“What do I say after I say hello…?”

Whilst it is understood that the content herein will be obvious to tutors already experienced in offering support to students, it is felt that it will be of use to those new to tutoring. The content below does not relate to curricula choice, but as Personal Tutors with a pastoral role.   You are encouraged to take a note of attendance at meetings and, although not obligatory, you may wish to make a record of your meetings.  You can use this  proforma (or in Word format).

Level 2 September

Level 2: September

Initial welcome, Graduate Attributes and co-curriculum development

(to be scheduled in Induction Week centrally by InfoHub Coordinators, or soon thereafter by individual PTs)

A mutual introduction to any new tutees. Setting the scene: ask them about themselves and tell them a little about you. Encourage them to relax, be friendly and easy going and ensure they know PTs are there to help them. Set atmosphere of assistance so they will be happy to come back!

    • What the Personal Tutor System (PTS) is and what it is not.
    • Direct them to Registry Officers or InfoHub staff with general course queries - queries relating to specific courses should be directed to the relevant Course Co-ordinator or Degree Programme Co-ordinator.
    • Reflect on their first year.
    • Reflect about what they wish they had known this time last year – [feed this back to the SPTF so that materials can be enhanced if needed for new students; similarly within the School].
    • Think about their career aspirations and consider whether they have changed. Does this impact their course choices?
    • Orientation – perhaps set tasks to link to meeting topics outlined for October and February. Give them links to online resources for these topics. This will generate student-led input into the subsequent meetings.
    • Use these guidance notes for discussions on co-curricularactivities - what are the involved with; what else could they consider?
    • At this group meeting, talk generally about problems that they may be facing and encourage them to make individual appointments with you if they feel it is necessary.
    • At individual appointments you can discuss particular circumstances – resits, learning strategies, signpost services etc.  Explore ways in which they might tackle their problems – ask the student to reflect on their experience/failure/disappointment and then it should become more obvious where they can be referred to for additional support.
    • Have they checked their student portal – if anything is flagging up, then they can come and see their PT individually.
    • Feedback logs on MyAberdeen –encourage them to complete feedback and share with PTs at later meetings if relevant.
    • Highlight how to contact you – what your office hours are, how to contact you, and what the response time will be – recommended 3 day turn around on email contact (see FAQs).

Graduate Attributes

Suggested questions to explore with returning students:                                 

    • Which of the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes seemed most relevant to you in your Year 1 curriculum and/or co-curriculum?  Why?  Can you give examples?
    • With a thought for the future, which of the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes do you think you might seek to develop or enhance during Year 2 at the university?
Level 2 January

Level 2 - January Meeting

Focus on exam reflection and feedback.  Any relevant school deadlines.

Suggested questions for group reflection on exam preparation:

  • How did you go about preparing for your exams? When did you start? Was this early enough, do you think?
  • Did you sit with your lecture notes and read and re-read them over and over again?  This ‘passive’ learning activity is generally shown to be unproductive.
  • Did you do any active learning, reconstructing the material into a different form when revising? This is generally shown to promote greater understanding and deeper learning.
  • Did you test yourself: use online tests/quizzes, brainstorm with friends, use quizzes in textbooks etc.?  These, too, are active learning activities.
  • Did you access past exam papers (through the Library database) and practise timed answers?  The Library has an online guide for students on accessing past exam papers: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/library/documents/guides/dbs/qgdbs007.pdf

Suggested questions for group reflection on the exams:

  • How was your time management?
  • Do you think you allowed yourself time to read through the instructions and the questions on the paper thoroughly?
  • Did you struggle in the exam to show what you know while still answering the question?
  • Did you move beyond just reciting your notes?
  • Were there parts of the exams that you found easy?  Which bits were difficult? Why was this?
  • How can you improve in the areas you found tricky? (e.g.: Did you find essays more difficult than Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)?)

Some questions to consider on receiving the exam results:

  • Are your results as you expected?
  • Are your results as good as you had hoped for?
  • Do you think your results are a fair reflection of the effort you put in?
  • What techniques did you use?
  • How do you think you could improve?

What can I do to improve?

Feedback and feedback logs

Level 2 March

Exam reflection and feedback resources

March meeting:

You could start by asking students to complete the ISS/NSS student surveys which are advertised now - incentives may apply!

Focus on assessments, honours entry and self-reflection of progress with Graduate Attributes

Suggested questions to explore:

  • How do you think you have progressed and developed during this academic year? 
  • What challenges have you faced or overcome?
  • Can you give examples to evidence this?

They could also be directed to the Bringing Graduate Attributes to Life website.