Module Descriptions of A Look at Productive Tutoring Techniques

Click on the module number below to see a 1 - 2 minute sample. Within each module are several topics, and there are several examples from different tutoring sessions within each topic. A User's Guide accompanies the series.


Module / (Length) Title Description
The Tutor's Role An overview of the the tutor's main roles as a helper, a peer learner, a teacher, and a Tutorial Center employee.
Positive Reinforcement Examples of verbal and nonverbal positive reinforcement.  How to use positive reinforcement effectively.  Use of qualified positive reinforcement.
Listening Skills Examples of patience and active listening skills shown by good tutors.  Tutors shown waiting for students to ask questions and waiting for responses after asking questions.
The Student's Ideas Emphasizes the importance of building on the student's own ideas. Strategies include:  encouraging and acknowledging student ideas, yielding to student ideas, active listening by paraphrasing ideas, redirecting student questions, and delayed positive reinforcement.
Importance of Student Verbalization Demonstrates the importance of student verbalization for both student and tutor.  Advantages cited include giving the tutoring session a conversational quality, clarifying thinking, increasing the number of student questions, helping the tutor diagnose the learning difficulty, improving student confidence, and helping students answer their own questions.
Questioning Skills Use of questions for both diagnosis and teaching.  Questions classified as closed- or open-ended and by the first three levels of Bloom's taxonomy of the cognitive domain (memory, comprehension, and application).  Use of Socratic questioning to lead students to correct concepts and procedures.
Helping the Student Become an Independent Learner An emphasis on the long-term goal of tutoring--improving study skills so that the student becomes self-sufficient.  Strategies highlighted include: letting the student do the work; offering study tips, problem solving strategies, and test-taking strategies; referring to the text and notes; and encouraging the use of other campus study resources.  In addition, high structure and low structure tutoring sessions are contrasted.
Direct Techniques Traditional techniques used when students need more structure. Topics include: giving feedback, correcting errors, pacing explanations so that students can participate, including questions with explanations, using visuals and real life examples, and summarizing key points.