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Table of Contents preparing I.

Preparing to Tutor Tutor’s Code of Ethics..................................................................................................3 Ethical Standards & Procedures....................................................................................4 Position Expectations & Guidelines.............................................................................6 Additional Information & Guidelines..........................................................................8 Procedures & Guidelines for Tutors............................................................................10 Completing Your Web Timesheet...............................................................................14

forms II. Forms Request for Services Form..........................................................................................17 Tutoring Appointment Record...................................................................................18 Group Tutorial Sign-in Sheet......................................................................................19 Tutor Intake Form......................................................................................................20 Tutor Log...................................................................................................................21 Tutor Incident Report................................................................................................22

training III. Training Level I Certification Requirements.............................................................................25


Table of Contents Level I Certification Requirements: Certification Checklist........................................27 Tutor Observation Sheet............................................................................................28 Tutor Observation Form............................................................................................30

the session IV. The Tutoring Session “The Tutoring Cycle”- A Model for Success................................................................35 Some Do’s and Don’ts of Tutoring..............................................................................36 A Guide to Tutoring in the ALC................................................................................37 The Role of the Tutor.................................................................................................39 Your First Tutoring Session.........................................................................................41 Planning for the Tutoring Session...............................................................................43

aids V. Study/Learning Aids Learning Styles Inventory...........................................................................................47 Self-assessment of Modality Strengths........................................................................51 Characteristics of Learning Styles...............................................................................53 Suggested Aids for Learning Modalities......................................................................54 A Checklist for Problem Solving.................................................................................55 Strategies....................................................................................................................57

communication VI. Communication Skills for Effective Tutoring How to Ask Good Questions: Probing Techniques.....................................................69 ii

Table of Contents Language of Encouragement......................................................................................70 Attending Skills: The SOLAR Approach....................................................................71 Guidelines for Effective Communication...................................................................72 Reflective Listening....................................................................................................73 Common Roadblocks to Communication..................................................................74 Guidelines for Giving Feedback.................................................................................75 Using “I� Messages: Constructive Confrontation.......................................................76

groups VII. Groups Techniques for Group Tutoring..................................................................................81 Facilitation Skills and Techniques...............................................................................82

special VIII. Special Populations Accommodating Students with Disabilities................................................................87 Disability Specific Accommodations...........................................................................88 Characteristics of Students with Learning Disabilities.................................................96 Now, Watch Your Language!.......................................................................................97 Suggestions for Tutoring Students from Other Cultures.............................................98 Higher Education in the US.......................................................................................99 Culture Shock & Cultural Adjustment.....................................................................101 Categories of Non-verbal Communication...............................................................104 Cultural Values.........................................................................................................105 Barriers to Effective Cross-cultural Communication.................................................108 iii

Table of Contents American English vs. British English........................................................................109 Stages of Culture Shock............................................................................................111 The U-Shaped Adjustment Curve.............................................................................112

evaluating IX. Evaluation Tools Personal Checklist of Tutoring Skills.........................................................................115 Student Evaluation Form of ALC Tutors..................................................................117

resources X. Resources ALC Resources.........................................................................................................121 Staff Resource Materials...........................................................................................122


I. Preparing to Tutor

p r epa ri ng 1

National Association of Tutorial Services:

Tutors’ Code of Ethics 1. Subject proficiency and knowledgeability have top priority in my task as a tutor. 2. My major motivation is building the student’s self-confidence. 3. My student deserves and will receive my total attention. 4. The language my student and I share must be mutually understandable at all times. 5. I must be able to admit my own weakness and will seek assistance whenever I need it. 6. Respect for my student’s personal dignity means that I must accept that individual without judgment. 7. My student will constantly be encouraged but never insulted by false hope or empty flattery. 8. I will strive for a mutual relationship of openness and honesty as I tutor. 9. I will not use a tutoring situation to proselytize my personal belief system. 10. Both the student and I will always understand my role is never to do the student’s work. 11. I count on my student to also be my tutor and teach me to always do a better job. 12. I will do my best to be punctual and keep appointments, not only out of courtesy but, also, as an example for my student to follow. 13. I will maintain records, lesson plans, and progress data as expected and required. 14. I will do my best to stay abreast of the current literature about my tutoring as it relates to my work. 15. Good tutoring enables my student to transfer learning from one situation to another. 16. Making learning real for the student is what tutoring means, and is an important part of my goal. 17. My ultimate goal is my student’s independence. ________•________


