Tutoring At Georgia Military College

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Georgia Military College

          A Manual Prepared by
              Judy Parks

    Edited by Judy Ely, October, 2007
              Marilu Couch, February 25, 2011

           Georgia Military College
             201 E. Greene Street
           Milledgeville, GA 31061
The Tutoring center
Zell Miller Hall 122
Georgia Military College
201 E. Greene Street
Milledgeville, GA 31061

Dear Tutor,

Congratulations! You have just become part of one of the most important groups on
campus—The Tutoring center tutors. You were chosen for this position because you
excel in your subject area and because you have performed in courses for that subject in
such a way that one or more instructors recommended you as a tutor.

Unlike you, many of the students (students) you will tutor will not be comfortable with
the subject you’ve excelled in. They may also be having difficulty with some of the
peripheral issues such as study or note-taking skills, time management, and
organizational skills. Others may have hit academic “snags” because they are facing
personal challenges.

You are not expected to have the tools to solve all student troubles, but you can help
make students’ academic struggles more manageable. You know your subject area—at
least well enough to begin tutoring. Continue to expand your knowledge in your
subject area by doing some personal “professional development.”
As you work with students, act professionally and show respect for the students who
come to you with bruised academic egos.

We look forward to having you as part of The Tutoring center tutoring staff and offer
our support during your tenure as a tutor.


Marilu D. Couch
Coordinator of Tutoring Services

Tutoring Manual - last update: February 25, 2011

The Tutoring Center is located in Zell Miller Hall – Room 122

Coordinator:                        Marilu D. Couch
                                    ZMH 122
                                    (478) 387-4959
                                    (478) 456-2323 (cell)

Tutoring Manual - last update: February 25, 2011

       Participate in orientation and training.
       Participate in all tutor training sessions and CRLA tutor certification.

   Daily Operations:
       As soon possible, report absences or temporary schedule changes to
       Check email daily.
       Maintain personal (electronic) timesheet. No later than the 15th of
       each month, sign and print your timesheet and put it in the folder
       provided by the Tutor Supervisor. Time sheets must have signature
       and employee ID #. Failure to turn timesheets in on the 15th may
       result in your check being delayed by an entire month.
                  Falsifying of time sheet could result in immediate
       Welcome/greet students as they enter the tutoring center. Identify
       yourself as a tutor and the subject that you tutor.- log the student into
       tutor trac
       Assist in enforcement of Tutoring Center rules in order to provide
       students an environment conducive to learning:
          o Sign in/out of Tutor Trac
          o Keep Noise to a minimum
          o No cell phones.
          o No food or drink – (other than bottled water)
          o No non-academic Internet surfing.
          o Printing page-limit of 8 pages

       Tutor students according to best-practices techniques.
       Do not complete or take control of students’ assignments.
       Always be respectful of faculty members and the college. If students
       begin voicing concerns about faculty members, let students know
       that you are not able to address such concerns, and suggest that
       students address their concerns directly with the faculty member.
       Maintain confidentiality about the students you tutor.

Tutoring Manual - last update: February 25, 2011

   Yes, to be hired, all tutors are required to have

          A or B in courses for the subjects to be tutored
          Two letters of recommendation
          Complete all hiring requirements by Human Resource
          Sign tutoring contract at beginning of each quarter
          All tutoring center employees are hired as part-time - limit of 19
          hours per week.

  Yes, there are training sessions. These sessions address topics that
  facilitate tutor and student success.


   Contact Information

       See contact information on page 2.

   Tutoring Location

       All tutoring must be completed in The Tutoring center or in the study
       areas in the atrium. Tutors may also be assigned to the Ruark Athletic
       Building or Baugh Barracks. For safety and liability reasons, tutors
       are not allowed to meet with students in other locations.

   Scheduling and Absences/Emergencies

       See “The Tutor’s Job” on pages 3-4.

Tutoring Manual - last update: February 25, 2011
   Breaks, Food, Drink

       GMC policy prohibits food or drink (other than bottled water) in
       classrooms in The Tutoring center. Tutors should plan breaks for
       food or meals outside of their tutoring hours or sit out in the atrium.

   Institutional Support

       Tutors’ attitudes toward GMC and its students, administration, staff,
       and faculty should be positive, and that positive attitude should be
       reflected in tutors’ conversations with students. If students voice
       disgruntlement about instructors, courses, or the school, tutors
       should encourage students to voice their concerns to their instructors,
       and then tutors should try to refocus students on the academic
       concerns for which they are visiting The Tutoring center.


   The ultimate purpose of tutoring is to create independent learners.
   Tutors should, essentially, work themselves out of a job—at least with
   individual students.

