The First Tutorial

The first tutorial is the most important tutorial of all. First impressions are everything - it is where students will meet you for the first time, and each other, and where you'll establish how you will move through the semester together. The first tutorial is usually where the learning culture is established so it's important to be thoughtful and well-prepared in thinking through how you intend the tutorial to unfold.

Be punctual for the tutorial and arrive with, or before, the students. A goal of the first tutorial is to set an atmosphere where students feel comfortable with the demands of the subject area and the method that you will use to conduct these tutorials. Start the tutorial on time and quickly become engaged with the students. Introduce yourself to the students and give them a sense of your involvement and interest in the subject. Students respond positively to the genuine enthusiasm of the tutor and are more likely to become engaged in learning when they are interested and motivated. Reflect on your own experiences as a student and the strategies your tutors used to create a positive and effective learning environment.

While essential ‘housekeeping' items must be addressed, try to quickly engage the students in activities and the content of the subject. During the first tutorial allow time for students to discuss any qualms they may have about the subject. This section considers 3 important aspects in the lead up to your first tutorial: planning and preparation; setting the scene and establishing relationships.

For a more in-depth introduction to the tutorial environment see: