What is an Oxford tutorial?
When you think of a university course, you likely imagine a professor at the front of a room, lecturing and asking or answering questions. This allows students to learn in a very direct way, but it is not the only way to teach.
At Oxford, courses are styled a bit differently. Students do not sit in on lectures, but are the lecturers themselves. And their audience? Their professor! At the beginning of each tutorial, the student reads a paper that they have independently researched and written. Once completed, the remainder of the tutorial is spent discussing the topic. The student is coached to a higher level of academic rigour, their writing is analysed, and their ideas are probed and developed.
You might be nervous about the idea of a one-on-one tutorial with a professor, especially if you are used to lecture-style teaching. But the Oxford tutorial system has stood the test of time, and proven to be an incredibly powerful educational method for generating scholars and sharpening wits.
What will an Oxford-style tutorial look like?
As a student, you will begin each online tutorial by presenting a paper that you have researched and written in the time leading up to the tutorial. After reading it aloud, the remainder of the tutorial will be spend in conversation with Jason, as you discuss both the topic and your paper. It is a rare opportunity to receive feedback from a world expert on both your writing and analytical skills.
In your next tutorial you will move on to a whole new paper, having developed as a writer and thinker, and eager to apply your developing skill set to a new problem. As the semester progresses, your confidence will grow as you hone your skills and broaden your knowledge of C. S. Lewis and The Inklings. And all of this can be done from your own home. The tutorials are conducted via free video conferencing technologies, such as Skype or Google Chat.
Dr. Lepojärvi offers a variety of courses, to be completed as either a major or minor course. Minor courses ($650 USD) are comprised of four tutorial sessions, where you will present papers on four key topics on the subject matter of the course. Major courses ($1100 USD) are twice as long: eight tutorial sessions where eight topics are addressed.
Interested? Read more about Jason’s offered courses.
Why should I try an Oxford-style tutorial?
Very few people get the chance to take a course with a world expert, and even fewer get to meet one-on-one with them for an entire semester! The Oxford-style tutorial will refine your academic abilities, heighten your writing skills, and allow you to dive deep into a subject that interests you. Oxford-style tutorials will benefit different people in different ways, depending on what you hope to get out of them. In taking one of Jason’s tutorials, you stand to gain the following:
- Broader and deeper knowledge of C. S. Lewis and The Inklings
- Independent research and synthesis skills
- Clear and concise writing skills
- The ability to receive and implement friendly criticism
- Skills in analysis and application
- Interaction with a specialist on Lewis and The Inklings
- Confidence in oral presentation
- Personal enrichment and gratification
In addition to diving deep into the subject matter, these course will help you refine skills that will be broadly applied to your life and career.
For students: while these online courses are not-for-credit, Oxford-style tutorials will massively improve many of your academic skills in ways that can be applied across disciplines. Some universities might accredit Dr. Lepojärvi’s courses. You can discuss the possibility with your own university.
Is an Oxford-style tutorial just for students?
Certainly not. Jason has taught people from a variety of backgrounds, ages, and experiences. You may not see yourself as a student. Or an academic. But the beauty of the Oxford tutorial is that you don’t have to be one to benefit from the course. It is designed to meet you where you are at, whether you are 18 or 99. You do not have to fit into a particular category of age or experience to qualify for an Oxford tutorial. You just need to bring enthusiasm and eagerness to work and learn.
To date, Jason has had students from USA, UK, Canada, Australia, China, South Korea, Philippines, Finland, Sweden, Russia, Spain, Portugal, Bolivia, Brazil, Egypt, Italy, France, Germany, Poland, and more.
Want to know more impressions of Jason’s tutorials? Read his reviewers.
Semesters and timetable
These courses can be taken in any of four semester: Winter (starts January), Spring (April), Summer (July), or Fall (October).
Depending on your schedule, and whether you take a minor or major course, you may complete the course at full Oxford pace (weekly tutorials), half Oxford pace (biweekly tutorials), or quarter Oxford pace (monthly tutorials). At full pace, a minor course would take one month and a major would take two months. At half pace, a minor course would take two months and a major would take four months.