These stories give some insight into how the numbers of students attending a session might impact on students’ experiences of the tutorial.
I’ve been on other tutorials where there’s been 20, may be up to 30 participants and it’s always quite chaotic in the chat box and sometimes the tutor misses out a few questions, so it can feel a lot more hectic in those sessions, whereas this tutorial was nice because there was a smaller number and you gave a lot of opportunity for people to ask questions and you kind of acknowledged the comments that were going in the chat box, as well as what people were asking using the microphone (Samantha, student).
There were only five of us at the first tutorial so that made me feel less intimidated as well. When you see all the names in the bottom right hand of your screen… That’s all it is, it’s just people’s names and they’re putting comments and you just think ‘God, you’re really clever!’ and ‘I’m not going to say anything’. It’s so easy to get lost in online tutorials and I just think ‘I’m not answering that cos I’m just going to look stupid in comparison to you’. Five of us is for me definitely more manageable. I think there might have been 18 of us when I had the tutorial the other week. That were a lot. I felt overwhelmed then. I put a couple of comments up and then I just sat back and just listened to what the tutor had to say. I never interacted after that. I were a bit overwhelmed (Steve, student).