A Guide for ALC Tutors

Ethical Standards and Procedures 1. “Too much vs. the right amount of help” Promoting independent learning and self-reliance among tutees is one of your primary goals. If you believe a student is seeking “too much” help from you, pressuring you to give more information than you believe you should, or directly involving you in cheating on graded classroom assignments, you have a number of options: a. You can declare a “time-out” and inform the tutee that you need to consult with your supervisor. b. Depending upon the nature and severity of the situation, you could elect to confront the student and discuss your concerns. You could create a “teachable” moment. c. You could simply consult with your supervisor without informing the student. 2. “Academic Integrity…one’s work is one’s own” As a tutor, your role is to promote academic integrity. Should you become aware of academic dishonesty with a student or group of students with whom you are working, you will need to discuss the situation with your supervisor. Some examples of academic dishonesty that may involve tutors are: a. A student has a tutor help with or complete graded homework assignments, takehome exams, program projects or group projects. Should you become aware that a student or students have cheated after the fact, please discuss the situation with your supervisor. b. A tutor becomes aware that a student with whom he/she is working has paraphrased and/or quoted material in a paper without properly documenting the source (plagiarism). c. A student asks the tutor to share past test answers without the permission of the instructor. 3. “Maintaining Confidentiality” As a tutor, our clients are the students and faculty members. However, we want to protect the tutor/tutee relationship and, therefore, ask that you not mention a student’s name to a faculty member when you are discussing the class or your tutoring session. Please speak in general terms when talking with an instructor. For instance, you might say, “One individual is having difficulty with_________.” You may ask the student for permission to discuss his/her academic progress with the instructor. Without this permission, you should only discuss individuals by name with your supervisor.


A Guide for ALC Tutors

Ethical Standards and Procedures 4. “Avoid Conflict of Interest Situations” We would consider it a conflict of interest for you to serve as an ALC tutor and accept private tutoring payments from UB students. Should you wish to privately tutor UB students, please resign from your position at the ALC. 5. “Accurate Record Keeping” It can be challenging as a tutor to make sure that all of the “attendance records” you submit are accurate. Please understand that the attendance record, completed in the student’s handwriting, serves as an official record. These records need to be accurately completed by the student(s) and verified by you. Tutors who are tutoring over the web may complete the form for the students and then initial the form. Your initials on the Attendance Record indicate to us that you are confident that the information, including the length of the session, is accurate. ________•________


Position Expectations & Guidelines 1. Promote the ALC’s mission and goals. a. Help students make academic progress. b. Help students improve their self-concept and sense of independence. c. Identify areas of concern with tutees and make appropriate referrals. 2. Seek to establish a rapport with the students that you tutor. Demonstrate concern for, and interest in, your tutees. Your actions in this area can have a very positive effect on the learning process. 3. Discuss with each student how he or she learns best. 4. Discuss with each student how the course material relates to academic, career, or life goals. 5. Establish expectations and guidelines for your tutee(s). a. Fully discuss the responsibilities of both tutors and students as stated on the Request for Services form. b. Make time limits for tutoring sessions clear to the tutee (i.e. the session may be limited to 50 minutes). Emphasize our no-show policy. c. At the beginning of each session, discuss the tutee’s needs and discuss which goals you will work on while fully utilizing The Tutoring Cycle. 6. Use The Tutoring Cycle as a means to address the ALC’s mission and goals. 7. Be sensitive to emotional or psychological problems that may be affecting your tutee’s performance. 8. Be familiar with the ALC and other University resources. Serve as a resource agent for students. 9. Promote ALC services and programs among your peers and, whenever possible, among faculty members. 10. Establish contact with the course instructor. Introduce yourself to the instructor and the entire class once each pay period the first two weeks of class. Continue to contact the instructor twice per month throughout the semester to obtain information that might be useful to you during the tutoring sessions. 11. Please remember that your role is to serve as a peer tutor and not an instructor. Your job is to support the faculty member, not to be a replacement. 12. Maintain a professional attitude and understand that you represent the Coordinator of Tutoring and the entire ALC staff when you work with students, faculty and staff.


Position Expectations & Guidelines 13. If you are uncertain or do not know the answer to a question, be willing to say, “I don’t know,” and refer the student to someone who can answer the question or tell the student that you will seek-out the answer. 14. Be on time for each tutoring session. 15. Meet in a designated tutoring location or in a public place. Do not meet in your home or in the home of your tutee. Should you need classroom space, contact your supervisor. 16. Maintain your knowledge level in the courses that you tutor. 17. Promote effective teaching practices. a. At the end of each session, ask the student to briefly summarize what he/she has learned. Ask if there are any remaining questions. Plan when you will meet again. b. Sit side by side, not across, from each other. Sharing materials is easier and you will establish a friendlier atmosphere. c. Employ active listening skills. *Wait for responses to your questions-do not jump in or interrupt. d. Ask questions which stimulate thinking. Actively involve students in the learning process. e. Keep the pen or pencil in the tutee’s hand as much as possible. The less work you do for the student the better. Encourage students to work independently by asking questions, listening to the student, and not lecturing. f. Try to teach general principles with carry-over value, not simply stopgap answers. g. Give positive, as well as constructive, feedback. h. Be creative in your tutoring. Look for ways to motivate students and involve them in the activity. i. Be patient. j. Don’t make comments about what grade a piece of work is likely to receive. 18. Complete an Incident Report when necessary. 19. Actively participate in staff training sessions and meetings. 20. Complete a self-assessment evaluation once per year and collect evaluations from your tutees as requested by your supervisor. 21. Communicate changes in your job status, address, e-mail or phone number immediately to your supervisor. ________•________


Additional Information & Guidelines 1. Contact with Faculty All tutors are required to contact faculty members every TWO WEEKS for the courses they have been authorized to tutor. We would prefer that you meet face to face with faculty but understand that this may not always be possible, especially if you are tutoring a number of courses. This means that if you are listed as a tutor for Financial Accounting, you need to contact ALL FACULTY who teach this course. Contact may be made in person, over the phone, or through e-mail. If there are 3 sections of this course, it is your responsibility to be in touch with each faculty member. Your contact may take the form of an individual or a group e-mail to the faculty members. After contact, your supervisor needs to receive, with every timesheet you enter in PeopleSoft, documentation of your contact using the Tutor Log. For each faculty member that you contact every two weeks and actually spend 15 minutes with, you may receive up to 15 min. pay. We need to receive this documentation of contact every time you turn in your timesheet. If we do not receive your documentation, your timesheet and pay will be delayed. The purpose of your contact with faculty is to: • Promote your availability to all students If you contact only one of the faculty members teaching the course, students in the other sections are at a great disadvantage. YOU are our MOST effective means of promoting our free tutoring services. • Promote an open, ongoing exchange with faculty Your contact with faculty tells them that you are an actively involved ALC staff member and care about your job. (This is the message we want both faculty and students to receive.) We want you to talk with faculty to communicate this, and to seek information from faculty that may help you in your job. You should be asking faculty if there is anything going on in class that might help you in your tutoring sessions, or if they are noticing a topic area that students are having difficulty with and that you, as a tutor, can focus upon. By maintaining open communication you should be aware of upcoming subject areas and graded homework assignments and exams so that you may assist students before their knowledge is tested. You are not, however, to discuss individual students receiving tutoring. 2. Please Check Your Staff Mailbox Twice Per Week 3. UB/Towson MBA program and your role as a tutor The University of Baltimore has established a joint MBA program with Towson University. Students can take courses at either campus and use any services on both campuses. There may be requests for tutoring from students taking their course(s) at Towson. If you have been approved to tutor their course, you may be contacted to provide tutoring. Tutoring must occur on campus (either UB or Towson). Since some of these requests may be from courses being taught at Towson, communication with the faculty may be difficult. Please 8

Additional Information & Guidelines coordinate with the coordinator of tutoring to advertise services for these students. 4. Payroll Timesheet submission, related Appointment Records, and Tutor Logs for tutors are due every other week according to the deadline specified by your supervisor. You are responsible for writing down the time you spend for preparation, staff meetings, training, and faculty contacts. Enter all of theses hours on your Web timesheet. Your supervisor must receive all forms by the designated time in order to approve your Web timesheet. If you submit records indicating that you conducted group tutorials, you must make the adjustments on the timesheet yourself and document them on the tutor log. 5. Tutor Confidentiality Policy Do not discuss a student, or his/her progress, with a faculty member unless the student has given you permission to do so. Even then, be careful to only share information that you believe the student would feel comfortable with. When discussing a student, imagine that he or she is standing right behind you. At the first tutoring session ask the tutee if you may discuss his/her progress wit the teacher. Make a personal written file note to yourself documenting any student who gives you permission. Let the student know that he/she does not have to give permission. It is entirely up to the student. However, it can be useful for you to discuss the student’s progress with the faculty member. Please refer to the Request for Services form for your responsibilities to students in this area effective (Sept. 2004.) 6. Learning Styles and Promoting “Real” Learning In a continuing effort to promote independent and “real” learning, be certain to complete the following with each new tutee. Review these items, too, with returning students. a. At your first session, discuss learning styles as modeled during your training. b. Discuss how the coursework you are tutoring relates to “real” life, i.e. the student’s academic, career, or life goals. c. Review Study/Learning skills that seem to make the most sense to each individual student. Utilize the handout from your manual on this subject as well as resource books in the ALC. d. Challenge students to: • Begin by attempting the problem or task if the student has not prepared ahead of time or if he/she simply needs assistance. • Pretend, at times, that they are the instructors and must teach you. • Test themselves on the topic or problem. • Do the work step by step using The Tutoring Cycle and you, the tutor, as a guide. Help teach students to be more successful at learning how to identify, collect, outline, process, apply, adapt, review, and critique information using The Tutoring Cycle.


Procedures & Guidelines for Tutors 1. Promotional Activities a. One of the roles of ALC tutors is to promote our office. Class visits, outreach tables, etc., help make UB students more aware of our services. These are also opportunities to earn a few extra hours. These must be documented as well in order for timesheet approval. use the Tutor Log to document Promotional activities. b. Ask the faculty member teaching the course if you can introduce yourself to the class within the first two weeks of the semester. If this is not possible, ask the faculty member to announce to the class that you will be tutoring and students can stop by the ALC, Room 113 of the Academic Center, for more information. c. Ask the faculty member for a copy of the text and syllabus (if you don’t have one) for the class. We do not have a budget for textbooks. We truly need the faculty members to order, if needed, another text from the publisher. d. Twice per month, meet with the faculty member who teaches the course(s) you are tutoring to learn if there is anything new you should know for your sessions. You will be paid for these meetings. Document this meeting on the Tutor Log. e. Promote group tutorials with students and faculty through e-mail and individual contact. 2. The Tutoring Referral Process a. Your contact information will be added to the database for each course you are authorized to tutor. The ALC will attempt to refer students who have had the same professor. b. Tutees will be referred to you through the ALC. If a potential tutee wants to make an appointment with you directly, refer him/her to the ALC first to fill out a request form. You will receive a copy of this request form in your staff mailbox. If you don’t hear from the student within two days, please call him/her. c. Students registered with Disability Services may choose to disclose that they have a disability. They are eligible for extra tutoring time (up to four hours a week per course). In order to receive this accommodation, students with a disability must present a ‘red’ card indicating they are registered with Disability Services. Other accommodations may be be needed and should be arranged between the ALC and the Disability Services office.


Procedures & Guidelines for Tutors 3. The Tutoring Session a. Have tutees fill out a Tutoring Appointment Record, available in the ALC above the tutor mailboxes, for each tutoring session, indicating your precise time in and out. Make sure they print their name and yours to ensure readability. Forms may also be downloaded from our ALC website (, click on “Tutoring” and “Tutor Resources”). Keep a supply of forms to give to tutees when meeting them outside the ALC. Appointment Records filled out by the tutor are not acceptable as records of tutoring time. Tutees should fill out these forms as an official record of the session. The Appointment Record must be turned in before your supervisor approves your timesheet. We will not be able to authorize payment for tutoring without receipt of the appropriate forms. Your timesheet must be completed and approved by your supervisor every two weeks in order to get paid. Timesheets should be completed by the deadline designated by your supervisor or earlier if requested. All supporting documentation (individual and group Appointment Records, Tutor Logs) must be turned in by the timesheet deadline. If you are uncertain of when your payroll information is due, check with your supervisor. b. Please make sure that tutees write in the names of the courses you tutored them in. If you tutored in Excel for example, have the student write the course in which he/she is using Excel. Keep in mind that the ALC can pay for tutoring only when a student is enrolled in a course designated for tutoring. Ask your tutees about their enrollment in specific courses. c. Do not agree to tutor a course that your supervisor has not authorized. Should you receive a request to tutor a course that is not on the list, send the student to the ALC to fill out a request form. If three or more students request a tutor for a particular course and/or the faculty member teaching the course requests a tutor, every effort will be made to provide tutoring. d. Go over the Tutor Intake form in detail and have the student complete all sections. Be certain to sign this form. Spend at least five to 10 minutes discussing expectations. e. Meet tutees at the designated time at the ALC or prearranged location. The ALC classroom space is available for your use. If you cannot keep a tutoring appointment for some reason, notify the tutee or the ALC as soon as possible and reschedule the appointment. If, for any reason, a tutee does not keep his/her appointment, report the missed appointment on the Appointment Record. You will be paid for 1/2 hour


Procedures & Guidelines for Tutors

past the scheduled start time. Please wait at least 1/2 hour for the student to arrive and write the time and “no show� on the Appointment Record. Tutees receiving two no-show warning letters may have their tutoring priviledges suspended.

