With each course that I want to take comes a tutorial. Now I’m reading about them but it’s just not clicking. Are they classes (after the lecture) that further the students understanding of the lecture?
Every time I send a new question, I think of a new one! So this one is:
I understand that beside courses it says [_L] and [_T]
But under Vic college, I’m looking at a bunch of humanities courses and instead of L and T it says [_S] [_P]
So whats S and P?
Two questions. Same student. Same day. Normally I wouldn’t indulge such a desperate plea for aska’s attention. BUT, your first question is irresistibly basic – yet important, and I actually didn’t know the answer to the second. So, here goes…
“With each course… comes a tutorial.” In my head I read that like a cheesy, white, male voice actor excitedly announcing on an infomercial. Like a tutorial is some sort of bonus if you “enroll within the next 30 minutes!!” I’ve never heard a tutorial sound more exciting! With that attitude, I suspect you will do quite well in school, my dear.
So, what IS a tutorial?? To an upper-year student this question is almost amusingly obvious – but then I realized… I had NO IDEA what they were when I came to U of T. In fact, I think I was scared of them ( “Will I have to speak…. out loud?!”). A great question, asker.
A tutorial can takes many different forms, but is more or less “a class.”
A tutorial intends to supplement the lecture material. It may be a re-iteration of the Prof’s discussion. It may be an in-depth debriefing of required readings. It is always a chance to seek clarification.
A tutorial is facilitated by a T.A. (teaching assistant), who is more often than not a grad student. If you have an undergrad as a T.A. you know that they are either a) a big deal, or b) so far up the Prof’s @#% that you don’t know where one ends and the other begins. In upper years, it’s not uncommon for the Profs themselves to conduct the tutorial.
A tutorial may require passive or active participation. The T.A. might give a mini-lecture while you sit, write, and ask questions. The T.A. might facilitate a dialogue between the students. The T.A. may also administer quizzes. It is really common for students to have to prepare a five-minute presentation or lead a group discussion as well.
A tutorial is smaller than the general class. 15-30 students is the usual range.
A tutorial is almost always 1-hour long.
A tutorial may be enrolled in on ROSI, or be signed up for in the first week of class. Once the Prof announces, “Okay, come to the front and sign up for your tutorial” – your bland, sterile, Sid Smith classroom will transform into a warm summer’s morning on the cobbled streets of Pamplona. Except the bull horn that trails inches from your thoracic vertebra is actually the ballpoint pen of a Polish girl who commutes daily from Mississauga.
A tutorial is usually mandatory. That is to say, they take attendance for 5% of your grade. If no grade is assigned you should still go. That’s right… should. But I’ll leave the guilt trip up to your own superego. Besides the obvious, one benefit of going is that your T.A. will begin to recognize you, and dare I say like you. Don’t tell me that won’t help when they come across your essay at the bottom of a pile of 200. A second plus is that you can meet friends in tutorials. It happens all the time, I swear. A tutorial is just small, conversational and informal enough to lay the foundation for some lasting bondage.
A tutorial is almost never held in the first week of class, especially if the timeslot precedes the lecture (don’t go, no one will be there).
A tutorial may occur weekly, or less frequently. The total tutorial hours are indicated in the Calendar Listing.
E.g. HIS104Y1 -Ten Days That Shook The World [48L, 24T] (pg. 262). The “24T” means that there are 24 tutorial hours across both Fall and Winter terms. This is approximately once per week.
That was THE perfect segue, to answering your next question.
[__S] = Seminar: essentially a hybrid of lecture and tutorial. It will be a smaller class with the expectation that you speak now and then. Like high school. With less melodrama. Probably.
[__P] = Practical, aka laboratory, aka lab. In first year, these are usually held every other week.
P.s. Speaking of Salt and Pepper. Did you hear that all of a sudden salt is healthy for us now?! What’s next, poutine and cigarettes?!?