Online tutorials aim to provide course candidates with extra practice in compiling indexes to real texts. Groups of students compile indexes to a set text and compare their results under the guidance of an experienced indexer.
The indexes compiled for the tutorials are not marked or graded, but participation in three different tutorials is a requirement for Accreditation.
Each tutorial group has a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 10 participants; added benefits are personal contact with a named tutor and with other students.
Individual feedback is not given, but students can raise specific points about their index for discussion among the group.
Tutorials run for one month: two weeks for index compilation and two weeks for guided email discussion with the tutor and other students, after which the tutor will post his/her version of the index to the group. The texts are around 30–40 pages in length. Each tutorial stands alone and students may do any two tutorials in any order, as long as the tutorials have different numbers. The tutorial numbers relate to the texts, which are all of roughly the same level though of different types and on a variety of subjects. You will be sent information about the subject area of the text a few days before the tutorial starts.
It is recommended that the tutorials should be taken at intervals as students progress through the course rather than doing all three in quick succession, as learning outcomes will be different according to the training level reached. It is a good idea to do at least one tutorial before attempting Test C, as this provides excellent preparation for the test, and some people find it helpful to do two tutorials first.
Most people find that they spend on average 30 minutes a day or more during the two-week discussion period.
Once you have booked a tutorial you must wait until that tutorial is over before booking the next one. Students are welcome to do more than three tutorials if they wish.
The tutorials run via an email discussion list and work on an asynchronous discussion basis: during the discussion period students can participate at any time, from anywhere where they have a computer connected to the internet. There is therefore no requirement to be online at a particular time, although during this period students should ensure that they have time available to participate fully in the discussions.Students need to be familiar with email (including attachments), downloading pdf files, and creating rtf files.
Certain email addresses sometimes cause problems with the software used for the online tutorial lists, for example, if you use gmail/googlemail you may find that you do not receive copies of your own postings in your inbox, although they may get through successfully to the rest of the group. You may find it helpful to set up a separate address specifically for use on tutorials, with a free webmail provider.
Participants of some recent online tutorials have written reports of their experiences. You can read about these on the Online Tutorials Reports page. Profiles of the current tutors can be found here.
Two one-to-one tutorials are available for students who have failed Tests B, C or D. Information is sent to candidates with their test result. Candidates with borderline passes on these tests may also be advised to do these tutorials before proceeding to the next module.
Please book as early as possible; a tutorial with fewer than six bookings one calendar month prior to the tutorial start date will be cancelled. Please note that no refunds will be given for students cancelling within one calendar month prior to the tutorial start date.
Online Tutorials are run regularly and advertised well in advance; extra tutorials may be arranged if there is sufficient demand. Bear in mind, however, that there may not be a tutorial with places available just when you want it; please try to be as flexible as possible. Please contact the SI office at for further information.
The current schedule of Online Tutorials can be viewed and booked using Paypal here (you will need to be logged in to the SI members area in order to access the page).