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Tutorials: Students doing the work

For simplicity I shall define a tutorial as a timetabled meeting for discussing exercises and problems. One activity I have tried with varying degrees of success is to get students to present during a tutorial.

Each week I would choose a student and one of the easier exercises for them to present at the board the following week. During the presentation the other students were allowed to ask questions or make comments. Once every student had presented we would cycle back to the first one and keep going like this until the end of term.

The outcomes varied immensely. For a group of strong students the presentation would stimulate good discussions. Even the students not presenting would take it seriously and participate. For weaker groups I had serious problems with absenteeism. Being selected to present had a high correlation with not attending the tutorial the following week. In fact, one year I had a group of six students for which, in twenty tutorials, we did not do a complete cycle.

Hence, I only use this with stronger groups. This is unfortunate as the students really benefit from the practice they get presenting.

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