Exploring tutors’ conceptions of excellent tutoring

10 July 2013

With high numbers of new casual tutors in the Faculty of Economics and Business each semester, a program that addresses tutors’ preparation for teaching is essential. The tutor development program described here is underpinned by a ‘communities of practice’ model (Wenger 2000), where tutors engage in activities in order to share and develop their experiences of teaching. This paper discusses one such activity that was used in the early stages of the program to support the development of a shared repertoire about excellent tutoring. Tutors individually identified the characteristics of excellent tutoring and these were then grouped and discussed. The categories of comments addressed many of the recognised principles of excellent teaching, with student-centred aspects at the fore. The exploratory exercise highlights the importance of informal knowledge, and the role of reflective exercises in bringing forth that knowledge.