All new tutors are expected to participate in a formal tutor induction. This has two components:
- A module-based induction with specifics about the module and its content including how it is assessed and how tutorials are presented.
- A role-based induction about the generic aspects of the role e.g. running tutorials, delivering correspondence tuition.
Digital skills for supporting and managing students
The OU tutor role involves supporting students both pastorally and academically. These two elements are referred to as generic or role specific …and module specific aspects.
When applicants submit applications for tutor posts the OU requires them to address how well they match the generic aspects of the tutor role as well as the module specific elements.
The generic, pastoral elements of the role are very similar regardless of the subject or the module the student is studying and the new tutor’s induction focusses on the methods and mechanisms used to provide this pastoral support.
Key pastoral elements include welcoming students to the module, making proactive contact to offer support and guidance and supporting the student to develop study skills.
During and after induction a wealth of information is provided online to support tutors in this part of their role, this includes the online tutor portal TutorHome and the student portal StudentHome.
For the academic support of their students most tutors rely heavily on the module website, the tutor website for the module and the tutor forums.
Induction pinpoints these valuable resources and ensures new tutors can navigate to the information they need, whether this concerns preparing and running tutorials, marking assignments or support with the module content and the pedagogic approach to the subject matter.
In addition to this wealth of digital information induction of new tutors is supported and facilitated by people who will work closely with the tutor from the outset. The two most significant people in the early days of a new tutor’s career are the Staff Tutor and the Mentor.
Two key people support new tutors through the induction process:
- The Staff tutor
- The Mentor
Mentoring is a vital role in the OU, and the next section outlines what the mentor does and the vital nature of the support they offer.