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Brightspace Staff Support

Personal and Academic Tutorials

The University of Suffolk is committed to providing personal tutorials as an essential feature of its programmes of study. This policy specifies what personal tutorials are and outlines their purpose. It also identifies student entitlement, the responsibilities of/support for personal tutors and relevant quality assurance mechanisms.

Key principles which underpin personal tutorial practice:

  • Learner-centredness – respect for each student as an active learner and as an individual with their own particular set of needs;
  • Concern for all aspects of students’ learning – educational, career, personal and social;
  • Equality of opportunity and diversity – ensuring and promoting equality of opportunity and diversity including eliminating unlawful discrimination. These principles significantly help to create the conditions for learning and to empower students to feel sufficiently secure and confident to make increasingly mature and responsible decisions.

Personal Tutorials
Personal tutorials are pastoral meetings between a student and her/his designated personal tutor where together they consider the student’s academic progress and any issues relating to, or with the potential to affect, that progress. Key/transferable/employability skills should also be reviewed and confirmed, academic and career development discussed and actions planned to promote successful/desired outcomes.

Academic Tutorials
In addition to personal tutorials, students will usually have access to subject-specific academic tutorial support for their learning and assessment needs at module/unit/course level. Time for these subject-specific academic tutorials is met from within module/unit/course taught hours, determined by module tutors and approved as part of the initial validation and subsequent re-approval processes. These can be group and/or individual tutorials. Study skills sessions may be offered as an integral aspect of these subject-specific/academic tutorials though these are often provided as additional sessions or as part of the taught element of mandatory modules.

Brightspace Virtual Classroom
The Brightspace Virtual Classroom tool can be used for individual or group video calls, enabling you to continue to offer personal or academic tutorials.  Below are links to setting up and then running virtual classroom sessions.

When following the instructions above, you will need to make a number of small changes to only invite the individual student to the session, the screenshots below show which settings need to be changed:



If when accessing the screen where you add your students and your students are not individually listed, please click the 'Sync Roster' link, this will then synchronise all students enrolled on the module into the virtual classroom tool. 

If you are a user of Microsoft Skype for Business or Microsoft Teams, it is also possible to run 1:1 or 1:many video calls.  Support for those products can be found here: Microsoft Teams