Information overload to knowledge development: Transforming tutor induction on a summer pre-sessional

Catherine Beswick

Abstract

The pre-sessional summer landscape is changing, with many UK HE institutions experiencing increased student numbers and greater demand for new EAP practitioners. EAP centres are presented with the challenge of providing effective support and development for an increasing number of EAP practitioners, especially those transitioning into EAP from other contexts. The effectiveness of face-to-face inductions can be limited, as new tutors are often overloaded with information as they attempt to understand the practicalities and content of their new teaching contexts. EAP centres need to find innovative ways to maximise the effectiveness of induction, as well as providing support and development for tutors on their summer programmes. This paper outlines an online web-based element to summer tutor induction created by one institution, and highlights the challenges and opportunities this presents. It explores the potential of the online induction to meet the needs of new practitioners to EAP, particularly when transitioning to EAP from other contexts. The paper concludes that the online element to summer tutor induction is a valuable and effective addition, fulfilling both an information giving and developmental function. It finds that it offers valuable support to tutors and course leaders, as well as addressing some of the key challenges for new practitioners transitioning to the EAP context. The paper also recommends that for the online induction to maximise its developmental potential, it needs to be considered as part of a longer-term, creative and holistic development pathway for summer EAP practitioners.

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