The role of the tutor is...
To support and guide the student in his or her own efforts to learn. The tutor should be careful to emphasize that the responsibility for learning rests with the tutee. To this end, the tutor should encourage the student to attend class, spend time in individual study, read the text, complete assignments, and come to the sessions prepared to work.
Avoid taking on the role of the instructor. Encourage the student to talk their way through the issues as best they can.
How to Start
At the beginning of each session, ask the student to specify what work they want to address. Have the student be as specific as possible. If they need to work on a paper, specify whether it is brainstorming, research organization, writing or editing. If they are studying for a test, specify whether the session will be focused on clarification of specific topics, an overall review of information or developing study materials.
Once you have delineated the purpose of the session, ask the student how they want to proceed. You may be able to offer suggestions at this point. However, the overall direction should be to deal with the student’s purpose.
At the end of the first session, determine with the student how you want to continue. Make sure students are aware of the scheduled hours when they can come in for help.
Study Skills Training
Some students may request assistance because they need help in a number of areas including study skills, time management or organization. For students who need help getting a task organized, you can use the enclosed Assignment Analysis Form. This lets them list out the different steps in an assignment and estimates the time involved. You may also want to have the student find time in their planner to allocate to the various task steps. If they need more detailed help, refer them to Pam Schwartz at ext. 0825. It is the responsibility of the tutor to keep the relationship professional. The tutor should not counsel the student on personal matters or emotional issues. If the student asks for more help than you can provide, refer them to the Academic Skills Office.
Good Tutoring Practices
- Listen carefully to the student’s explanation of the problem. You may hear the student state the answer to his or her own question.
- Start with what the student already knows.
- Ask leading questions that help the student find their own answers.
- Think about the student’s learning style and whether it matches your own.
- Treat the student with respect.
- Always keep the student’s information confidential.
- Badmouthing the subject, text or instructor
- Completing the student’s work for him or her
- Taking the place of the instructor
- Lecturing to the student