Tutorial system

The tutorial system is a method of university teaching where the main focus is on regular, very small group teaching sessions. It was established by and is still practised by the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. In addition to attending lectures and other classes, students are taught by faculty fellows in groups of one to three on a weekly basis.[1][2] These sessions are called "tutorials" at Oxford and "supervisions" at Cambridge. One benefit of the tutorial system is that students receive direct feedback on their weekly essays or work in a small discussion setting. The University of Buckingham also practices the weekly tutorial system since it was set up as England's first private university in the 1970s.[3]

Student tutorials are generally more academically challenging and rigorous than standard lecture and test format courses, because during each session students are expected to orally communicate, defend, analyse, and critique the ideas of others as well as their own in conversations with the tutor and fellow-students. As a pedagogic model, the tutorial system has great value because it creates learning and assessment opportunities which are highly authentic and difficult to fake.[4]

Outside the United Kingdom, a small number of universities have a tutorial system influenced by the Oxbridge system: Williams College in Massachusetts,[5] Honors Tutorial College of Ohio University,[6] Sarah Lawrence College in New York, and New College of Florida.[7] These tutorials are often limited, either restricting them to those on an "honors program", or offering them as a single class rather than being the central feature of the university's teaching.


  1. ^ "Personalised learning". University of Oxford. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  2. ^ Bonetti, Lisa (6 February 2018). "How will I be taught?". undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk. University of Cambridge. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  3. ^ "Tutorial and small group teaching". University of Buckingham. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  4. ^ Palfreyman, D. (2008). 'The Oxford Tutorial' (OxCHEPS) [1].
  5. ^ "Tutorials". Williams College. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  6. ^ "Hallmarks of a Tutorial Education". Honors Tutorial College. Ohio University. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  7. ^ "Tutorials". New College of Florida. Retrieved 25 March 2018.

Further reading

  • Adamson, J. W. [Briefest of references to the Oxford Tutorial in] "Education." In From Steel and Addison to Pope and Swift. Vol. 9 of The Cambridge History of English Literature, ed. A. W. Ward and A. R. Waller, 459. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1913. This extremely short excerpt can be read through Google Books.
  • Bailey, Cyril. "The Tutorial System." Revised by J. B. Bamborough. In Handbook to the University of Oxford, 279–286(?). Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1965.
  • Beck, Robert J. "The Pedagogy of the Oxford Tutorial." Paper presented at the Tutorial Education: History, Pedagogy, and Evolution conference, Lawrence University, Appleton, WI, 31 March – 1 April 2007. See [2].
  • Brewer, Derek. "The Tutor: A Portrait." In C. S. Lewis at the Breakfast Table and Other Reminiscences, new ed., ed. James T. Como, 41–67. San Diego: Harcourt Brace, Harvest, 1992. You can actually read the whole of this section through Amazon.com's "Search inside this book" feature.
  • Highet, Gilbert. "Communication: Tutoring." In The Art of Teaching, 107–116. New York: Knopf, 1950.
  • Kiosses, Spyridon. "Teaching and Studying Ancient Greek Literature: A First Approach to a Case Study." Master’s thesis, University of Oxford, 1997.
  • Mayr-Harting, Henry. "Oxford Tutorials." Paper presented at the Tutorial Education: History, Pedagogy, and Evolution conference, Lawrence University, Appleton, WI, 31 March – 1 April 2007. See [3].
  • Moore, Will G. The Tutorial System and Its Future. New York: Pergamon, 1968.
  • Oxford University Education Committee. Policy Guidance on Undergraduate Learning and Teaching, University of Oxford, 2008. See [4].
  • Palfreyman, David, ed. The Oxford Tutorial: "Thanks, You Taught Me How to Think," 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford Centre for Higher Education Policy Studies, 2008. See [5].
  • Paper 6: Tutorial Teaching. Oxford: Institute for the Advancement of University Learning, n.d. See [6].
  • Ryan, Alan. "The Oxford Tutorial: History and Myth." Keynote address at the Tutorial Education: History, Pedagogy, and Evolution conference, Lawrence University, Appleton, WI, 31 March – 1 April 2007. See [7].
  • Shale, S. Understanding the Learning Process: Tutorial Teaching in the Context of Research into Learning in Higher Education. Oxford: Institute for the Advancement of University of Learning, 2000.
  • "Subject Specific Remarks." Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge, 2008, [8] (9 October 2009).
  • Trigwell, Keith and Ashwin, Paul. Undergraduate Students' Experience of Learning at the University of Oxford, Institute for the Advancement of University Learning, University of Oxford, 2003. See [9].
  • "Tutorials." In Academic Handbook and Code of Practice for Tutorial Fellows, Other Teaching Fellows, College Lectures, [and] Graduate Teaching Assistants. Oxford: Oriel College, 2008, 5–6. See [10].
  • Waterland, Daniel. "Advice to a Young Student, with a Method of Study for the First Four Years." In The Works of the Rev. Daniel Waterland, 3rd ed., vol. 4, 393–416. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1856. Online and in PDF at [11]. Of Waterland's Advice. . . it is said that it "is an outstanding monument to the theory and practice of tutorial instruction in early eighteenth-century Cambridge," from Victor Morgan, 1546–1750, vol. 2 of A History of the University of Cambridge (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 342.
  • Williams, Gavin. "Socrates in Stellenbosch and Tutorials in Oxford." Paper presented at the Tutorial Education: History, Pedagogy, and Evolution conference, Lawrence University, Appleton, WI, 31 March – 1 April 2007. See [12].
Akuafo Hall

