Author(s): Dolmans DH, Wolfhagen IH, Scherpbier AJ, Vleuten CP
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Abstract PURPOSE: A tutor's performance is often investigated as a stable teacher characteristic, isolated from the context in which the tutor functions. This study investigated the influence of a tutor's group-dynamics skills in differently functioning tutorial groups on performance ratings. METHOD: Students' ratings of tutors' performances collected from 75 tutorial groups at one school over four different academic years were compared with the independent variables, groups' cohesion scores and sponging scores (the degree to which some students let others do the work), and the intervening variable, tutors' group-dynamics skills. RESULTS: Tutors with strong group-dynamics skills were assigned mean tutor's-performance scores of 7.4 (SD = 0.8) and 8.2 (SD = 0.5), respectively, by groups scoring low and high on cohesion. Tutors with low group-dynamics skills were rated 7.0 (SD = 1.1) and 7.4 (SD = 1.1) by the same groups. The same pattern held for sponging scores. Tutors who had strong group-dynamics skills received mean tutor's-performance scores of 8.1 (SD = 0.6) and 7.4 (SD = 0.8), respectively, from groups with low and high sponging scores. Tutors with weak group-dynamics skills were scored 7.6 (SD = 1.0) and 6.9 (SD = 1.1) by the same groups. CONCLUSIONS: Tutors possessing group-dynamics skills were rated higher by students than were tutors who lacked these skills, irrespective of the quality of a tutorial group's performance. A tutor who evaluates tutorial-group function on a regular basis and makes appointments with students based on these evaluations is seen as performing better than a tutor who does not.
This article was published in Acad Med
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals