The tutorial system at Oxford involves students meeting one on one with professors and discussing a particular area of knowledge. In the biology program, among others, the student will write an essay in advance of the tutorial, and in the meeting itself, the professor will give feedback and bring up areas or angles the student might not have considered.
Different professors, of course, have different styles. Some have done fieldwork all around the world and use lots of examples from their personal experience. Others like to take the conversation to areas not covered in the reading (I see you've written about global warming; what's your favorite type of sustainable energy and why?). I've had tea to drink during exactly two tutorials, which was nice.
It's not a bad system.