A bit of tutoring on the side...

Hey all,

I might end up doing 1 day a week back at my old uni tutoring/lecturing some 2nd years. I just wanted to ask are there any tips for a new guy in this field from people currently tutoring? And to those who might have had a great tutor in there uni days or bitch about a shitty one…have you got anything to help me along?

you gotta know what you’re going to talk about.

They’ll be looking at you the first day like most jaded 2nd year students do and you’ll have to take immediate control of the tone of the class. You can be fun, joke around, be critical, but you must be in control of the class. Knowing what you talking points are, lecture points, topics will help a lot. It’s very rewarding at times and very frustrating at others.

ditto to brett’s comments.

I think it is great that you are stepping in. I remember the few professionals we had who taught or guest lectured, and it made a world of difference, I appreciate so much now. Then however, we were all cocky punks… so keep that in mind. You might not get a giant slap on the back, but it will be worth it.

When I do these types of things, I try to bring as much real world structure as possible. They are most likely getting the ivory tower academic side of the equation already.

I also show them some of my student work through to current stuff so they can see how I’ve learned and grown… this also tends to turn around a lot of those “what do you know” looks.

When working one on on, it is important to try to read them. Some people respond to a critical kick in the ass, some need some encouragement first… and then a kick in the behind.

Good luck. Let us know how it goes.


Thanks for the tips guys. I did a lecture last year and showed/talked about my current route in the design world…and some of the things I would have done differently. I think its going to be good to get out of the office 1 day a week keep me fresh.

for sure

Allan posted a great article on core77 about teaching ID:

Highly recommend reading Allan’s article. I had the pleasure of having him as a professor my 2nd year at Pratt and he is absolutely a class act and an excellent teacher.

Great article! The student one is pretty good as well. (Certainly one for the reading list) I think its quite important to encourage self development and get out there, ask questions, instead of spoon feeding everything. I feel there is a current trend in students who leave school/collage expecting to just sit there ‘dormant’ and be told everything they need to know…as that’s what they have always been use to.

I feel there is a current trend in students who leave school/collage expecting to just sit there ‘dormant’ and be told everything they need to know…as that’s what they have always been use to.

this isn’t a “current” trend. Its human nature. this was just as much an issue 12 yrs ago when I graduated as it is now and will be 12 years from now.If you see this and act on it, you have one more trick to make you stand out from the lemmings.

Just to resurrect this topic and give you an update. I completed my first term of PT teaching in the spring. Went really well, learnt allot, and had a greater appreciation for what tutors have to go through. I even did a few lecturers which wouldn’t win any awards but they maintained the students interest and filled the lecture room we have…which was rewarding.

From my students feedback to the principal tutor I’ll be oging back in the Autumn term to do some more…yay…I’ve got a better idea on how to approach this now.

One thing I did find that students seem to plateau, in terms of there output, if there is no one outstanding in the group. And as usual everything gets left to the last minute before they start going. In the first few weeks they really had a lack of questions to ask when its at the start of a project you should be asking as many questions as possible.

I noticed that in my teaching too. It helps a lot to have at least one superstar who the others chase.

That’s great man! Teaching is fun.

I found it can work to break big projects down into several smaller deadlines so their is a deliverable every week. So week one might be preliminary research presentations, week 2: 100 ideation sketches, week 3 refinement renderings, week 4, final design presentation. This way they can’t put 4 weeks of work into 2 days… at least they have to work 1 day each week.

Sounds like a good plan, the next brief is quite detailed and they really need understand what is needed before they go firing away drawing shapes.

I did a one day workshop at a uni in the south of England at the begining of the year when things were quiet on the freelance tip.

I think that it was a really interesting expereince and Yo! is right with his observations about who needs a kick in the butt and when.

What I think it gave me was an insight into what the kids (yeah I know I sound old but im only 30) percieve as cool design and why. - it also showed the fallshort in todays design courses - as a lot of the students dont really understand the skillsets required in todays industry and your imput can show them what pros in the industry would do in their shoes given a brief.

have fun and enjoy it. I did and have been invited back this term.