Dr Bath, Dr Masser and Mr Peter Gauci
Dr Bath, Dr Masser and Mr Peter Gauci

A Comprehensive Tutor Training Program

Represented by: Dr Barbara Masser, lecturer, School of Psychology

A Comprehensive Tutor Training Program is a significant contributor to the quality of teaching at the School of Psychology through its planned and systematic approach to training and mentoring tutors.

The School has made a significant financial commitment to paying tutoring staff to undertake the program and for employing staff to manage the program. The program recognises the integral role tutors play in the enhancement of undergraduate students' learning and evidences the School's commitment to developing quality teaching at all levels.

The program is structured so "best practice" is modelled and encouraged at every level. It has become an important component to the tutoring experience where postgraduates new to tutoring receive course-level mentoring and peer review, practical demonstrations of the principles of effective teaching and learning in the context of psychology, and general teaching and learning training. Tutors are encouraged to reflect on, and evaluate, their development as facilitators of learning.

This model of tutor training is highly innovative in terms of its multi-level structure and developmental sequence, whilst remaining practical in terms of the skills imparted to tutors. It provides new tutors with a safe environment in which to resolve issues and seek advice, and provides the necessary social and technical support to help facilitate their development. It encourages open discussion of different teaching styles and exposes tutors to different perspectives on how to manage a tutorial, communicate material, and interact with students.

The challenge faced by new tutors is recognised though the support provided by tutor mentors who confirm and reinforce strategies, instil confidence, assist with problem solving and act as role models. Mentors are employed on all courses where tutors new to the course have been appointed. The program has been recognised as an example of good practice at the local, national and international level.

The program is recognised for its support to all involved in the teaching and learning enterprise ? tutors, students and course coordinators, and for its success in enhancing both postgraduate and undergraduates' learning.

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