THE TUTORIAL PROGRAM AT WILLIAMS

In the fall of 1988, Williams introduced a tutorial program. Students are invited to examine the tutorial offerings carefully in order to understand fully the substantive content of each tutorial and its mode of operation. A list of the tutorials to be offered in 2000-2001 is included in this section, and a complete description of each may be found in the relevant department's section of this catalog. No student is required to take a tutorial, but any student who has the appropriate qualifications is invited to do so.

While the details of the functioning of tutorials will vary in order to accommodate the diverse subject matter of the various departments of the College, there are important common characteristics to which specific attention may be called.

Tutorials place a much greater weight on student participation than do regular courses or even small seminars. In general, each tutorial will consist of two students meeting with the tutor for one hour or 75 minutes each week. At each meeting one student will make a prepared presentation-read a prepared essay, work a set of problems, report on laboratory exercises, examine a work of art, etc.-and the other student and the tutor will question, probe, push the student who is presenting her work about various aspects of the presentation. The student then must respond on the spot to these probings and questions. A tutorial is directly concerned with teaching students about arguments, about arriving at and defending a position, and about responding on the spot to suggestions and questions. This kind of exercise will help the student gain insight and understanding of what knowledge is and how it is accumulated and how there can be different interpretations and different understandings of the same phenomenon. The student presentation drives the tutorial, and the presentation by the student obviously means that student preparation and response are crucial to an effective tutorial. The presentation is based on assigned and suggested reading and other work (laboratory, art work, theatre, etc.) by the tutor.

In some tutorials both students will make a shorter presentation each week and both will react and comment on the other's presentation. In all cases the tutorial is built around presentations by students.

In most instances there will be no more than 10 students in a tutorial. In the first and last week of the semester, the whole group will meet together, and in the 10 weeks in-between students will meet in pairs with their tutor. Students should therefore expect to make 5 presentations that occupy about an hour, or 10 that require one half hour. Assignments will be designed such that the student should, in general, be required to spend no more time over a week preparing for the tutorial than for a conventional course. It is likely however that as a student begins her first tutorial course, she will have to spend somewhat more time preparing for it than she does for her other courses. Once the routine becomes more established and familiar, the tutorial is expected to require about the same total time per week as does a regular course. The student should appreciate, however, that the weekly tutorials require exceptional regularity and on-time performance.

Grading, testing, and similar details will be described by the tutor at the first meeting of the entire group.

Drops and Adds: Because of the particular arrangements of the tutorial, it is necessary to limit adds to the first week of classes only. No adds can be made after that time. Spaces in tutorials are limited, and a late drop may unfairly deprive another student of an opportunity. Students are urged, therefore, to think very carefully about their initial decisions.

PLEASE NOTE: Tutorials cannot be taken on a pass/fail grading basis.

More Information: Students may obtain detailed information about a specific tutorial from the assigned tutor, or about The Tutorial Program as a whole from its director, Professor Chris Waters (Department of History).

Tutorials Offered 2000-2001

American Maritime Studies
AMS/ENGL 231T(F,S) Literature of the Sea
Bercaw Edwards (fall), Beegel (spring)

Art
ARTS 317T(F) The Miniature
Levin


ARTS 371T(F) Addressing Identity-The Non-Traditional Figure
Podmore


ARTS 382T(S)/THEA 326T(S) The Moving Image and Performance Style
L. Johnson, Bucky


ARTS 418T(S) Senior Tutorial
Podmore

Astronomy
ASTR 207T(F) Extraterrestrial Life in the Galaxy: A Sure Thing, or a Snowball's Chance?+
Kwitter

Biology
BIOL 402T(S)/ENVI 404T(S) Current Topics in Ecology (Same as Environmental Studies 404T)+

Chemistry
CHEM 316T(S) Bioinorganic Chemistry
Schofield

Computer Science
CSCI 336T(S) Computer Networks
Murtagh

Economics
ECON 357T(F) The Strange Economics of College
Schapiro

English
ENGL 356T(S) Dead Poets' Society
Bundtzen


ENGL 370T(S) Narrative into Film
Carter-Sanborn

History
HIST 487T(F)(formerly 374T) The Second World War: Origins, Course, Outcomes, and Meaning+
Wood

Music
MUS 203T(F), 204T(S) Composition
Suderburg (fall), D. Kechley (spring)

Physics
PHYS 402T(S) Applications of Quantum Mechanics+
Majumder


PHYS 411T(F) Classical Mechanics and Fluid Mechanics+
K. Jones

Political Science
PSCI 331T(S) Non-Profit Organization and Community Change+
A. Willingham

Psychology
PSYC 354T(F) Social Interaction and Psychopathology+
Heatherington

Religion
REL 270T(S) Father Abraham: The First Patriarch+
Darrow

Theatre
THEA 322T(S) Performance Criticism+
Bean