Akuafo Hall otherwise referred to as the Hall of Excellence is the second Hall of residence to be established in the University College of the Gold Coast now University of Ghana. The Hall has its own statutes governing the administration of its affairs while the affairs of students are organized and supervised by Executives of the Junior Common Room.

Clare Hall, Cambridge

Clare Hall is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge, England. Founded in 1966 by Clare College, Clare Hall is a college for advanced study, admitting only postgraduate students alongside postdoctoral researchers and fellows. It was established to serve as an Institute of Advanced Studies and has slowly grown and developed into a full constituent college.

Clare Hall is one of the smallest colleges with 200 graduate students, but around 125 Fellows, making it the highest Fellow to Student ratio at Cambridge University. Clare Hall maintains many Cambridge traditions including formal hall and the tutorial system.

Collegium Invisibile

Collegium Invisibile is an academic society founded in 1995 in Warsaw that affiliates outstanding Polish students in the humanities and science with distinguished scholars in accordance with the idea of a liberal education. The association aims at offering young scholars the opportunity to participate in original research projects as well as exclusive individual master-student cooperation through the tutorial system based on methods used at the Oxbridge universities.Collegium has its roots in the tradition of the eighteenth century Collegium Nobilium, an elite high school founded in 1740, one of the predecessors of the University of Warsaw. Traditionally, the rector of the university is ex officio chairman of the science board of the Collegium.Each year about twenty Polish students who have succeeded in passing a stringent admission procedure are granted membership of Collegium and thus receive an opportunity to follow an individually chosen path of academic study.

Honors Tutorial College

The Honors Tutorial College (HTC) at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio is a college in the United States with a degree-granting program incorporating all the essential features of the traditional British constituent college tutorial system of undergraduate education developed over centuries at Oxford and Cambridge. Other American schools with similar programs include St. John's College of Annapolis, Maryland and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Kianda School

Kianda School is a private, all-girls day school with a Catholic ethos located in the Westlands area of Nairobi, Kenya. The school was opened in 1977 by The Kianda Foundation, a non-profit organisation that aims to better Kenyan women's lives through education and Christian values. The school began with 40 students but has now grown to a student body of about 830 in both its primary and secondary school sections.

National Central Library (England and Wales)

The National Central Library was a library in Store Street, London W.C.1, in the 20th century. It was a tutorial system and a scholarly library for working people who were not connected to an academic institution. The founder of the library was Albert Mansbridge.

