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Variation in academics' accounts of tutorials.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2006
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Journal number6
Volume31
Number of pages15
Pages651-665
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

There is a growing literature that has examined academics‟ approaches to, and accounts of, teaching. One aspect that has not been examined is academics‟ perceptions of particular teaching methods. In this study, academics‟ accounts of tutorials at the University of Oxford were used as an „ideal type‟ in order to examine whether there is variation in the ways that academics experience a single teaching method. An analysis of interviews with 20 academics constituted four qualitatively different ways in which academics described the purpose of tutorials. This paper examines whether there appeared to be systematic subject-based differences in the ways academics‟ described tutorials, as well as examining relations between academics‟ accounts of tutorials and their approaches to teaching. In doing so, the study offers insight into the different ways in which academics account for a particular teaching and learning task, which has important implications for the approach that is taken to supporting university teaching more generally