Session title: Tricked out tutorials

Creating a blueprint for outstanding tutorial practice


Tricked out tutorials is a 3.5 hour session.

Information for event organisers

Do your tutors and workplace assessors know what an outstanding individual tutorial looks like? Questions such as: who owns the data used in the session? Who talks the most? How is the learner different by the end of the experience? can help to unlock the answer.

For too many personal tutors and reviewers, tutorials are about the delivery of a consistent experience. But does this formulaic approach, a slavish adherence to ‘process’, produce outstanding learning experiences? The key to understanding how to be outstanding is to move focus from process to impact.

In this session, delegates will be given the tools to create a Quality Standard for progress monitoring with which they will set out precisely the difference they intend make to learners. Only once this is fully articulated can tutors free themselves from the uniformity of process to achieve consistency of impact.

A similar seismic shift of understanding can happen when tutors are confronted with the question: what is outstanding differentiation? Is the ‘all, most, some’ approach to differentiating learning outcomes actually at the root of any issues with value added and high-grade success rates?

This session aims to win the hearts and minds of staff to look at progress monitoring through a new lens. It ends with a short film of a progress review, testing delegates’ new understanding through the observation and evaluation of a tutor at work.

Publicity information for potential delegates

Many personal tutors and workplace assessors aim to give their learners a consistent tutorial and progress review experience. They have a format they work through and conduct the one-to-one sessions in a friendly, supportive and business-like manner. But are they missing the point? Too many progress monitoring tutorials are about history, looking back at performance data to hold learners to account, or to congratulate learners on their achievements. If they look forward, it is often to do no more than produce a list of ‘things to do’. But to what extent does this model get to the heart of underperformance?

A key problem in our sector is understanding the difference between an issue and a symptom, a difference that can fundamentally change the way to look at progress tutorials. And too many tutors fail to help their learners look ahead to the obstacles they may encounter and the strategies they’ll need to develop in order to successfully overcome them.

‘Tricked out tutorials’ helps tutors set out what they want to achieve, the difference they want to make, and then looks at some of the strategies needed to make it.

This session will enable staff to:

  • produce an aspirational quality standard for progress monitoring
  • set out the data with which to identify the very first signs of underperformance
  • use an understanding of the difference between differentiated learning outcomes and the differentiated support required to achieve outstanding learning outcomes to challenge current teaching and tutorial practice
  • evaluate the tutorial practice of others.

What the delegates say

  • I really love the idea of differentiation I learnt today. I will apply it. City College Coventry
  • Clarified the notion of considering the IMPACT that process can make and that all discussions and interviews should be conducted with positive change in mind. Hills Road College
  • Motivational with fresh ideas. Newcastle College
  • Insightful. I want to put these new skills into practice. Solihull College
  • Our review paperwork is clearly not fit for purpose. Solihull College
  •  Another excellent session. I experienced another session which was led by Tony many years ago. One of the very few I have remembered!! South Downs College
  • Target setting on its head. West Thames College
  • I love the way Tony always turns things upside down and inside out and makes me think outside the box. West Thames College


Half-day session. Typical uses in a staff development day include:

Tricked out tutorials (group 1) Tricked out tutorials (group 2)
Independent learning Tricked out tutorials
Equality and diversity Tricked out tutorials
Tricked out tutorials ‘Yes, we’re all individuals’ Brian, 1979
Tricked out tutorials Data Springboard


To discuss your requirements in detail, please phone or drop us a line.


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