastoral support; create sense of belonging with relationship with tutor; influence on student engagement; effect on satisfaction, wellbeing and retention rates; development of self-motivation.

Challenges identified: tutorial format – on time/length, face to face, online, group or individual;  Purpose – do staff and students know the reason for these, what are the expectations, boundaries, overlap of different staff and the role of the personal tutor; Staff training; Wider demands- NSS, retention, wellbeing. Tutorial meetings should not have a script that creates a meaningless discussion and dialogue. This needs to be beneficial for the students rather than a tick box exercise. Ran online multiple choice questionnaire for students and ran self-moderated focus groups for staff to gain insights. Microsoft forms used for questionnaire. Used 20 statements based on research for students to answer using the strongly agree to strongly disagree answer range.

Questionnaire results: This had a 32% response rate with 95 out of 302 students responding. The data showed that students like choosing the date and time of their personal tutorial and being able to book this online; students did find tutorials useful; students preferred having the same tutor for the duration of their programme of study; only 42% of those who responded felt the tutor knew them, however this knowledge did increase with each level of study with 18% of stage 1 students feeling their tutor knew them, 42% of stage 2 students, 63% of stage 3 and 100% of stage 4.

Focus groups results: Focus groups that were held found that these can be seen as time-consuming but is a valuable use of time; there is a need to build a relationship between tutor and tutee; some staff questioned if tutorials is based on pastoral or academic care; some aspects could be supported online; and there needs to be consistency in the number of staff involved with individual students – personal tutor, module leader, etc.

Moving forward: There is the introduction of calendly which is a booking tool for tutorials, and it has been found that students attend more when selecting their own time rather than being told. The introduction of Microsoft Forms which provides meaning and reason for the tutorial as this creates an agenda and questions to be asked at the tutorial; the avoidance of personal tutorials being script based; and students liked to see the questions in advance to prepare for the tutorial.

Leave a Reply