Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Effective tutorials

In previous years I have struggled to run tutorials/problem solving sessions that students attend and benefit from. However, in a course I am co-teaching with Joel Corney he has developed a structure which I think is quite effective.
Students are divided into teams of three. They are then all given the same problem set to complete and hand in before the end of the tutorial in 50 minutes. The three students have different roles: worker, skeptic, and scribe.
There are roving tutors (approx. one per 15 students) who are available to answer any questions. The tutors then grade the completed sheet and hand it back the next week. These marks comprise part of the whole course mark.

I have been really impressed with how engaged the students are. I enjoy eaves-dropping on them as they explain things to each other and argue about them. I think they are learning a lot more than if I was up the front solving the problems on the whiteboard.

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