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Online tutorial report: OT-24

This was my first online tutorial and I participated in it as practice prior to applying for the Module B test.  It ran for four weeks in February to March 2021.

The text we had to index was part of a report regarding links between gardening and health.  It was 29 pages long.

There were seven students taking part, two of whom lived abroad, so were operating on different time zones.  We were at varying stages of our training, between Modules B-D.  For four of us, this was our first tutorial.

The tutor, Melanie Gee, was very approachable and efficient.  She set up a closed group email for communication between us, and we introduced ourselves before starting.

We were given two weeks to complete the index, with a specific deadline.  We all completed this without any interaction between us.  Once all indexes had been submitted, we were allowed to see each other’s.  It was a good opportunity to look at everyone’s different styles and choice of headings.

The following two weeks involved three topics to consider, plus an optional weekend one (which we all did – we were a conscientious bunch!).  The topics covered dealing with the metatopic, analysing a section of the text (including diagrams) in more detail, looking at headings in respect of a particular aspect of the text, and finally, reviewing our own and everyone else’s index for examples of non-indexable concepts and unsought terms.

All the exercises were designed to make you think about how you could improve your indexing technique. We had two days between each exercise and each one was fairly in-depth.  Mel’s responses to each one was very comprehensive, referring to relevant points made by all the students, plus her feedback on those points.  Particularly useful was the table she produced from our responses to the non-indexable concepts and unsought terms.

In the final week Mel provided her own index of the report, including footnotes as to her thought processes, and also asked for feedback from all of us to help with future tutorials.

This was my first opportunity to receive a critique for an index I had produced (other than feedback from the Module A test) and to gauge my level of competence in comparison with others.

One thing I would advise anyone considering a tutorial for the first time, is to allow yourself the time to do it justice, in order to get the best learning experience. There was a lot of information to take in.

However, it was a great experience, a chance to engage with fellow students and start building a network of contacts.

Sheree Mosley