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Generating Engagement & Participation
Tutorial session

Structuring the tutorial

In the introduction it was emphasized that students learn better and more deeply through ‘active engagement’. It is also through active engagement that students’ take greater ownership for their learning. This segment assists in the development of an overall design or structure to support such engagement and active participation. The more organised and clear you are, the more likely it is that you will get the desired outcome. You may find it useful to refer to the section on lesson planning.

The following 3 strategies are useful:

  • Provide a context for the tutorial – begin each tutorial by letting your students know what you are going to do and why. Having a clear purpose from the beginning helps focus students and helps them make sense of what they’re being asked to do.
  • Dot point the ‘plan’ on the whiteboard so students see where they are going. It can as simple as highlighting the 2 or 3 activities that will be the focus of the tute, and perhaps the time allocated against each one.
  • Attention span is often limited; research suggests that for many of us our attention wanes after 10 – 15 minutes. So plan for strategic well-positioned changes to the teaching/learning program, for example: incorporate small group activities; mix up the mode of delivery (whiteboard/overhead/article/newspaper article etc); and use good questioning

Here are some video and audio recordings that give some ideas about structuring the tutorial: