The Vital Role of Training in a Peer Tutoring Program


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At LaGuardia, Academic Peer Instruction (API) has been in place for over 18 years. During this time we have demonstrated that students who participate, achieve on the average ½ to one letter grade higher than those who do not.
Tutor training is one of the most essential factors that contribute to a peer tutoring program’s success. We have learned that if tutors are not extensively trained, they will often become “second teachers,” lecturing to their students, rather than coaches or facilitators who encourage their students to become active learners.
This presentation will focus on the “nuts and bolts” of our tutor training program. We will show through actual training syllabi and lesson plans how our training program is designed to mimic what and how we want our peer tutors to design and carry out their own sessions.

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The Vital Role of Training in a Peer Tutoring Program

  1. 1. The Vital Role of Training in a Peer Tutoring ProgramSI Mini-Conference at Lehman College, Bronx, NY. October 7, 2011<br />Presenters: <br />Joyce Zaritsky, Program Director<br />AndiToce, Program Assistant <br />Supplemental Instruction <br />at LaGuardia Community College <br />
  2. 2. 2<br />Statistics 1993-2010<br />Total Number of Students = 10,475 or 42.53% of the students<br />enrolled in those classes<br />
  3. 3. 3<br />Summary of Impact 1993-2010<br /><ul><li>Students who attended the SI sessions three or more time during the semester achieved an average of 1.01 (one letter grade) higher than the students who didn’t.
  4. 4. End of semester surveys show that 89% of the participating students rated the SI sessions as “Very Good” or “Excellent.”
  5. 5. Several former students/tutors now faculty
  6. 6. Former tutors admitted to “top” 4 year colleges,</li></ul>e.g. Georgetown, Mt. Holyoke Swarthmore, Cornell, Smith, Columbia, NYU and others.<br />
  7. 7. How much time for training?<br />Two full days prior to each semester and 1 ½ hours every week during the semester to provide continuity and help tutors share their concerns, problems as well as their successes.<br />Personal – tutors are observed at least once per semester by each one of us. This observation is followed up by a one-to-one conversation regarding their strengths and weaknesses.<br />Tutors observe each other once per semester following the same outline we do – a 20-30 minute observation followed by a 20-30 minute one-to-one discussion.<br />
  8. 8. Why Training?<br />Untrained students will not automatically become good tutors. Being a good student is not enough. Training is essential.<br />Students who lack proper training will tend to “teach as they were taught.” Stand in front of the room and lecture. Students will get “more of the same” – another lecture- and will not get to practice what they have learned.<br />
  9. 9. Principles of Training<br />Training is designed to replicate actual tutoring sessions, incorporating principles of active learning, problem solving and collaborative learning. <br />Active learning and problem solving as a positive approach to learning (Bruner, Piaget, and Freire)<br />Collaborative learning - promotes active learning. <br />Levels of questioning (Bloom’s Taxonomy).<br />
  10. 10. Principles of Training (2)<br /> Pre-semester – 2 days of training teaching students the principles of SI using inductive learning, DVDs and group problem solving. (see syllabus) <br />During the semester, small groups of students provide training. (see semester syllabi)<br />
  11. 11. Nitty Gritty of Our Training<br />Sample syllabi reviewed: <br /><ul><li>Fall 2011 pre-semester syllabus
  12. 12. Spring 2011 pre-semester syllabus
  13. 13. Fall 2011 syllabus </li></ul>Sample DVD<br />Sample activities<br />
  14. 14. References<br /> See attached page<br />