Personal Academic Tutor meetings for second year undergraduates

Personal Academic Tutor meetings for second year undergraduates

The following section gives some brief ideas for what might be covered in personal academic tutor meetings in the second year of a typical three year degree programme. This is a crucial year which lies at the heart of the undergraduate experience.  It marks a transition onto modules where many results count towards the final degree and a period of preparation for final year independent research study or project work. It is often the year where students engage in some formal work related learning and become more fully engaged with Students' Union activities. There is plenty to discuss so it is important that the personal academic tutorials remain purposeful and focused. The timings and nature of these meetings can be arranged in ways that make most sense for each particular Institute and course. There are exercises, self-audit tools, questionnaires and materials available to support many of the activities suggested here in the resources section and further guidance is available from the Educational Development Unit.

The second year: the first meeting - welcome and welcome back
This should be within the first few weeks of the new academic year. It may be useful to ask students to prepare for this meeting by looking back on their learning from last year and particularly at formal feedback received on their end of year assignments. 

Reflecting back: What are the key things you think you learnt last year [about your subject, higher education or yourself]? Are you keeping notes of this learning anywhere or in any way?

Self-evaluation and planning improvements: Were your marks last year what you expected? Are there any themes emerging from assessment feedback which need to be addressed? Do you have a clear idea what and how to improve? 

Transitions and expectations: Are you feeling at home at University?  What do you expect to be different about second year work? What are your goals and plans for the second year and beyond? 

Opportunities: Are you involved in, or considering getting involved in, extra-curricula activity such as Student Union activity, earn as you learn or volunteering? Are you aware of the learning from work opportunities available within and outside the course? 

Also, clarifying arrangements for other meetings during the year.