WOU holds inaugural Tutor Convention

(12-13 December 2009)

It was a time to learn, network, relax and have a bit of fun for 23 long-serving tutors who attended the inaugural tutor convention at the WOU main campus.

WOU academics pose with tutors from the various regional offices.

WOU academics pose with tutors from the various regional offices.

The main aim of the tutor convention themed “Effective Collaborations for Excellence in Learning” was to recognise the contribution of tutors and show appreciation for their services over the past six semesters.

Prof Wong welcomes the tutors to the convention.

Prof Wong welcomes the tutors to the convention.

In his welcoming remarks, WOU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Wong Tat Meng said the convention sought to enhance the understanding of their roles and responsibilities as tutors, and to benefit from the experience of tutors who use innovative approaches that textbooks do not teach.

He said the exchanges over the two days will seek to explore and identify how “WOU can further improve upon its learner support provisions”.

Meanwhile during the icebreaking session that followed, the tutors along with about 20 course coordinators, Prof Wong, Assistant Vice Chancellor (Academic Support) Prof Dato’ Ho Sinn Chye and the four deans participated in a table quiz game. The questions not only focused on WOU but also on Prof Wong to offer a better glimpse into the new Vice Chancellor.

The workshop on “Maximising Teaching Styles” was led by WOU’s School of Education, Languages and Communications (SELC) dean Assoc Prof Dr Malachi Edwin Vethamani.

Assoc Prof Dr Edwin gives his presentation.

Assoc Prof Dr Edwin gives his presentation.

Dr Malachi elaborated on the four teaching styles – assertive, suggestive, collaborative and facilitative. In the assertive style, the tutor gives directions, asks direct questions and gives information in contrast to the facilitative approach where the tutor accepts/elicits learners’ ideas, explores learners’ skills and relates personal experience.

School of Foundation and Liberal Studies (SFLS) dean Prof Mogana Dhamotharan later conducted an interactive session on “Developing Efficient and Effective Partnerships: Connecting Course Coordinators and Tutors”.

The second day saw presentations on “Accelerating Adult Learning” by Deputy Vice Chancellor (SPACE) U K Menon, “Tutor Voices: Insights and Feedback” by SBA dean Prof Chee Kim Loy, and on “Bringing It All Together” by Prof Ho.

WOU Deputy Vice Chancellor U K Menon.

WOU Deputy Vice Chancellor U K Menon.

At the close of the convention, Prof Wong handed out certificates of appreciation to the tutors and announced the creation of a tutor portal beginning from the January or July 2010 semester to keep them updated.