g. If a tutee referred to you cannot meet you during ALC hours, you may arrange to meet at some other mutually convenient time and place (e.g. classrooms, library, study lounge). All tutoring must occur on campus. Tutors should not tutor in their homes or in the homes of their tutees, but, rather, in an academic setting. h. Be aware of the prerequisite course(s) and requirement(s) for the courses you tutor. Check with your tutee to ensure that they have had the prerequisite course(s). i. Help the Tutoring Program work effectively by maintaining confidentiality regarding information that you obtain from students and faculty. If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, feel free to discuss them with your supervisor. j. Keep in mind that we will pay you for 15 minutes of preparation time for individual tutoring appointments, and 30 min. preparation time for small group tutorials. In order to prepare effectively, please ask tutees what areas they want to work on when you make the appointment with them. Also, review Planning for the Tutoring Session and Your First Tutoring Session. Document this planning time on the Tutor Log. 4. Small Group Tutorials We define a group tutorial as two or more students. a. If you tutor two to six students in a small group, you receive time and half pay. Adjust the time when you fill in your timesheet and make a note on your Tutor Log about the adjustment (i.e. 2 hrs. group x 1.5 = 3hrs.). b. Should your group size exceed six students, speak with your supervisor. Generally, groups should not exceed six students because of the workload it could create and because it could alter the nature of the small group tutorial. c. Preparation time is not paid at time and half. However, if you need more than 30 minutes prep time for a group of three or more students, speak with your supervisor. 5. Effective Tutor Communication a. Check your UB e-mail daily to receive student messages. b. Check your UB e-mail twice per week to receive updates on payroll, meetings and tutor issues.


Procedures & Guidelines for Tutors c. Check your ALC staff mailbox at least twice per week for: • Copies of requests for tutoring (remember to call the student within 48 hours if you don’t hear from him or her) • Messages from other tutors • Tutee messages • Messages from your supervisor or other ALC staff d. Provide high-quality customer service by returning messages quickly. • Return voice-mail messages and e-mail messages within 24 hours. • After receiving a Request for Tutor form, call the student within two days if he or she hasn’t yet contacted you. e. Notify us immediately if your address or phone number changes or if you decide that you can no longer tutor. 6. Classroom Space If you need it, please request classroom space from your supervisor. It is helpful if you have a specific room in mind. Room in the ALC main office and ALC Annex can also be reserved for tutoring. Please do this through the front desk. 7. Evaluations Evaluations are conducted each semester. Three types of evaluations are used including an evaluation that is sent to all tutees, a self-evaluation, and a more detailed student evaluation. Evaluation results are shared with tutors. ________•________


Quick Directions for

Completing Your Web Timesheet Quick Directions for Completing Your Web Timesheet 1) Go to and click on the MyUB link in the upper left-hand corner of the screen 2) Sign-in using your username and password 3) On the left-hand side of the screen, click the Timesheet link 4) Enter in the pay period end date and click Search Note: for those of you who hold more than one position at UB, be careful to enter your hours on the appropriate contract/timesheet. You should have a timesheet for each position. 5) Enter the Start Time at the top of the screen Important: Use a zero before any single digit times and enter AM/PM (i.e. 01:00PM03:00PM) 6) Enter the End Time at the bottom of the screen 7) Click on Save Timesheet 8) The screen will refresh. Click the Elapsed Time link under the Save Timesheet button 9) A summary of your timesheet will appear. Click the box next to the Check when Timesheet is complete. 10) Click the Save Timesheet button Additional Information: 1. Timesheets must be completed every two weeks by the deadline established by your supervisor. 2. Your Appointment Records /Tutor Logs (which verify the hours you enter on your timesheet) and faculty contact e-mails are due in your supervisor’s office by the established deadline. 3. Occasionally, due to holidays, your timesheet and supporting documents will need to be completed early. We will warn you. 4. If you work hours after you turned in your timesheet for that particular pay period, enter these hours on your next timesheet using false dates. In order for me to understand this action, write the false date on the top of the original Appointment Record. 5. If you have worked group hours, you must adjust your timesheet to increase your pay (time and a half ) and document this on your Tutor Log. 6. Please do not hold back timesheets! 7. *Regular UB employees (full or part time)—your timesheet for tutoring is due on the same day as our regular payroll. However, your supporting documents are due on the day established by your supervisor. ________•________


II. Forms

form s 15

REGISTRATION FOR SERVICES I am requesting services for:

Writing Course-specific tutoring Learning & success strategies

I’d like to know more about (check all that apply): Balancing work, family and school Working in groups and teams Organizing ideas and information

Computer software Other

Reading efficiently Memory tips Goal-setting/motivation


Test-taking Learning styles & strategies Oral presentations

Student ID




Your e-mail

Check one: Freshman Sophomore Junior/Senior Graduate Law Other Transfer? Y / N (circle) Is English your first language?

Check one: US citizen Permanent resident International student (F-1 or J-1 visa) Other foreign national




Check one: Black/African-American Native American Asian/Pacific Islander Hispanic Caucasian Other


Check one: Female Male

If no, what is your first language? ________________

What is your major or program?

