Making the most of your subject tutor


Making the most of ….. Tutor contact

Your tutor can make a significant difference to your studies. Using a distance learning course on your own could feel lonely, but with your tutor on hand to help you have back-up when you need it.

During your first phone call, you will start to get to know your tutor – and they start to get to know you too. Tell them anything that you think is important about yourself and the way you study. Ask them any questions that have occurred to you when you have unpacked your course folders. Make sure you tell your tutor the best times to contact you, and do note down the times when your tutor is likely to be available on the phone. Ask for help with planning your time if you feel you need some advice.

Your tutor will contact you every three weeks, normally by telephone. Keep a note of the date so you can be prepared:  have your folder and textbook ready. As you study, make notes and comments in the margins of your folder so that you can discuss the work you have studied in detail. This is an excellent opportunity to check you have understood a topic correctly. Good things to talk about would be:  ‘am I right that….?’ or ‘does it work like this ….?’ or ‘ is this what they are trying to say….?’  Putting things in your own words really helps to cement your knowledge, and your tutor can guide you in making improvements.

After each TMA that you submit, your tutor will also contact you for feedback. Again, be ready! Spend some time with your marked work, the questions and the suggested answers. Any big areas where you haven’t understood the work will be obvious, and your tutor can help to explain a particular topic again. There will also be odd marks here and there where your answer didn’t quite meet requirements, and you can discuss these too, making sure you really understand what is needed to gain the marks. Making notes during these calls will really help you to improve if you refer to them when you do the next TMA or when you revise the topic at the end of the course.

While you are studying, if you get stuck or are uncertain that you have understood a concept correctly, then your tutor is there to help. Phone them if they are available or send them an email if you prefer. Even if it seems like it is a small thing, it is much better to sort out areas of difficulty at the time rather than wait weeks for a scheduled call. Of course, if you are struggling to understand a whole topic then the sooner you can make use of your tutor the better. With discussion, your tutor can find out where your understanding started to break down and guide you through from that point.

Tutor support is one of the great strengths of the OHS courses and it can make a huge difference to your studies.  Make good use of your tutor – by phone or email – to make the most of your subject.