Two programmes in the Faculty of Education who rely on Associate Tutors to bring skills and expertise to their courses have created ‘Hubs’ or Tutor Areas to create a community of practitioners where they can discuss and share experiences, questions and receive support in a safe environment, as they are most usually away from campus.
The Inclusion Team at Edge Hill have explored different ways of supporting Associate Tutors on the Inclusion Award. One of the ways of which has proved to be really successful is making an area available on Blackboard called the “Inclusion Associate Tutor Hub” to which all associate tutors on the award have access to.
This allows all associate tutors on the Inclusion Award a central area on Blackboard to participate in discussions, share ideas and discuss best practices.
It allows the programne leaders and course leaders to provide support and information/updates to all Associate Tutors (AT’s) on the award. The associate tutor hub has proved to be an excellent resource area for all AT’s to engage in. A comment received by an AT supporting the course;
“The Associate Tutor Hub has proved to be a great resource area and also allowed me to keep in touch and share ideas with other Associate Tutors on the award through discussion forums.”
In Clinical Education, Associate Tutors are predominantly drawn from doctors, experts and practitioners in the medical context. They have full time jobs in hospitals and clinics and so find it difficult to attend AT sessions during working hours.
The Associate Tutors’ Area has helped ATs keep abreast of any changes or developments as the course progresses and also allows them to obtain any workshop materials ahead of the day of delivery and review up-to-date PowerPoint presentations that are planned to be used.
The area is broken up into the courses and modules to make identification of the materials quick and simple and also has links (using the web tool ‘When Should We?‘) to allow the tutors themselves to offer their availability to attend, facilitate or deliver workshops should they be available. Being a blended programme, not all the content is delivered and facilitated online and so allowing the ATs to offer their attendance is vitally important to the programme.
Links to Edge Hill contacts are also included to avoid any feelings of isolation and a convenient calendar is utilised to enable ATs to plan ahead and see when one of the numerous cohorts of modules is due to commence or when workshops are coming up.
Help is also included for technology FAQs and help with getting their own PC or device setup and ready to use. The discussion forum allows ATs to share thoughts and ideas on the course and also make suggestions for improvement in regards to what they would like training or development-wise.
The Blackboard areas have really helped associate tutors feel more included in the on-goings of the behind the scenes workings of courses and programmes. Having a forum for Associate Tutors can aid their development and improve their own skills in a supportive environment, even though they may be away from campus.
If you are thinking this is something you would like to develop for your own Associate Tutors but would like some help or advice getting started, give LTD Support a call on 7754 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Learning Technology Development Officer (SENCo)
Learning Technology Development Officer
(FAS and Clinical Education)