On the 17th of October, I attended a very engaging tutorial rep meeting. Not only was I provided the opportunity to discuss relevant issues and suggest appropriate solutions, but I also got to meet other tutorial reps from my course. Engaging with them and finding similar issues in our tutorials helped me realize the sense of community that we are all working to create along with a high level of education. This thus paved way for my fellow reps and me feeling more comfortable with discussing both the benefits and hindrances that occurred in the past few weeks’ tutorials, which all the more provided incentive to make positive changes and enhance the student experience.
One issue that I shared concerns about during the meeting is the broadness of the questions usually asked in the beginning that often results in silence and prolonged responses on the behalf of students. I therefore proposed a number of solutions including rewording the questions to make them more specific as well as eliminating the question technique and replacing it with an activity. Although only one other tutorial rep stated that she was dealing with similar issues, the action taken by the staff was immediately effective. In the week that followed the meeting, I witnessed a change in both the style of the question as well as the student response. I soon realized that the more narrowly framed questions were positively correlated with the students’ engagement and strongly opinionated responses. In addition, the activity of asking the students to draw their idea of a house rather than asking it as a question during the tutorial reading on Bahloul’s ‘Telling Placed: The House as Social Architecture’ proved to be effective to a great extent.
After the positive changes were in place, the students themselves commented on the improvements and their efficiency before I even had the chance to ask about it. Still, after the tutorial meetings I further clarified the changes that were implemented and asked about how they think it impacted them, which they believed to be extremely advantageous. I found the face to face communication technique to be very beneficial on my behalf, as it was less time consuming and helped me study their genuine responses. The positive feedback given by both the staff and students there contributed to the positive atmosphere of the school as a whole, hence adding to my urge to further enhance the student learning experience.