The Role of the Lecturer as Tutor: Doing What Effective Tutors Do in a Large Lecture Class, Themba Tutors

The Role of the Lecturer as Tutor: Doing What Effective Tutors Do in a Large Lecture Class

by William B. Wood and Kimberly D. Tanner
Most instructors at one point or another in their careers—during office hours, in the laboratory setting, or as a tutor—have had the luxury of sitting down one-on-one with a student to help him or her learn. For many, the reward of watching the proverbial lightbulb go on over a student’s head was a first, addictive step into a career that involved teaching. Now imagine—or for many of us, remember—standing in front of 30, 60, 100, 150, 200, 300, 700, or even 1000 students in a traditional college or university lecture setting. Did you sometimes wish you could just sit down and talk with students from your large lecture individually, and then they would finally get it? What is similar and different about your instructional choices in a large lecture versus a one-on-one situation? To what extent can we translate what is known about effective tutoring to a large lecture setting?

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