A registrar survival guide

Tutorials Essentials checklist: - A mental check-list of learning aims. - Pen and paper for taking notes. - A clock to time the discussion. - A tutorial evaluation sheet. - A record of learning for your ePortfolio.

  • Prepare

Agree in advance the topic for discussion, venue and length of tutorial. Read the literature or reflect on recent challenges. Write down what you want to achieve. This helps to focus on your specific learning aims.

  • Minimise interruptions

With your trainer's agreement, minimise interruptions. For example, advise receptionists that tutorials should be disturbed only in emergencies. If possible, switch off your mobile phone.

  • Structure the discussion

If the content drifts from the agreed aims, steer the discussion back on track. At the end of the discussion, summarise the main learning points and make arrangements for the next tutorial.

  • Interact with your trainer

Be honest in discussing what you do and do not know. Be receptive to learning about alternative viewpoints and different strategies for managing problems. Draw on your trainer's local knowledge and large body of experience. Be curious - find out why protocols and procedures are organised in a particular way. This helps you to link everyday practice with theory.

  • Understand the trainer's agenda

Trainers want to identify your learning needs. So, while the tutorial may feel probing and challenging, it should also be supportive and encouraging.

  • Understand feedback

If you feel that the level of challenge or support during the tutorial is inappropriate, then feed this back to your trainer. Most trainers try to adapt their teaching styles. Clarify your learning needs and ask for your trainer's advice on what you could do to improve.

  • Reflect on the teaching

Evaluate what has been useful and enjoyable about the teaching. Write a structured reflective learning account for your ePortfolio.

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