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Structuring the 1st tutorial

Introduction to 1st tute

Welcome and Introduction

Rosina’s disposition is smiling, friendly and welcoming. This puts students at ease. Rosina starts with giving essential details students’ require i.e.: name, room, email address and hours when she is available for consultation.

In order to reflect the fact that tutorials will be inclusive she indicates via a diagram on the board the way she would like the furniture to be arranged to facilitate student-to-student discussion. For many of you, rearranging the furniture may not be an option. However, if you have time beforehand, it might be good to arrange the furniture the way you want it. You may also wish to consider other ways of arranging the desks.

Furniture

In this scenario the way the furniture is arranged is helpful for encouraging student discussion because the students are facing each other in small groups. However, the tables are organised so that they are directed at the tutor as “centrepiece”. This format may mean that student comments will all be directed back to the tutor as “expert”. An alternative arrangement for class discussion is a square doughnut. Pairs and trios of students can still communicate in this format. The tutor becomes a more equal participant and the set up ensures that students direct comments to the whole class.

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