Tutors@UQ is a University-wide program for new tutors and casual academic sessional staff, which focuses on introducing tutors to the teaching and learning environment at UQ.

The program is facilitated by faculty academic staff and ITaLI.

What do we mean by ‘tutor’?

We use the word ‘tutor’ broadly, as an inclusive term encompassing the diversity of learning environments in which UQ tutors might find themselves. Tutors lead classes, tutorials, workshops, labs, practical sessions, problem-based learning, drop-in sessions, study sessions and groups online.

Tutor refers to demonstrators, problem-based learning (PBL) leaders and clinical supervisors, as well as tutors of small and large group tutorials.

Overview

The Tutors@UQ program is designed for new tutors from any discipline. The sessions are facilitated at the faculty level, allowing for discipline specific examples and contextualisation as appropriate.

The program is structured around 3 face-to-face sessions for a total of 5 hours of contact time.

  • Session 1: two hours prior to start of semester
  • Session 2: two hours prior to start of semester
  • Session 3: one hour follow-up session during semester (by week 5 is strongly recommended).

The sessions utilise the principles of active learning, allowing new tutors the opportunity to engage in small group activities while also watching the facilitator model effective small group learning strategies.

For facilitators: program preparation

While the Tutors@UQ program has been designed with learning objectives, learning activities and learning resources ready to go, preparation is vital for successful facilitation of the program.

The Tutors@UQ program is not prescriptive by design. While the learning objectives are defined with aligned learning activities to create coherence across the program, facilitators have room for creativity in deciding how to facilitate the activities (e.g. buzz groups or think, pair, share) and how to present certain information (e.g. a personal story from your tutoring experience, or a discipline specific example).

Small group approaches

First time Tutors@UQ facilitators will need to plan how they will facilitate the small group activities. All sessions are different, such that particular approaches cannot be prescribed.

Facilitators will have to consider the learning environment and size of the group when selecting small group approaches for facilitating the activities. This takes some consideration and a deep understanding of the activities, so that each Tutors@UQ facilitator can cater to their particular group of tutors.

Presentation points

First time facilitators will also need to consider how they want to present key points. Remember, the program is based on active learning principles, and as such the didactic presentation of materials has only a minimal place in the program.

The role of summarising key points around the learning objectives and motivating tutors by stressing the importance and relevance of the Tutors@UQ program is vital. Facilitators will need to consider and plan for how they will achieve this, and where they will add personal stories or discipline specific examples.

Time management

The Tutors@UQ program is designed to be relatively fast-paced and interactive. First time facilitators will need to give careful consideration and attention to time management.

While the learning resources have suggested times, these are only suggestions, with space for flexibility. In a given faculty or school, a decision might be made that one module needs more time and emphasis, with a reduction of time spent on another module.

Recommended preparation time for:

  • first time facilitator: 2 hours
  • experienced facilitator: 1 hour.

Experienced Tutors@UQ facilitators will also need to refresh and prepare. Ideally, taking a small amount of time to reflect directly following the session, and making some notes on possible improvements, will go a long way to planning and preparing for future sessions.

Who provides administrative support for the program?

The Tutors@UQ program is centrally coordinated through ITaLI, while the faculty or school manages the program on the ground.

  • ITaLI develops the learning resources and oversees the evaluation process for Tutors@UQ. The ITaLI Tutors@UQ coordinator communicates directly with Associate Deans Academic (ADAs) each semester, providing the learning resources and evaluation information. ITaLI academic staff provide training for Tutors@UQ facilitators and are available to co-facilitate sessions.
  • Under the leadership of the ADA, faculty offices are responsible for:
    • booking rooms for the sessions
    • arranging handouts
    • organising the technology (PowerPoints, roving mic, etc.) and other necessary items for facilitating the sessions
    • communicating with tutors
    • coordinating tutor sign-in/attendance sheets and arranging evaluation.
  • The Tutors@UQ facilitator should liaise with the faculty ADA to ensure all administrative support is in place. When preparing and planning for the sessions, the Tutors@UQ facilitators should liaise with academics in ITaLI, and ideally jointly facilitate sessions with their ITaLI faculty liaison.

Tutors@UQ evaluation

Faculties may elect to evaluate the Tutors@UQ program and its delivery. If so, UQ Poll can be used for instant feedback in class, or the Open Response Questionnaire (PDF, 108KB) can be used to receive qualitative feedback.

Here are some suitable questions you may use to develop your own evaluation:

Student feedback about session experience

  1. I had a clear understanding of the aims and goals of the sessions (5 = strongly agree, 4 = agree, 3 = neutral, 2 = disagree, 1 = strongly disagree).
  2. The session was intellectually stimulating (scale as above).
  3. The session was well structured (scale as above).
  4. The learning materials assisted me in this session (scale as above).
  5. I learned a lot in this session (scale as above).
  6. Right now, I feel prepared for tutoring here at UQ (scale as above).
  7. Right now, I feel confident about tutoring (scale as above).
  8. Overall, how would you rate this session? (5 = outstanding, 3 = satisfactory, 1 = very poor).
  9. What were the best aspects of this session? (open feedback).
  10. What improvements to this session would you suggest? (open feedback).

Student feedback about teaching

  1. Overall, how would you rate the quality of teaching of the Tutors@UQ program? (5 = outstanding, 3 = satisfactory, 1 = very poor).
  2. Please comment on the teaching of the Tutors@UQ program (open feedback).