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Curriculum development

Get involved in our Personal Tutoring CPD workshops

25 November 2022
Person tutoring another person

Ann McManus, Curriculum Design Officer at the Learning and Teaching Academy tells us about the personal tutoring workshops that she facilitates: Personal Tutoring 1 – the fundamentals and Personal Tutoring 2 – the challenges.

What are the workshops about?

There are two workshops offered, one covering the essentials of Personal Tutoring – so boundary setting, communication skills, the role, signposting, and some simple student cases.

The second workshop, Personal Tutoring 2 – The Challenges covers more complex student cases, how to respond if a student is in distress, and how to signpost and refer, and what to do in an emergency.

They have been attended by those new to the role, and more experienced Personal Tutors who want a refresher, especially in the context of the pandemic and how this has impacted the types of cases students may present with.

These workshops are only open to Cardiff University staff members.

How were the most recent workshops?

I’ve offered these sessions in September before the semester started and then again in mid-November when people were building that tutor to tutee relationship.

The workshops this semester have been insightful, engaging and purposeful, and it is great to see academics from across the university work together to share their ideas and experiences.

As a facilitator I really enjoy being part of these as they spark so much discussion and problem solving amongst attendees, no two sessions are ever the same – a bit like Personal Tutoring!

Although we have case studies to work through, staff are also keen to share their lived experiences and this is a key learning point for me as well as other attendees. In this way, the workshops take on a dual role of learning new information and skills, but also discussing on the job experiences and responses.

At the end of every session, I feel like I’ve learnt something new as well. I’m also extremely grateful to colleagues in Student Life and our Senior Personal Tutor Network, who dive in to help clarify or solve some of the queries raised in the discussions.

Tell us something exciting about your workshops

Attendees can expect lots of discussion, opportunities to share ideas and joint problem solving and strategies.

The case studies have been developed with colleagues from across the university including Student Life, Counselling and Wellbeing, and with Cardiff County Council. To be honest, some of the cases are quite complex and some challenging to discuss, but this is what helps attendees feel more prepared.

One of the unnerving things about the role of Personal Tutor is that you really don’t know what will walk through your door in terms of query or problem, and these workshops help staff prepare for that by giving you practical strategies, and links to support across the university.

Feedback from attendees

Neil Turnball, School of Architecture commented:

“This pair of friendly and supportive training sessions (Personal Tutor Training 1 – The Fundamentals & Personal Tutor Training 2 – The Challenges) clearly set out University norms and forearmed me with practical knowledge that helped to alleviate some of the emotional work of this role. Highly recommended”.

Dr Alice Lethbridge, School of Medicine said:

“As a new staff member at Cardiff University, I found the Personal Tutor training really useful to get up to speed with the programme. The opportunity to network and discuss ideas with other Personal Tutors was invaluable. The speaker was inclusive and very knowledgeable. Thank you so much!”

Dr Guto Rhys, School of Chemistry commented:

“If like me you have had minimal experience of being a personal tutor, I would consider taking this course essential. Without the training, I doubt I could have confidently and quickly signposted or referred the students to the help that they need. Thanks to the well-structured course, I can now conduct tutorials effectively, professionally with well-defined boundaries. I am very glad that I took this course.”

Join the next workshops in January

These workshops will be offered again after Christmas and are open to all staff with tutees or who will soon have tutees:

Attendance at both is beneficial, but please feel welcome to come along to one or both, we’d love to have your input.

Register your place now.