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Guidelines for personal tutors

Staff handbook: Guidelines for

These notes explain the functions of the personal tutor scheme and give some instructions and practical suggestions for making the scheme work successfully.

  • The Personal Tutor can act as a first point of contact for a student with the Department or the University. The student should feel able to bring queries or complaints on any aspect of University life to his/her Personal Tutor. In many cases the Tutor will redirect the student to a more appropriate body, for example the Counselling Service (for personal problems), the Students Union, or the appropriate Programme Tutor.

  • The Personal Tutor should maintain regular contact with tutees (either individually or as a group). At the very least each tutee should be contacted once in each semester. If a tutee repeatedly does not respond to emails or turn up for appointments, the appropriate Programme Tutor must be notified.

  • With the exception of regular meetings associated with lecturers and/or tutorials, each meeting with a personal tutee should be recorded on the tutorial record system Co-Tutor (the system is accessed using the standard user ID and email password). Personal or sensitive information should not be entered on the system without the consent of the student (see under Data Protection on Co-Tutor). You should be aware that both the Administrative Assistant and the Teaching Coordinator are able to access the comments entered by a tutor (but not the so-called "hidden" comments) and that students will be informed of the use of the system and have the right to see all comments about themselves.

  • For students entering in 2004 or thereafter: At the beginning of the second semester of each year of their study, each tutee should be asked to produce a curriculum vitae using the RAPID system for personal development. (Students should be advised that it is in their own interests to do this as they will almost certainly require a reference from their personal tutor in the future.) Tutors should offer constructive criticism of the tutee's curriculum vitae.

  • The tutor should be available at any reasonable time for consultation if the student requires it; for instance, a tutee may wish to seek confidential advice about a change of programme before making a formal approach to a programme tutor. The Personal Tutor should assist students with their option choices if requested.

  • If, after discussing the issue with their Personal Tutor, a student wishes to leave or take time out from their studies the student should see the Administrative Assistant. The Administrative Assistant will be able to discuss important financial issues with the student and ensure that the correct paper work is completed.

  • All personal tutors should be aware of the minumum standards for personal tutoring that are set out in the Academic Quality Procedures Handbook.

The following are suggested topics of discussion for when you meet your personal tutees for the first time.

  • Find out what they did at A level.

  • Ask them why they came to Loughborough. (Report any useful feedback to the admissions tutor.)

  • Ask them why they choose their degree programme.

  • Have a look at their timetables and make sure they know how to get to their first few lectures.

  • Ask them if they are in a Hall of Residence (which one?).

  • Tell them they have to work consistently, and that you will be expecting them to do lots of work for you in the small-group tutorials.

  • Ask about the Algebra Refresher booklet. Did they do it? Any problems? If not. Great! If so then advertise (a) your help as personal tutor, and (b) the Mathematics Learning Support Centre.

  • Emphasise the importance of the diagnostic test that will take place on Monday morning (details on student timetables). This is for the student's benefit and is used to identity any "holes" in their knowledge.

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