Our goal is for you to excel in your coursework and beyond. To get the most out of our services, please read these expectations:

Our Role

Your Role


• We cater each session to your learning style and learning goals. • We work with you to identify goals, employ your strengths, and use resources. • We answer questions about concepts and underlying principles. • We explain or demonstrate useful strategies, processes, and approaches.

• You bring specific goals or questions along with your assignment instructions, textbook, or other relevant material. • You attend class as usual; tutoring cannot substitute for class attendance. • For assignment-related services, you attempt the work before your appointment.

• If you haven’t completed the course prerequisites, we are unable to provide tutoring. • The tutor’s job is not to correct mistakes or solve problems but to help you learn. • The instructor—not the tutor—is the best judge of what the instructor wants from an assignment. • For non-writing projects, you agree not to ask questions from graded work. (Tutors can, without viewing the test or graded project/problem, however, explain a specific topic that you identify to be relevant.)

Appointment cancellation policy: four hours advance notice required to cancel. Not doing so will result in restricted usage. I understand and agree to the above information: Student signature


Achievement and Learning Center | AC 113 | 410.837.5383 | Provide student with a copy

Staff initials/date




UB student ID: _______________ first name

last name

Tutor name: ____________________________________


first name

Subject: _________________

last name


course name

course code (e.g., OPRE 330)

Goals of visit: a) b)

TO BE FILLED OUT BY TUTOR Service type: ___ individual Length of session:

___ group


Start time: ________ AM PM

Location: ___annex Day: ___Mon ___Tu

Next session plans:

Resource referrals: (handout, learning consultant, workshop, etc.)

Tutor notes:

Tutor initials:


Modality: ____face-to-face ____web ____phone ____e-mail ___main office ___studio ___lab ___other ___Wed



___Sat ___Sun

GROUP TUTORIAL SIGN-IN SHEET Date: _______________

Duration: __________

Location: ___annex

___main office

Start time: __________


Our Role

Facilitator: ________________________

___ studio Day:


____other ___Tu

___ Wed





Welcome to today’s group tutorial. Please note the following guidelines: Your Role Limitations

We cater each session to your learning style and learning goals. We work with you to identify goals, employ your strengths, and use resources. We answer questions about concepts and underlying principles. We explain or demonstrate useful strategies, processes, and approaches.

You bring specific goals or questions along with your assignment instructions, textbook, or other relevant material. You attend class as usual; tutoring cannot substitute for class attendance. For assignment-related services, you attempt the work before your appointment.

If you haven’t completed the course prerequisites, we are unable to provide tutoring. The tutor’s job is not to correct mistakes or solve problems but to help you learn. The instructor—not the tutor—is the best judge of what the instructor wants from an assignment. For non-writing projects, you agree not to ask questions from graded work. (Tutors can, without viewing the test or graded project/problem, however, explain a specific topic that you identify to be relevant.)

By signing in below, you are stating you have read and understand our guidelines. If you have questions, please ask the facilitator. Print Full Name:

Please sign in this column (If student is remote, facilitator writes Elluminate)

Student ID:

Level: (fresh,

Course code:

Web class?

soph, jr, sr)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18


Tutor Intake Form Tutor:




Student ID: Orientation date:

Ask your tutee the following questions prior to starting your first session: Do you have all books & supplies needed for the course? __ Y __ N Have you attempted this course before? ____ Grade earned ____ Have you successfully completed the pre-requisite for this course? __ Y __ N When? ______ What grade do you want to achieve in this class? ____

On a scale of 1 to 5 (5 = most difficult), how would you rate the perceived difficulty of this course? circle one: 1 2 3 4 5 Why? ____________________________________________ What do you consider your most preferred learning style? Auditory: ___ Visual: ___ Tactile: ___

Indicate which of the following areas you consider a Strength (S), Weakness (W) or Neutral (N): ___ Time management (use of time, getting to class on time) ___ Following directions (oral and/or written) ___ Organization (ideas, class information) ___ Memory (lecture, textbook) ___ Test taking (preparation, anxiety) ___ Mathematical computation & reasoning

___ Notetaking (lecture, textbook, organizing) ___ Reading concerns ___ Motivation/encouragement ___ Class presentations ___ Study techniques ___ Technology (software) skills (Office Suite, other)

Work with the tutee to determine goals for either each tutoring session or for the semester. Goals for tutoring (creating goals keeps the sessions focused and with a purpose): 1. As a result of tutoring, 2. 3. Real-world applications of the course content:

This information may be shared with our Learning Consultant in order to provide further support to the student. For more information about ARC services, visit:

Our Role

Your Role

We cater each session to your learning style and learning goals. We work with you to identify goals, employ your strengths, and use resources. We answer questions about concepts and underlying principles. We explain or demonstrate useful strategies, processes, and approaches.

