The role of the Academic Tutor
and study skills:
Academic tutors work
with students to identify their strengths and weaknesses in relation to
academic study skills and encourage students to make plans and/or take up
opportunities to develop.
support students to review and reflect on the feedback they have received on
assessed work, developing the student’s ability to build academic skills and subject-specific
knowledge and then to progress successfully.
Academic Tutors can
also work with students to identify consistent patterns in feedback (e.g. poor
referencing, weak assignment structure, insecure research base, etc.) and
discuss the steps they can take to improve their performance in future
Subject tutors can also help students by giving guidance on planning and
writing assignments. They can’t give direction as to what to put in an
assignment, nor make detailed corrections. They can provide guidance on
structure and how to develop the response to an assessment question. They may
also review a draft assignment.
reminded that support and guidance is available through the Academic Skills
Workshop on ORMS’ iLearn [link] or through the Study Skills area
on RGU’s CampusMoodle [link]. Both links lead to password protected areas. Students
should use these resources first, before seeking further help.
Draft summative submissions – tutor feedback
Opportunities for students to submit assignments (or parts
of assignments) in draft for comment and feedback by tutors before the formal
submission date are permitted only for the particular assignments where ORMS or
RGU has decided that this is appropriate and has specified this in advance (for
example, on assignment briefing sheets, handbooks or in the online course
In principle, students may ask an academic tutor to discuss
a skeleton framework, draft assignment plan, or a rough draft in order to help
them develop their academic writing skills.
Tutors may provide written feedback on drafts and engage in
dialogue of a general kind which allows students to see how they might develop
their response to the assignment brief.
Please note only one framework,
or incomplete piece of draft work will be accepted and seen, AND SEEN ONCE
Once the feedback has
been given, it is up to the student to make any changes suggested. In all cases
the final decision as to what goes into a piece of work is the student’s, and
the student’s alone.
In responding to
draft submissions, tutors are not permitted to:
detailed corrections to a draft submission, nor
information about predicted grade indicators, or other detailed information
about possible grading judgements.
Coaching by Tutors
Several reviews and corrections of the same piece of work
may be seen as ‘coaching’ by the tutor. Coaching is effectively cooperation
between a tutor and student leading to the student gaining an unpermitted
advantage over other students.
- This could lead to an allegation of Academic Misconduct,
which is an inappropriate activity or behaviour by a student which may give
that student, or another student, an unpermitted academic advantage in a
- It could also lead to an allegation of
Professional Misconduct against the tutor.
Feedback on Formative Assessment Work
Formative assessment is primarily designed to give feedback
on progress and inform development but does not contribute to a module mark. If
the affected work does not count towards an award, a transcript mark or a
progression decision, the problematic work should normally be addressed by
specific and extensive feedback by the tutor on the issue that is the subject
of concern. This is to ensure change of behaviour and act as a preventative
measure for future incidents.
Turnitin is a program which checks student work for
originality: that is, it searches through its database of published texts,
webpages and student assignments to see if there are any areas which have a
significant match to student work. Turnitin is NOT a plagiarism detector. The
tutor will use Turnitin to alert them to possible problems, but they are also
familiar with a student’s writing style and with the literature in that field
of study, and they will use their experience and academic judgement to identify
any issues with the student’s use of references.
Before any final submission, students may submit a draft of their
work into the Turnitin Draft Submission folder. This will create an originality
report which may highlight areas of concern and the student will then have the
opportunity to take corrective action before submitting it to the Final for
Marking Submission folder.
- You cannot rely on Turnitin to do the work of checking your references for you.
- You still need to make sure that you understand when and how to cite the sources in any work presented.