In higher institution of learning, lectures and tutorial are combined to accumulate the total credit hours where tutorials are normally a 1 hour credit session.
Tutorials for undergraduates are conducted once a week, for an hour. Teachers or trainers, including students, get a batch of 20-25 students each with whom they discuss the tutorial topic (decided by the course outline).
Students are required to prepare for the tutorial. However, it has been observed that students do not attend and attempt tutorials, regularly.
Though almost 100 % students attend tutorials because ‘attendance’ is compulsory but even those who attend tutorials do so without adequate preparation although they are given one week to study and complete the topic.
As a result, there is hardly any useful discussion between the tutor and the students and the tutorial becomes a mere lecture.
Though students agreed that it is necessary to have tutorials and understand that the topics covered in tutorials were important but the presented work they put up are not to the expectations.
Students were told to study the topic before the tutorial and if students failed to do so, then the tutorial would not serve its purpose.
It come as no surprise when students gave reasons for inadequate preparation such as need to prepare for other subjects, lack of time and engaging in extracurricular activities.
In the tutorial session, a few students dominated the tutorial, and most of the time it was the teacher or the trainer who spoke the most in class.
Sadly to share many of the students failed to read and prepare for the tutorial. Failure to prepare for the tutorial topic is an important reason for poor respond
Too often a few students dominate the tutorial as these few students are the one who know too much or who are.
Although the tutorial topics are decided either by the course learning outline, it may necessary to involve students in the process of topic selection.
Assessing tutorials by incorporating MCQs and case studies may add to the seriousness to the problem.
This will help students during the examinations. It will also help them understand real life scenarios, while making the tutorial interesting.
A simultaneous assessment process and inclusion of marks for internal assessment would ensure better attendance and greater student participation.
These suggestions, based on feedback from students, should be kept in mind while planning and conducting tutorials for undergraduate students.
Only then will a tutorial become a fruitful exercise.
Azizi Ahmad The STAR Educate July 23, 2017