Training of tutors is conducted by staff members (Education Consultants) from EI to enable them to conduct tutorials in which students (guided by the tutor) express their understanding of the subject material in verbal or written form so that feedback can be given. The training covers topics such as the role of the tutor, how students learn, instructional strategies and study skills aimed at strengthening student's academic performance as well as administration and management of tutorials. Logistical arrangements are currently done by the EI with respect to registration for the training and costs are covered by the Skills Development Fund (Learning and Development, Department Human Resource Management).
These training sessions are seen as a platform for changing the mindset of tutors from their own previous tutorial experiences which are often a duplication of the lecture (dependence, passivity and pressure from students to repeat lecturers and explain the same things as in class). However, experience has proved that the current training alone is not sufficient to equip tutors to function effectively. Tutors need continuous departmental guidance, support and training.
'The term ‘tutor’ is used with different meanings at UP. From the point of view of teaching and supporting student learning, the term implies a learning facilitator. Such a person is normally a senior student who is trained to work with groups of students to guide student efforts to learn (construction of own meaning), to clarify and to promote involvement with the course content. The tutor should be supportive, encouraging and demanding (student's preparation and participation).
Tutor Co-ordinators of the different departments from different faculties negotiate the date and the time, as well as the content of the training according to their needs.