Does the Oxford tutorial system help to stimulate critical thinking and foster a critical dialogue around feedback among Law students?
Balan, A. 2017. Does the Oxford tutorial system help to stimulate critical thinking and foster a critical dialogue around feedback among Law students? Association of Law Teachers Conference. School of Law, University of Portsmouth 10 - 11 Apr 2017
At undergraduate level the tutorial system at the University of Oxford has several features that serve to make it almost unique in UK Higher Education. Undergraduates are taught in tutorial groups, typically made up of one to three students, on a weekly basis. Work is usually prepared in advance of these sessions by students and the tutorial is then used as an opportunity for students to receive direct feedback on their work, as well as a platform for further work and tutor-led discussion. The central issue to be explored in this paper, which reports the findings of tutorial observations and interviews involving Oxford University Law students, is the effectiveness of this system of teaching. Supporters of the Oxford tutorial system regard it as more academically challenging and rigorous than other methods of teaching. Nicol (2010) has suggested that the system, through small group discussion of feedback, offers students an opportunity to develop the ability to regulate their own learning by fostering a critical dialogue around feedback. Golding (2011) has suggested that the system offers students an opportunity to develop their critical thinking skills by interpreting, criticising and applying their knowledge rather than simply memorising and recalling information. Mirfield (2008), however, considers the system open to potential inconsistency and misuse by tutors. The key findings of this study give more weight to the the arguments of supporters of this system of teaching, while also recognising some of the merits of the arguments of its detractors.
|Assessment and Feedback; Legal Education; Critical thinking; Oxford tutorial
|Association of Law Teachers Conference
|10 Apr 2017
|Publication process dates
|18 Jan 2018
|18 Jan 2017
|18 Jan 2017
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