In 1971-73 the librarian and secretary to the trustees was Maurice Line. The library was incorporated by Royal Charter and maintained by annual grants from the Department of Education and Science, local authorities, university and special libraries, adult education bodies and public trusts. The library was the national centre for the inter-lending of books (other than fiction and students' textbooks) and periodicals to readers in all parts of the British Isles through the libraries to which they belonged. Inter-lending was also carried on to and from foreign libraries through their national centres. Other tasks it undertook were the establishment of a union catalogue of Slavonic books and periodicals in British libraries and the production of the British Union Catalogue of Periodicals. On the establishment of the British Library in 1973 the National Central Library was incorporated with it.

The Scottish Central Library in Edinburgh carried out in Scotland functions similar to those of the National Central Library. In 1972 its stock was 40,000 volumes. There was also the Scottish Library for Students in Dunfermline.


Oxbridge is a portmanteau of Oxford and Cambridge, the two oldest, most prestigious, and highly-ranked universities in the United Kingdom. The term is used to refer to them collectively, in contrast to other British universities, and more broadly to describe characteristics reminiscent of them, often with implications of superior social or intellectual status or elitism.

Oxford International College

Oxford International College (OIC) is a private tutorial college based in central Oxford for girls and boys from 15 to 18 years. The school teaches GCSE and A-Level courses to prepare students for entry into British universities.

Parents for Education

Parents for Education (PARED) manages several schools in Sydney, Australia through the PARED Foundation, and was extended to Melbourne in 2016. PARED was established in 1982 by Opus Dei as an initiative of parents and educators to operate schools and other educational projects which assist parents in their task as the primary educators of their children.The founders of the PARED Schools have introduced into Australia a system of education that was developed in Europe in the 1950s for the parents to exercise greater responsibility in the education of their children. PARED is associated with the Institute of Family Studies of the University of Navarre in Pamplona, Spain.There are now many such schools in operation on five continents. As of 1993, there were over 150 such schools. PARED maintains contact with many of these schools.

PARED founded Tangara School for Girls in 1982. The school initially had two full-time teachers and 17 students. Since then several other schools and campuses have been established in Sydney's metropolitan region (in Cherrybrook, Dural, Wahroonga, Belfield, Orchard Hills, and Werrington), and in the Melbourne suburb of Narre Warren North.These include Redfield College at Dural and Montgrove College. The schools have chaplains affiliated with Opus Dei.PARED Schools are characterised by many features. Prominent among these are:

One of the main means of parent/teacher/student communication is through the tutorial system. Each student is allotted a tutor who meets the student regularly (ideally fortnightly) to check on the student's advancement academically, socially, spiritually etc. The tutor may or may not be a qualified teacher and tends to keep tutees over a period of years. The tutor/parent meeting replaces parent/teacher interviews so it is important that the relationship between student, tutor and parent is copacetic to ensure it provides the intended value.

Shotest Shogi

Shotest Shogi is a 2008 shogi AI engine, made by Jeff Rollason, which was made into a video game for Windows and Xbox Live Arcade developed by British studios AI Factory and Rubicon Development. It provides a 3D environment designed to recreate a traditional Japanese room. The Xbox version includes a tutorial system, and all versions include an option to use a Western-style set of playing pieces for players who are unfamiliar with Japanese characters.

The AI engine has been competing in the Computer Shogi Championships since 1997, and has achieved the highest ranking of any Western entry in all championships. It has competed in 12 World Championships, 2 Invitation ISF tournaments (Tokyo) and 3 Olympiads, winning one of the latter. In all it has beaten 3 different world champions (Gekisashi, IS-Shogi and YSS) on 5 occasions in the year they were world champion. A game running Shotest was released on July 23, 2008 for Xbox Live Arcade in Japan. It was released in the United States on September 10, 2008. Although the game is playable entirely in English, Chinese, Korean and EMEA languages, there is currently no announced release date for other territories, but this will be in the fall period.