You bring specific goals or questions along with your assignment instructions, textbook, or other relevant material. You attend class as usual; tutoring cannot substitute for class attendance. For assignment-related services, you attempt the work before your appointment.

How Do I Get the Most Out of Tutoring? -Tell the tutor the specific topic you need help with (not just the course name) -Read the assignments and attempt any work or problems prior to the tutoring session -Identify your goals for the session and be prepared to ask specific questions -Bring your textbook/notebook to each session Do I Need to Cancel an Appointment if I Cannot Make It? Yes! You must notify the tutor at least 4 hours in advance. Notify the tutor directly since they may be making an additional trip to campus for your tutoring session. Missing two sessions without proper notification will result in restricted use of tutoring services.

Limitations If you haven’t completed the course prerequisites, we are unable to provide tutoring. The tutor’s job is not to correct mistakes or solve problems but to help you learn. The instructor—not the tutor—is the best judge of what the instructor wants from an assignment. For non-writing projects, you agree not to ask questions from graded work. (Tutors can, without viewing the test or graded project/problem, however, explain a specific topic that you identify to be relevant.)

How Much Individualized Tutoring Can I Get? As much as is reasonable and beneficial. Discuss your needs with your tutor. Helping Us to Help You In order to document that tutoring is being well-used, be sure to complete the Appointment Record for each session that you receive tutoring support. Your tutor will provide this form. Other Tutoring Options -Group tutoring can be arranged if you and other students in your class choose to create a tutoring group. Discuss this with your tutor. -Students tend to learn better when they can discuss their ideas and be supported by a tutor’s knowledge. -Online tutoring. The Academic Resource Center supports the online learning environment in many courses. Discuss this option with your tutor.



Tutor’s signature

Tutee’s signature




Pay Period: ______________________

Tutor Log (prep time, instructor time, unmet needs) Tutor Name: __________________________ Use this form to record time spent preparing for a tutoring session* document your contact with instructors** indicate times when you were unable to tutor a student who contacted you (“Unmet Need”).***



9/20/2008 ½ hour (group)

Aggarwal, Oblak, Khadem 9/21/2008 ¼ hour

Database Mgmt. I didn’t have time.

Student needed Excel, not stats

Statistical Analysis

¼ hour


Because this form reports instructor contact and unmet need, it should be turned in every pay period during the semester. (It can be completed electronically and emailed.) This form is required for timesheet approval. Preparation: Date: Time: Instructor Contact: Instructor Name: Date: Time: Unmet Need: Course: Reason:

*Preparation time (paid): 15 minutes for individual sessions, 30 minutes for group sessions (If you need more, contact the Coordinator.)

**Instructor Contact: Every two weeks (phone, email, in-person). Document all contacts above. You can record up to ¼ hour per pay for routine contacts plus up to ¼ hour for each instructor that you actually spend 15 minutes talking with. For instructor contact tips, visit www.ubalt.alc, click Tutoring, then Tutor Resources. ***Unmet need: Indicate the course and the reason tutoring didn’t occur.


Tutor Incident Report Complete this report and submit it to your supervisor when an incident occurs with a student or students which causes you to be concerned about issues of :  academic integrity  confidentiality  requests for additional academic support or services  concerns related to your tutoring session

Your name

Student(s) related to report

Tutored course

Faculty member

Briefly describe incident/concern:

1/2004 JER 22

III. Training

t r a ining 23

Level 1 Certification Requirements Overview The Achievement and Learning Center is certified, Level I, by the College Reading & Learning Association. This certification provides a set of standards and skills for the tutoring program at the University of Baltimore. Tutors can become recognized as CERTIFIED by meeting certain criteria. 1. 25 hours of tutoring 2. 12 hours of unduplicated training 3 An observation by the Coordinator of Tutoring 4. A formal evaluation. Trainings: A Tutor must complete a minimum of 12 hours of unduplicated training in order to qualify for Level I certification. These 12 hours must include: 1. Orientation to Tutoring (6hr) 2. Tutoring Cycle training (1hr) 3. Learning Styles Training (1hr) 4. Review of Tutor manual (1hr) 5. Assorted other training opportunities as approved by coordinator. Online Trainings A WebTycho site has been created to allow tutors to gain additional hours. Tutors are given one hour per online training that is completed.


