Mentoring

In terms of mentoring, the following strategies and systems are available to students:

Tutors
The site planning class comprises 120 students who are split 25/95 in two
tutorial sessions. 3 BTech students have been trained as tutors and are available to assist students during tutorial sessions.

Class assignments / formative feedback
All students receive detailed, individual feedback on class assignments and for
certain tutorials (particularly drawing exercises where answers cannot be copied) they are given the opportunity to redo work for remarking.

Appointments
I frequently remind students that I am available for individual meetings. Students are encouraged to schedule a meeting time with me to discuss a particular problem or query. Quite a few students do take advantage of this as one-on-one we are better able to tackle problems and find solutions.

Peer mentoring
The site planning course is relatively easy for the top students in the class who
appear to struggle with the slow pace of lectures and are often bored.

On the other hand, some students really struggled with basic concepts in the test.
After the test, instead of going through the test results as a group and risking boredom to students who fared well while not addressing the needs of students who failed, I took a different approach.

I identified the top 25% of students who received a mark of 75% or higher, and
selected a question from the test for which they received full-marks. I assigned
students in the class in groups of 4 with one “tutor” student in each group who could help provide individual help to students who struggled with a particular question.

The groups were given 45 minutes to work through a particular question and then we spent another 45 minutes going through the answers to the test questions, with the students answering the questions on the board.

Tutorial sessions
The Site Planning course timetable includes a one and a half hour tutorial
session each week. I do not spend much of this time lecturing but prefer students to work on their drawing exercises while I walk around the class, have discussions with small groups or answer individual questions. I have found these sessions most valuable as students seem to have more confidence in asking questions in smaller groups.

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