Method Speed Tutoring
The academic gives an assignment (reading a text,…) before class. In this method students are asked to discuss and solve questions and problems they have experienced with the assignment with different students. They ask their questions to a fellow student. After 5 minutes they move on to the next student. A lot of questions can be resolved like this and the teaching staff member only has to discuss the questions that students can’t resolve. The idea behind this method is that the first part of the face-to-face class is taken up with short timed sessions of 5 minutes during which students ask one another in one-to-one settings questions about the content that should have been prepared by everyone before the class. They each have limited time to answer these questions and those that are not answered in this speed tutoring format can then be clarified later on by the academic with the whole class. This exercise fits well into a “flipped classroom” approach.
Aim To understand subject content from texts, documents, movies, exercises.
Target group


All kinds of courses in different disciplines where students are expected to prepare something (reading, video, …) before participating in the class.
Intended learning outcomes
  • Better able to ask questions
  • Enhanced critical thinking
Students prepare for their participation in the class by reading a text or some other content related task. All students prepare the same content. They prepare 3 questions about this specific content in order to help them to understand it better, clarify certain aspects, etc …

At the start of the class: students sit at a long table face-to-face. They ask their 3 questions to a fellow student. They have 5 minutes together to find satisfactory answers to each question.

Some questions will be resolved, others won´t. Students move one place and face a new fellow student. Non-resolved questions are again posed. Students have 5 minutes to formulate an answer. Again, some questions will be answered, others won´t. They change places again. This continues for about half an hour. Then the facilitator checks to what extent the questions have been resolved and identifies those that have not been successfully answered.

These outstanding questions usually indicate more fundamental or difficult issues or problems that have not been satisfactorily dealt with during the speed-tutoring session. They can be addressed with the whole class group when the facilitator together with the students discusses these remaining issues/questions. Sometimes the solution is very simple and easy: e.g. students had to read research on team teaching in schools and they struggled to actually envisage classrooms with team teaching. A short movie about a local school that integrates team teaching helped them envisage and, therefore, better understand, team teaching.

Preparation The teaching staff member needs to suggest a text, movie, documentary before class, students need to prepare this before class.
Required resources and equipment Class setting has to be flexible.
Students have to sit at a long table and be able to move quickly and easily to face a new student.
Success factors It’s a good idea to use a text that challenges the students but isn’t too difficult.
Advantages Problem flipped classroom: students don´t prepare what is asked. This method forces them to be prepared when coming to the classes. It is important for the success of this method that the staff member does not interfere during the speed tutoring phase.

It works very well: classes take less time and students are engaging all the time. They discuss with many more students than usual. The ask more questions than during discussions in a full classroom setting. All students are expected to contribute/support each other to deal with issues and problems concerning subject content.

Disadvantages As a teaching staff member you do not know what is said, which can make you somewhat uncomfortable.

It is difficult to deal with students who aren’t prepared.

Additional information

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Speed Tutoring (355 downloads)
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