What happens in tutorials?
Unlike lectures, tutorials don’t usually involve receiving information and taking notes. Tutes are usually structured according to the discipline. For example, a tutorial might be focussed around group discussions of key course topics or set reading material. Students may deliver oral presentations preceding a group discussion. Sometimes students work on exercises or activities, such as weekly case studies or a set of prepared questions.
What is the purpose of tutorials?
Talking and listening to other students and the tutor can help to:
- clarify your understanding of what you are learning
- advance your knowledge and understanding of a topic or issue through discussion
- try out ideas by talking them through with others
- hear a range of different perspectives
- improve your thinking, listening and discussion skills
Finding ‘the right words’ for your thoughts and ideas, and fully articulating them, takes time and practice. Take the opportunity offered in tutorials to develop the skill of expressing yourself clearly.
Successful tutorials depend on students doing the preparation and demonstrating their involvement through active listening as well being able to speak out.
Do I have to attend tutorials?
Yes. Attendance is recorded and course marks are given for class participation.
Oral presentations in tutorials
Many courses require students to deliver an oral presentation as part of their assessment, and to follow their presentation by leading a tutorial discussion on the topic. Even if you are not presenting, you still need to prepare for the seminar by reading the required material, and once the presentation has begun, by listening actively, asking questions, and participating in the discussion.