Developing an example. Institutional Personal Tutoring and Developing Curriculum to Support Student Success
Given the central role and relationship that personal tutors have with students, they are key to ensuring students are enabled to develop employability skills and discuss personal development from an academic standpoint. It is important to consider personal tutoring as teaching with its own curriculum. Therefore, at the University of Portsmouth, as part of the development of a new Personal Tutoring and Development Framework, we developed an example spiral curriculum to support personal tutors on undergraduate and postgraduate taught courses, in each year and for a variety of session types (individual, group, online or face-to-face).
As a recent curriculum-revision exercise had embedded the Hallmarks of a Portsmouth Graduate (a set of graduate attributes) within the curriculum, we then wanted to ensure that personal tutors were empowered to build on that within our personal tutoring curriculum. Tutors therefore are supported with their responsibilities to:
- help students develop the characteristics outlined in the Hallmarks;
- encourage students’ professional development by engagement with course-related activities.
Our premise, in developing our example curriculum, was that while those personal tutors new to their role might require help with topics to cover, more experienced tutors might require help with content relating to the key themes that we outlined and expected students to have exposure to in our Framework. These themes were drawn from Lochtie et al (2018, pp 124–127) and included for example:
• getting to know you;
• getting connected;
• enhancing your future.
In the session we will provide feedback from staff and students on their use of elements of the curriculum.
For those considering their own personal tutoring curriculum in the session we will explain our thinking in developing our example curriculum which might be useful in participants' own developments.