Dr Matt Finn (Lecturer in Human Geography and Education Exeter Incubator Fellow) and Dr Sean Carter (Associate Professor in Political Geography) shared Geography’s approach to academic support, with an emphasis on tutoring and study skills, at the Academic Practice Network on Wednesday 6 December 2017.
Matt noted significant changes in A Levels and school/college education, and introduced his Incubator project which investigates how this may impact students’ transition from school to university in future cohorts. Questions include whether we need to change our expectations regarding students’ prior knowledge, and what changes we may need to make to teaching at Exeter.
Matt and Sean then focused upon a single module, GEO1309 Study Skills in Human Geography, and the changes made to this module over three years to better meet the needs of students and its module staff. The classroom was flipped so that tutorials focused on discussions drawing from online and independent study, all academic staff were involved in teaching tutorials and marking assignments, and the module was refocused to address a smaller number of core skills held by all staff (e.g. writing skills). This helped staff to form better relationships with tutees, improve student writing skills, and students gained a greater sense of presence within the department.