TUTORIALS are an important teaching-learning tool. It helps learners enhance their intellectual, communication and social skills.
In most higher education institutions, lectures and tutorials are combined to accumulate the total credit hours. Tutorials for undergraduates are conducted once a week, for an hour.
In a group of 20 to 25 students, teachers or trainers will discuss a tutorial topic, that is usually decided by the course outline. Students are required to prepare for the tutorial.
Almost all students attend tutorials because attendance is compulsory. However, some do not prepare adequately although they are given one week to study and complete the topic.
As a result, there are no discussions between the tutor and the students and the tutorial becomes a mere lecture.
Students are told to study the topic before the tutorial and if they fail to do so, then the tutorial would not serve its purpose. Failure to prepare for tutorial topics is a reason for poor responses in class.
It comes as no surprise when students’ reasons for inadequate preparation include the need to prepare for other subjects, a lack of time and involvement in extracurricular activities.
In tutorial sessions, a few students dominate the tutorial, but most of the time it is the teacher or the trainer who speaks the most in class.
Although the tutorial topics are decided by the course outline, it may be necessary to involve students in the selection process too.
Assessing tutorials by incorporating multiple choice questions and case studies will help students during the examinations. It will also help them understand real life scenarios, while making the tutorial interesting.
A simultaneous assessment process and inclusion of marks for internal assessment would ensure better attendance and greater student participation.
These suggestions, based on feedback from students, should be kept in mind while planning and conducting tutorials. Only then will a tutorial become a fruitful exercise.