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  • Writer's pictureDanielle

Implementing Interactive Tutor at Middlesbrough College

Updated: Dec 21, 2023


Introduction

Middlesbrough College undertook a transformative initiative by integrating the Interactive Tutor application into its teaching framework. Spearheaded by Neil Pollard, a lecturer at the college, this case study delves into the effectiveness and impact of this innovative tool.





Background

Interactive Tutor is designed to streamline lesson planning and student assessment by utilising ChatGPT. It addresses a crucial challenge in the academic sphere - the demanding and often stressful tasks of report writing, marking, and providing comprehensive student feedback.


Implementation Process

Neil Pollard introduced Interactive Tutor to the college's faculty, showcasing its capability in efficiently marking and providing feedback on student work. To gauge the potential impact on workload and teaching efficacy, he conducted a series of interviews with his colleagues, gathering their insights and opinions.


Staff Insights and Experiences

1. Enhanced Efficiency in Educational Material Creation: Teachers observed the tool's swift ability to generate pertinent questions and answers, significantly aiding lesson preparation and student engagement.

2. Automated Marking and Feedback: A standout feature was the application's facility to automate student work assessment and feedback, seen as a notable time-saver in one of the most labour-intensive teaching tasks.

3. Customisable Data Reference: The tool allows educators to select specific data sources, ensuring relevance and accuracy in the context of their teaching material.

4. Significant Time Management Improvements: Faculty members estimated that Interactive Tutor could reduce their administrative tasks by up to 70%, particularly in areas like marking and report writing. This shift was perceived as a potential avenue for more focused and effective teaching.

5. Direct Impact on Student Learning: The potential time savings were seen as an opportunity for increased teacher-student interaction, thereby enhancing the overall educational experience.

6. Adaptability and Student Diversity Considerations: While the reception was generally positive, there were discussions around the tool's adaptability to diverse student needs, particularly for students with learning differences such as dyslexia.


Conclusions

Interactive Tutor's adoption at Middlesbrough College represents a significant advancement in modernising teaching practices. By automating routine educational tasks, the tool offers promises of improved teaching efficiency, reduced workload stress, and better student engagement and learning outcomes. However, ensuring that the technology is adaptable to a wide range of student needs is an important area for future development.


Recommendations

1. Ongoing Staff Development: Regular training for faculty to maximise the use of Interactive Tutor’s features.

2. Feedback Mechanism Implementation: Establish a system for ongoing user feedback to continually enhance the application.

3. Inclusive Student-Centric Features: Development of features within Interactive Tutor that cater to the varied learning needs of students, including those with disabilities.

4. Expansion Across the College: Consider a wider implementation of Interactive Tutor in different departments and courses for a more extensive impact.


With these recommendations, Middlesbrough College can continue to leverage AI in education effectively, aligning technological advancements with pedagogical objectives to enhance both teaching and learning experiences.

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