Tutoring Manual - last update: February 25, 2011

   Interpersonal Skills

       Timid tutors inspire timid students. Good tutors like people, not
       simply the subjects they tutor. Good tutors relate to a variety of
       people and can adapt to differences in students’ personalities. An
       especially important quality is the ability to calm disgruntled or
       frustrated students since learning cannot begin while frustration


       How tutors feel about students greatly affects the tutor-student
       relationship and the success of each tutoring session. Tutors should
       show concern for students both as individuals and as students.
       Caring about students’ personal and academic success lays the
       groundwork for tutor-student success. (What makes a quality home


       Casual professional attire is expected of all tutors.


       Do you know everything you need to know about your subject?
       Probably not. Can you learn everything you need to know about
       your subject? Probably not. Will you be able to answer every
       question when it is asked? Probably not. The truth is that you never
       know what you know until you teach it. If you cannot answer a
       question, don’t “fake it.” Simply tell the student that you aren’t sure,
       then work together to find the answer using the resources available
       to you: texts, resource books in The Tutoring center, instructors,
       GMC e-library resources, the Internet.

Tutoring Manual - last update: February 25, 2011

       Tutors cannot expect students to be enthusiastic about a troubling
       subject unless the tutors themselves are enthusiastic. Put some life
       into the tutoring experience by demonstrating and expressing
       enthusiasm. When students come to you for assistance on a literary
       analysis, share with them how and why you enjoyed doing such


       Tutors are professional representatives of GMC. Even though you
       want to find a way to identify with or relate to students, “resist the
       temptation to criticize the school, the faculty, or other students”
       (Cincinnati YOUTH Collaborative)


       Although emergencies do occasionally arise and exceptions can be
       made at such times, the consistent presence of tutors is necessary for
       student success. When tutors are not present during published
       tutoring hours or when tutors fail to meet students for appointments,
       students suffer, and the reputations of tutors and The Tutoring center
       suffer. Being dependable inspires confidence in you and the
       institution you represent. (Cincinnati Youth Collaborative)

Tutoring Manual - last update: February 25, 2011

   Greet students immediately. Many students will be timid. Whether
   students visit The Tutoring center for your help or for help from another
   tutor, greet students, ask how you may help them, and direct them to
   the appropriate tutor.

   Smile. Doing so will relax, not only the students, but you, as well. If
   you are all relaxed, focusing on your work will be easier—and you will
   enjoy your tutoring time even more.

   Get to know students. We are not simply in the business of tutoring.
   We are in the business of helping students, students who have families,
   jobs, dreams, hobbies, and struggles. Before beginning the business of
   tutoring, first get to know students as human beings. Establishing a
   rapport with students will increase the chance that they will return and,
   therefore, increase the change of their academic success.

   Ask students what they need help with. Try to get students to
   pinpoint specifics. If their response is something general like “math
   homework,” ask them what part of their homework is troubling them.
   While tutors might feel compelled to sit and help students with entire
   assignments or large projects, doing so is a great disservice to both the
   student being helped and other students that will need assistance. Tutor
   regarding specific parts of assignments after students have identified a
   specific need.

   Set goals. Work with students to set short-term goals for at the
   beginning of each tutoring session and long-term goals for future
   tutoring sessions.

Tutoring Manual - last update: February 25, 2011
   Be patient. Sometimes tutoring is a last resort for students and, in such
   cases; students may bring frustrations with them to tutoring sessions.
   Avoid letting the students’ frustration become the tutor’s frustration.
   Keep in mind that you are tutoring subjects in which you have
   succeeded and that many students come for tutoring because they are
   fearful of failure. Tutors’ patience is instrumental in making a tutoring
   session go smoothly and in maintaining students’ comfort levels.

   Have a solid work session. Stay focused on the task at hand. Be
   conscious of drifting off track; keep yourself and your student working
   toward a successful tutoring/learning session.

   Leave pencils/pens in the hands of students. Never put marks on
   students’ work (unless student prints a copy for you to make notes
   on)—keep the responsibility and the sense of accomplishment for their
   work in their hands.

   Ask probing questions. While questions like “Do you understand?”
   expedites the tutoring process, they do not reveal much. Asking “How
   did you arrive at your answer?” requires students to reinforce their own
   learning as they verbalize what they know.

   Listen. After asking questions, wait, wait, and wait for a response. The
   quiet may make tutors and students a bit uneasy, but tutors should be
   patient so that students have time to think through the answers to

   Watch body language. Often what students do or don’t do will say
   more than their words.

Tutoring Manual - last update: February 25, 2011

       To receive training that will increase your ability to be effective

       To receive and to give respect regardless of ethnic, gender, race, or
       age differences.

