Student appointments – the other side of the coin

When I blogged late (for me) last night, I had forgotten that I’d arranged for ten back-to-back student appointments in ten minute slots this morning, starting at 10:00 – 11:40.

I’ll close my eyes whilst you guess how many turned up.

I’m back.

In fact, nine of the ten students turned up, and the other sent apologies.  If you thought ‘wow!’, then that was my response too.  I’m still reflecting on why the turnout was so good.  I think there are three factors – I just need to work out how to apply these to other tutorial situations.

  • Plenty of notice.  I gave these appointment times out last Wednesday, giving students a week to add the date to their diary/phone/PDA/back of hand.
  • Provided the times in writing.  In writing I don’t mean email.  I provided a list of times to students, and said that they could swap times around, but they had to let me know.  This worked well, and apart from one student taking longer than anticipated I kept to the time.  For my project students I provide a slip of paper with the next tutorial date/time on – this doesn’t always work though as they have a tendency to lose/forget them – does anyone have any ideas for alternatives?
  • Specific issues.  This was an assignment review, prior to submission on Friday.  It was in their interests to attend as I gave them informal feedback on the work completed so far.

So whilst intense, it’s been a useful morning.

And that was also the end of my formal teaching for this semester.  11 Assignments to mark (another late one for my professional development course, and these 10 assignments) and I’m done.


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