Communication and information sharing were low among faculty and tutors during the meet-and-greet session held prior to the start of classes.
The panel format (with faculty members as speakers and tutors as audience) was not creating an environment conducive to discussion between the two parties.
The panel format was eliminated. Tutors and faculty sat together at several tables. Prompts were placed on each table to generate conversation. Prompts were directed towards faculty: What are the three biggest challenges your student face? What is your philosophy on the process of writing? What are your expectations of writing tutors? Every 10-15 minutes, faculty members rotated tables to meet with other tutors.
Engagement and dialogue increased. Informal feedback from both parties was positive. Formal feedback from the tutors demonstrated themes and key points; see attached document for survey questions and results.
The intervention was successful. Small-group discussions will be continued with an adjustment to the time structure so each tutor has more opportunities to talk to each instructor.
The purpose of this qualitative study was to evaluate an environment to determine whether or not it encourages interaction among tutors and faculty. Prior to the intervention in Spring 2020, tutor and faculty interaction was low during pre-semester meet-and-greet sessions; the sessions were conducted in a panel format with tutors comprising the audience. The Spring 2020 session, however, was held in a small-group format, and informal feedback was positive. Formal tutor survey results showed that the small groups enabled more flow of conversation as well as deeper connection. The group setting facilitates discussion more effectively than the panel setting.