       To serve as a tutor—not as an instructor, to be comfortable admitting
       that you don’t know something, but that you will find an answer.

       To have students come to each tutoring session with
       o a positive attitude toward improving their academic skills
       o all materials necessary to a successful tutoring session
       o specific goals for each tutoring session

   Adapted from the The Master Tutor, Dr. Ross B. MacDonald.

Tutoring Manual - last update: February 25, 2011

   Help students accept failure as part of the learning process. Remind
   them that quizzes and tests represent only a portion of what is learned
   in college and that failure on one quiz or test does not indicate that they
   will never be successful with a particular subject. Help students
   understand that in life, we generally value learning from our mistakes.
   Believe and help students believe that failing a test does not define them
   as failures! (Race and Brown, 114-115)


   There are many learning style/learner preference inventories available
   on the Internet. Tutors should complete a learning style inventory
   before beginning tutoring so that they can be aware of the way they
   learn best, especially since those who teach usually teach to their own
   learning styles. VARK, A Guide to Learning Styles, identifies four learning
   styles: visual, aural, read-write, kinesthetic and provides
   teaching/learning approaches for each of these four learner preferences.
   Some students discover that they prefer one learner style, while others
   fall in to multiple categories. Having students complete a learning
   styles inventory can provide a starting place for successful tutoring if
   tutors are familiar with the approaches that work for specific learner
   preferences. At the VARK website students can print help sheets that
   offer learning strategies for their particular learner preferences.

Tutoring Manual - last update: February 25, 2011

       Make a first great impression by making every first tutoring session
       interesting (Wlodowski, 1998).

       Create learning/tutoring sessions that enable students to leave with a
       particular skill that can be practiced before returning to the next
       learning/tutoring session (Vella, 2002).

       Make students partners in the learning experience by discussing with
       them what they feel their needs are and tailor tutoring sessions as
       closely as possible to those needs (Wlodkowski, 1998).

       Make each tutoring session a safe learning environment by making
       your qualifications clear to students (Vella, 2002), creating clear goals
       for the tutoring session (Wlodkowski, 1998), demonstrating how the
       tutoring session contributes to student’s overall goals for the course
       (Vella, 2002), and by employing a sequence of learning activities that
       gradually increase in difficulty.

       Encourage students to exercise control over their learning
       experiences by having students decide which concepts are most
       important to cover in a particular tutoring session and by explaining
       why those concepts are the most important (Vella, 2002; Wlodkowski,

       Nurture students’ sense of competence by utilizing strategies that
       ensure educational success: providing quality instruction,
       demonstrating that effort matters, and providing continued feedback
       (Wlodkowski, 1998).

       Discuss and, whenever possible, demonstrate the amount and quality
       of effort required to be successful in individual assignments
       (Wlodkowski, 1998).

Tutoring Manual - last update: February 25, 2011
       Give prompt and frequent feedback throughout the tutoring session,
       particularly positive reinforcement (Wlodkowski, 1998).

       Include changes in instructional method in each tutoring session
       (Wlodkowski, 1998).

       Employ disequilibrium: “new topics, unusual [approaches],
       unfamiliar insights, surprising research, and unique skills”
       (Wlodkowski 1998, p. 107).

       Include reflection as part of the tutoring process so that skills are not
       just practiced, but are considered in relation to broader concepts
       (Vella, 2002; Brookfields, 1986).
Ideas for motivating adult learners from unpublished paper, Judy Ann Parks, June 2006.

Tutoring Manual - last update: February 25, 2011

       Create a relaxed learning environment.

       Ask about their lives outside academia.

       Turn their life experiences into teaching tools.

       Give feedback—positive feedback, often!

       Help them find their preferred learning style(s). Then tailor tutoring
       to that learning style, and help learners develop study strategies that
       match their preferred learning styles.

       Maximize on their desire to learn for learning’s sake, their solid work
       ethics, and their commitment to excellence.

       Help soothe their insecurities by reminding them that because non-
       traditional students have considerable life experience and are
       dedicated to learning, they can be even more successful than
       traditional students. In fact, traditional students will often turn to
       non-traditional students for answers, not just about life, but also
       about subject matter and study habits.

Adapted from “Helping Adult Students Succeed” by Lee Noel in Recruitment and
Retention, Dec. 1993.

Tutoring Manual - last update: February 25, 2011

       Structured tutoring sessions are the most effective (Brandwein, 85).

       Training helps tutors make a greater impact (MacDonald, 91).

       Group tutoring requires considerable preparation and includes
       special challenges, but creates opportunities for students to learn
       from each other (MacDonald, 91).

