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A preliminary study into tutees' perception on a tutoring system

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

The role of personal tutor plays a significant part in supporting students’ learning and their wellbeing within the Higher Education sector. An increased and continuous demand for good quality of personal tutoring support exists from various stakeholders (e.g. students and universities) to mitigate factors, including the high withdrawal rate, low student engagement, rise of mental health issues, and Black and Minority Ethnicity (BME) attainment gap. Despite the effort being carried out within the areas of personal tutoring system (including personal tutoring policies, personal tutor trainings, effectiveness of personal tutoring models, and dedicated meetings arranged between personal tutees and their tutors), existing literature suggests that much more work is needed to engage students. Within a personal tutoring system, the viewpoint of tutees is equally important to the views of tutors if not more. Nonetheless, current works mainly focus upon the views of policy makers, personal tutors and researchers (i.e. a top-down approach) rather than the perspective of students (i.e. a bottom-up method). To this end, a research study, focusing upon the students’ perspective on the personal tutoring system, is proposed. During March to May 2019, a total of 54 first year students from the School of Computing, University of Portsmouth participated in the study; their opinions were gathered in the form of an online survey. The survey results show that around half of the participants only attended two or fewer of the total eight scheduled group tutoring meetings and did not attend the individual tutoring meeting at all. The participants suggest that they would attend more tutoring meetings if the sessions were more organised and of more useful information was being offered by the tutor. In terms of their preferences, someone they can talk to (65%), availability (57%), and knowledge of university processes (48%), are the top three factors when selecting a personal tutor. Also, more than two-thirds of participants prefer their tutors to be someone who has experience teaching at their year level. In terms of occurrences of personal tutoring meetings, the majority of the participants prefer to have between 1-3 meetings (both group and individual). Regarding the size of the group meeting, the majority of the participants prefer to have fewer than 10 people in the meeting. This suggests some directions for the design of sessions and for devising personal tutor systems which better meet their preferences.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationINTED2020 Proceedings
PublisherInternational Academy of Technology, Education and Development
Publication statusAccepted for publication - 17 Dec 2019
Event14th Annual International Technology, Education and Development Conference - Valencia, Spain
Duration: 2 Mar 20204 Mar 2020

Publication series

NameINTED Proceedings
PublisherInternational Academy of Technology, Education and Development
ISSN (Print)2340-1079


Conference14th Annual International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Internet address

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