The Japanese unannounced release on 28 July 2008 has seen Shotest Shogi immediately top of the current Japanese Xbox live chart, and still there (as of 08 Aug 2008 - see "Xbox Live Japan" below).

Two PC versions are already on release, one in Japan and one in the UK (see "Shotest Shogi Official Website" below). These do not include the advanced teaching system used by the Xbox version.

The Polesworth School

The Polesworth School is a school in Warwickshire, England. The Headteacher is Mrs M Favell.


A tutorial is a method of transferring knowledge and may be used as a part of a learning process. More interactive and specific than a book or a lecture, a tutorial seeks to teach by example and supply the information to complete a certain task.

A tutorial can be taken in many forms, ranging from a set of instructions to complete a task to an interactive problem solving session (usually in academia).

Wollemi College

Wollemi College is an independent boys' school teaching the Catholic faith, which is situated on 36 hectares in Werrington in Sydney's west.

The school grew out of Orchard Hills Kindergarten School, which was founded in 2000 by a group of parents and teachers, the PARED (Parents for Education) Foundation. Orchard Hills has developed into Montgrove College for girls with boys in the infant years and Wollemi College which began operating in 2004. Montgrove is the sister school of Wollemi College and the cousin school of Redfield and Tangara. redfield and Tangara and brother ad sister schools. A community has been created throughout pared, and we will hopefully see more Pared schools in the future depending on if they open or not, everyone is hoping they will. We might have more cousin schools.

Wollemi College states that its aim is "to follow the principle that parents are the primary educators of their children and that schools exist to give parents every support". To put it simply Wollemi College states that it aims to provide unity between the home and school. To achieve this aim the school has implemented a number of formal processes into the academic curriculum which include a three way tutorial system between parents, staff and students. There are also a number of activities and programs throughout the school year for parents that are designed to assist parents to be more effective in working with the school to improve their children's academic success and overall character, as they grow, as well as encouraging parents to consider and develop their relationship with their child.There is also a more informal emphasis by staff on the development of character and virtues in its students, by encouraging staff to provide a good example and by emphasising and encouraging character development amongst the students, as well as encouraging staff and student peers to be fully positive and supportive of parents. Wollemi College aims to focus on character development and nurturing good habits in areas such as "sound judgement, self control, courage and responsibility towards others, students are better able to use their freedom to make the right choices in life".Wollemi College aims to provide an education which is personal by providing a personal mentor, or tutor, selected from the teaching staff of the school. The aim of that tutor is to provide a constant source of support for the student through his attention, friendship, example and advice. The tutor meets regularly with the student during the term, and meets with his parents at least once each term, reviewing the progress of that student, and helping with goal setting. It is the intention of Wollemi College that the tutor takes a personal interest in the progress of the boys whom he tutors, acting on the parents’ behalf, and co-ordinating the services of the College for the family. The College also aims to reinforce parental values by providing a positive peer environment within the College.

Yuanpei College

Yuanpei College (Chinese: 元培学院) is the undergraduate liberal arts college of Peking University, a major C9 League research university located in Beijing, China. Initially launched in 2001 as the Yuanpei Program, the college was formed to host the program in 2007. Yuanpei College allows students to choose their undergraduate program of study, a rarity in China and other Asian countries.

The college's key differences from other undergraduate programs are its "free selection of major, tutorial system, flexible credit system with 3 to 6 years’ education span, mixed accommodation with full-length administration," and unique student environment. Shortly before the program's 10th anniversary, it also moved into its own campus, the newly renovated Yuanpei Building.Similar undergraduate liberal arts programs have emerged at other top Asian universities, as well as at nearby rival institution Tsinghua University. Four such programs, namely the College of Liberal Studies of Seoul National University, the S.H. Ho College of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the College of Arts and Sciences of Tokyo University, and Yuanpei College, have met annually since 2011 at the Seoul National University's International Symposium.

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