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Peer Tutor Guide

The 10 Steps of Tutoring

The 10 Steps of Tutoring

Step 1: Greeting and Climate Setting

  • Greet the student by name.
  • Be warm and friendly, setting a positive tone with eye contact and a smile.
  • Arrange seating to facilitate interaction between you and the tutee.

Your goal is to set the session up for success.

Step 2: Identify the Task

  • Encourage the tutee to initiate and identify the focus of the session.
  • Follow up with questions to clarify the tutee’s main concerns.
  • Restate what the tutee wishes to work on so that the purpose is clear.

By keeping the tutee involved in the organization of the session, they are in charge of the learning that will take place. It also continues to foster their independence.

Step 3: Breaking the Task into Parts

  • Provide an opportunity for the tutee to break the task into manageable pieces.
  • Restate the steps the tutee suggests.

This approach reinforces the idea that the task requires distinct pieces to accomplish and suggests there is a sequence to accomplishing them.

Step 4: Identify the Underlying Thought Processes

  • Have the tutee clarify the problem solving approach learned in class.
  • Help the tutee discover how to approach learning the type of task with which he/she is having difficulties.
  • Help the tutee understand/use information sources like textbooks, handouts, notes, etc.

This is a very important step in the tutoring process. It helps the tutee develop a learning strategy for problems of this type and it gives them practice applying their strategy.

Step 5: Setting an Agenda

  • Discuss with the tutee the amount of time necessary to complete each part of their task.

In a drop-in center the agenda is a flexible one since you must circulate around the room helping all students. This step helps to keep the student on task while they are in the center.

Step 6: Addressing the Tasks

  • Encourage the tutee to do most of the talking and writing.
  • Use appropriate responses but do not interrupt the tutee’s thinking.
  • Ask leading questions of the tutee and allow for sufficient response time.

It is at this step that you conduct the tutoring session and help the tutee learn the information. Remember that you are not the sole source of information. The course resources should also be utilized to help the tutee become proficient in using them.

Step 7: Tutee Summary of Content

  • Give the tutee the opportunity to summarize what they just learned. (“Ok, let’s review. What did we just do?”)
  • Wait for the tutee to finish his or her explanation before you interrupt or correct them.
  • Use this summary to determine if the tutee really understands what was just discussed.
  • If necessary return to addressing the task to clarify any misconceptions.

Having the tutee summarize what they just learned allows them to convert the information from short-term memory to long-term memory. Once in long-term memory the tutee can begin to recall the information independent of tutoring.

Step 8: Tutee Summary of Underlying Thought Process

  • Have the tutee summarize the process of addressing this type of task.

This step is the companion to step 4 and it’s necessary to have the tutee summarize the thought process as they understand it. Often you must act to make this step happen.

Step 9: Confirmation and Feedback

  • Confirm that the summaries of both content and thought process are correct.
  • Offer positive reinforcement and confirm that the tutee understands or has improved.

This reassures the tutee that they can now do similar work independently and be successful.

Step 10: Closing and Goodbye

  • End session on a positive note.
  • Thank the tutee for their specific contributions toward the success of the session.

Ending on a positive note encourages the tutee to continue to seek tutorial assistance. This continued assistance will lead to the tutee’s academic independence, the ultimate tutorial goal.