The two-years project of research “Good practice and other examples of university tutoring to thwart dispersion - planning, carrying out and assessment of tutor support services” is part of a project of the University of Padua, whose ultimate purpose is to study and cope with student’s learning difficulties. The university tutor has been set up in Italy (law 341, 19/11/1990) to offer a series of support services for orientation and activities aimed at guiding and assisting students. The final aim is to monitor, reduce and prevent university dropout and delay in the path of university studies. In the international literature are represented at least four models of the tutorial function: -didactic tutoring, based on epistemology didactics in PBL; -clinical consultancy tutoring; -self-efficacy tutoring; -lecture hall tutoring, cognitive relational mediation between students and teachers. Some models are mainly centered around cognitive educational aspects, others around relational mechanisms. The first part of the research took into account the different functions of tutors in Italy, and has categorized them in three profiles: -mediator between students and University system, -supervisor users to understand the specific problems of the Faculty, -facilitator in communication and learning. The junior tutor, or peer tutor, for the University of Padua, is a graduate, post-graduate or graduate assistant who has the task of facilitating the first year enrolments into the university world and for the consecutive years to support the students in difficulty. Typically, it is a student with a brilliant academic record in his or her last years of university education. For a survey and analysis of the activities of the Counselling Service in the various Faculties of the University of Padua we analyzed various subsets of students (freshmen, out-of-course students, graduates, working students). The tutors are engaged in different activities, depending on the Faculty and the type of user. It was possible to make a macro-distinction between scientific and humanistic Faculties: students of the first use the tutor mainly as teaching aid (student groups, in-depth studying, repetition of exercises and concepts); whereas students of the second use the tutor mainly as a step-by-step orientation, and as a university mediator – a bridge between teachers, students and university). We are developing the second part of the research, with the following objectives: - to prepare models of intervention and support to reduce or eliminate the difficulties - to create tools to identify problematic situations, in order to affect the main factors affecting the success of the studies, - to analyze the relationship between the admission test to the different study courses and the subsequent results in academia, in order to verify the value of the test as a "predictor", - to provide contributions to the development of admission test useful for the purposes of orientation training and identification of potential gaps and learning difficulties. We are launching also an investigation, to be carried out through qualitative semi-structured interviews, aimed at tutors and tutoring services coordinators; in addition, we are planning to experiment with pilot projects for peer education on a sample of selected Study Courses.

Academic tutoring and dispersion: A project of research of the University of Padova (Italy)

DA RE, LORENZA;ZAGO, GIUSEPPE
2011

Abstract

The two-years project of research “Good practice and other examples of university tutoring to thwart dispersion - planning, carrying out and assessment of tutor support services” is part of a project of the University of Padua, whose ultimate purpose is to study and cope with student’s learning difficulties. The university tutor has been set up in Italy (law 341, 19/11/1990) to offer a series of support services for orientation and activities aimed at guiding and assisting students. The final aim is to monitor, reduce and prevent university dropout and delay in the path of university studies. In the international literature are represented at least four models of the tutorial function: -didactic tutoring, based on epistemology didactics in PBL; -clinical consultancy tutoring; -self-efficacy tutoring; -lecture hall tutoring, cognitive relational mediation between students and teachers. Some models are mainly centered around cognitive educational aspects, others around relational mechanisms. The first part of the research took into account the different functions of tutors in Italy, and has categorized them in three profiles: -mediator between students and University system, -supervisor users to understand the specific problems of the Faculty, -facilitator in communication and learning. The junior tutor, or peer tutor, for the University of Padua, is a graduate, post-graduate or graduate assistant who has the task of facilitating the first year enrolments into the university world and for the consecutive years to support the students in difficulty. Typically, it is a student with a brilliant academic record in his or her last years of university education. For a survey and analysis of the activities of the Counselling Service in the various Faculties of the University of Padua we analyzed various subsets of students (freshmen, out-of-course students, graduates, working students). The tutors are engaged in different activities, depending on the Faculty and the type of user. It was possible to make a macro-distinction between scientific and humanistic Faculties: students of the first use the tutor mainly as teaching aid (student groups, in-depth studying, repetition of exercises and concepts); whereas students of the second use the tutor mainly as a step-by-step orientation, and as a university mediator – a bridge between teachers, students and university). We are developing the second part of the research, with the following objectives: - to prepare models of intervention and support to reduce or eliminate the difficulties - to create tools to identify problematic situations, in order to affect the main factors affecting the success of the studies, - to analyze the relationship between the admission test to the different study courses and the subsequent results in academia, in order to verify the value of the test as a "predictor", - to provide contributions to the development of admission test useful for the purposes of orientation training and identification of potential gaps and learning difficulties. We are launching also an investigation, to be carried out through qualitative semi-structured interviews, aimed at tutors and tutoring services coordinators; in addition, we are planning to experiment with pilot projects for peer education on a sample of selected Study Courses.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/2809880
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