Tutorials offer flexibility in coursework

Editor’s note: During the summer, New College News is featuring selected student blogs that focus on the New College experience.

By Emma Sunderman

New College students can create tutorials to augment regular coursework.
New College students can create tutorials to augment regular coursework.

A tutorial is a class, usually initiated by a student, that is not offered in the course catalog. Students and faculty work together to create a syllabus and calendar for either a semester or module (half-semester) credit. Tutorials supplement students’ coursework, help them hone pre-existing skills, and enable them to explore other interests outside of their AOC.

Examples:
Composting Tutorial: The main objective of this tutorial is to educate the New College community on the benefits of composting, how to do it properly, and how to maintain an efficient compost program on campus. The class typically meets once a week at the Compost Haus to discuss long-term goals for the program. Participants set aside 15 minutes to go over the weekly academic readings. They then take turns collecting, emptying, washing, and redistributing the compost bins around campus.

Readings in Biblical Hebrew Tutorial: In this reading tutorial, students who’ve completed Hebrew 2 or higher have the opportunity to enhance or refresh their Hebrew translation skills. Professor Susan Marks typically offers the tutorial in the spring for module credit. The class meets once a week to translate the Bible from Hebrew to English line by line. Students can take this class multiple times because it focuses on a different section of the Bible each time Professor Marks offers it.

Tutorial Creation Process

According to Francesca Galliano, one of the teaching assistants for the Composting Tutorial, the tutorial creation process is quite easy:

First, you have to find a professor who is willing to sponsor your tutorial. Look for professors who have sponsored previous tutorials with similar topics, or find one who shares your special interest in your topic. If you are interested in a group tutorial, you can gauge interest in your topic and others’ availability by emailing your fellow Novos. Lastly, work with your faculty sponsor to solidify a schedule and a syllabus. Simple as that!

How Are Tutorials Different?

Tutorials are different than typical courses because they do not have to fall under the realm of an AOC. You can get credit for trying something new outside of your AOC. They are also not exclusive to a specific group of students. An English AOC, for example, can take a tutorial geared towards a nautral science student, and vice-versa.

Some tutorials, like Readings in Biblical Hebrew, differ in that they do not include any formal assignments, written or otherwise. Students simply prep weekly readings and apply what they learn into the weekly in-class translations.

How Are You Evaluated?

Like all courses at New College, the faculty sponsors write performance evaluations for students at the end of the term. They base their evaluations on the quality of your class participation and completion of assignments. In cases where the classes are taught solely by teaching assistants, like the Composting Tutorial, they will provide input to the sponsors on how well you did your part.

– Emma Sunderman is an intern in the Office of Communications and Marketing at New College of Florida.


Located in Sarasota, New College of Florida has educated intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement since its founding in 1960. As the State of Florida’s designated honors college, New College provides an exceptional education that transforms students’ intellectual curiosity into personal accomplishment. The 110-acre campus on Sarasota Bay is home to more than 800 students and 80 full-time faculty engaged in interdisciplinary research and collaborative learning. New College offers nearly 40 areas of concentration for undergraduates and a master’s degree program in Data Science.

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