       Underprepared students benefit greatly from attending weekly
       tutoring sessions (Maxwell, 79).

       Tutoring offers a feeling of support to new, struggling students, not
       just in relation to academics, but also in relation to college life in
       general (Burton, 86).

       The benefits of the tutoring process include social, cognitive, self-
       esteem, and motivational benefits—for both students and tutors
       (Cloward, 67).

       Tutoring can be done in two ways: questioning and explaining. And
       not just tutors, but students as well, can do both (MacDonald, 95).

       Tutoring has a positive impact on student retention (Vincent, 83).

Tutoring Manual - last update: February 25, 2011

       Flash cards. Because students have incredible demands on their
       time, using flash cards is an easy way to squeeze studying in as they
       are walking to and from classes, waiting for class to begin, standing
       in line in the cafeteria, etc.

       A bit at a time. Help students break larger assignments into smaller,
       more manageable segments. For instance, for a research paper that is
       due at the end of a term, schedule “research checks” for every week
       for the first part of the term and “page checks” for every week of the
       last part of the term. Help students avoid doing-it-the-night-before

       Audio reviews. For students who are auditory learners, taping
       lectures or recording summaries of their own reading may be a more
       efficient and successful way to study.

       Daylight “savings” time. Encourage student athletes to maximize
       available daylight hours for their study time so that they can save
       evenings for a bit of fun.

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       Understand them. GMC athletes have multiple, and sometimes
       conflicting, demands. Most of them are students, athletes, and
       cadets—all at once, and they can lose focus if they respond to
       whichever role “yells loudest.” Getting help from tutors is often the
       one-thing-too-many that end up going by the wayside. The Tutoring
       center offers tutoring specifically for athletes in the athletic building,
       but all tutors need to know how to relate to this group of students.
       Show them you care by asking about their lives.

       Provide structure. Create a routine for their tutoring session, and
       follow that routine consistently. Athletes are accustomed to
       scheduled workouts, practices, and games and tutors can help
       athletes relate this previous time management capability to tutoring
       and to academics.

       Provide feedback—and soon! Athletes see the immediate results of
       a good play or a bad one, whether they or in practice or in a game, so
       providing immediate feedback is important to them. Show them the
       connection between study and success. When they come to tutoring
       prepare, compliment them. If they come unprepared, relate the
       consequences of not studying to some element of athletics. In other
       words, get them where they live! Each bit of encouragement builds
       motivation and increased effort.

       Relate the subject to something real. Whether you relate the
       subject to the sport the athlete plays or to another interest they have,
       presented the subject in terms they can understand. Doing so will
       provide increased motivation and understanding.

       Complete the loop! After athletic competitions, coaches and athletes
       review their performance. They look at good plays and bad plays
       and evaluate what created the outcome for each. At the end of each
       tutoring session always have the athlete review or summarize the
Tutoring Manual - last update: February 25, 2011
       material covered and to assess/evaluate his/her grasp of the material.
       Begin the subsequent tutoring session with a summary and
       evaluation of the previous session and of the athlete’s work between
       the two sessions.

       Have fun! If you are bored, the athletes will be too. If they have fun,
       they will return.

*Adapted from “Student-Athletes and Time Management for Studying” by James

Tutoring Manual - last update: February 25, 2011

Brookfield, S. D. (1986). Understanding and facilitating adult learning. San
      Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Cohen, J. (1986). Theoretical considerations of peer tutoring. Psychology in
      the Schools, 23(2).
Cloward, R. (1967). Studies in tutoring. Journal of Experimental Education,
      36, 1, 14-25.
MacDonald, R. (2001). The master tutor. Williamsville, NY: Cambridge
Maxwell, M. (1990). Does tutoring help? A look at the literature. Review
      of Research in Developmental Education, (7)4. Boone, NC: National
      Center for Developmental Education.
Noel, Lee. (1993). Helping Adult Students Succeed. Recruitment and
Parks, J. A. (2006). Motivating the adult learner. Unpublished manuscript.
Qualities of a good tutor. Retrieved April 10, 2007, from Cincinnati YOUTH
      Collaborative Web site: http://www.cycyouth.org/main.php?pgID=19
Vella, J. (2002). Learning to listen, learning to teach: The power of dialogue in
      educating adults. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
What makes a quality home tutor? Retrieved April 30, 2007, from Why Hire
      a Tutor? Web site http://www.whyhireatutor.com/
Wlodkowski, R. J. (1998). Strategies to enhance adult motivation to
      learning. Adult learning methods. Malabar, FL: Krieger Publishing

Tutoring Manual - last update: February 25, 2011