Level 1 Certification Requirements Other Training Opportunities: There are other workshops offered at UB that may be used towards training hours. Each of these must be approved by the Coordinator of Tutoring as related to tutoring before they can be counted as training hours. Additional Training: An additional one to two hours of training can be completed by attending one or more of the activities listed below. The coordinator will discuss with the tutor which sessions might be most beneficial to him/her. A. Tutor Observations: New tutors observe an experienced tutor in action and complete observation questions within the first six weeks of employment (1 hour). B. Workshops offered by the ALC C. Videos (Maximum of 1 hour) • The Tutor’s Guide (vol. 5-8) (50 min.) including Diagnosis Through Observation, Tutoring Learning Skills, Managing Groups Tutorials, The Tutor as Counselor • The Tutor’s Guide (vol. 9-12) (55 min.) including Bridging Cultural Gaps, Tutoring Physical Sciences, Tutoring Social Sciences, Tutoring Humanities • The Tutor’s Guide (vol. 13&14) (28 min.) including Tutoring The Writing Process, Tutoring ESL • Memory Skills (28 min.) • A Tutor’s Workshop: Students With Learning Disabilities (1 hour) • Thinking in Skillful Ways: Making Decisions and Solving Problems (20 min.) • Making Your Team Work (29 min.) ________•________


Level I Certification Requirements

Certification Checklist Overview The Achievement and Learning Center is certified, Level I, by the College Reading & Learning Association. This certification provides a set of standards and skills for the tutoring program at the University of Baltimore. Tutors can become recognized as ‘certified’ by meeting certain criteria date completed

1. ____ Completed 25 hours of tutoring


2. ____ *Orientation group training session with coordinator (6 hrs)


3. ____ *Viewed video—”The Tutor’s Guide”


4. ____ *Reviewed all materials in the “Tutoring Manual” (1 hr)


5. ____ *Toured Achievement and Learning Center and reviewed ALC resources.


(1 hr)

6. ____ Attended a Learning Styles Workshop (1–2 hrs)



7. ____ Observed an experienced tutor and submitted observation sheet

(1 hr)

8. ____ Attended ALC workshop(s) on topics such as Classroom Survival Skills or Writing Skills. List title(s), date(s) and length of workshop(s) 9. ____ Viewed training video(s). List title(s), date(s), and length of video(s) (1 hr max) 10. ____ *Attended fall semester Student Development Conference. List approved session titles (3 hrs max) 11. ____ Attended TAM sponsored meetings/conferences. List session(s) title(s). (2 hrs max—approval required)


________ ________ ________ ________

* Indicates required training. Tutors will be paid for 12 hours of training and all staff meetings. There are up to 9 hours of required training plus additional staff meetings and the Spring semester conference. Training activities 1 through 5 must be completed prior to beginning our first tutoring session. To complete tutor certification requirements, select, if needed, with your supervisor, additional training activities from #7,8,9 or 11. Tutors may elect to attend additional sessions without pay.


Tutor Observation Sheet Directions As a new tutor we would like you to observe an experienced tutor in action. Tutor observations should be completed within the first six weeks of your employment. Your supervisor will provide you with suggestions on whom to observe. It is highly recommended that you complete the observations early in the semester. Call and arrange a date and time to observe an experienced tutor. Take this form with you to the session to complete. After the tutoring session, share some of your thoughts and observations with the tutor you observed. Turn in the completed form with your next payroll.

Your name: ____________________________ Date: ______________ Name of tutor you are observing: ______________________________ Course title: ___________________________ Group size: _________

1. How was the individual session or group arranged for the interaction with one another and the tutor? Was the physical environment comfortable?

2. How did the tutor start the session? How did she/he shift the focus from informal chatting to tutoring?

3. What kinds of questioning strategies/techniques did the tutor use to encourage‌ group interaction? critical thinking? clarification of ideas and concepts?


Tutor Observation Sheet 4. How were study skills/learning strategies introduced and integrated in the session?

5. Was the student asked to demonstrate his/her understanding of the material discussed? How was this accomplished?

6. Did the tutor provide closure to the session? Do the students know what is expected of them for the next session?

7. Were all of the tutees engaged in the learning process? Describe the general response of the group or individual in the session (relaxed, tense, active, passive, bored, etc.)

8. What were the strengths of the session?

9. Additional observations or comments




Tutor establishes a rapport with student while maintaining a professional demeanor

Tutor comes to session prepared

Tutor arrives on time









Course: Instructor: Length of Session: # of students present Rating scale: 1 = Area that needs improvement; 2 = Area of adequacy; 3 = Area of strength

University of Baltimore Achievement and Learning Center - Tutor Observation Form Name of Tutor: Observer: Date:


Tutor sets an agenda

Preparation Observations


Tutor appears self-confident (makes eye contact, assertively directs session, positively handles points of his or her own uncertainty with subject material Tutor supports student (praises correct answers, handles errors positively, eases student’s anxiety, emphasizes with student) Tutor uses open ended questions and probes effectively to determine student’s level of knowledge/understanding Tutor provides opportunities for student to verbalize his/her understanding of

Session related observations 1.





course content 5. Tutor demonstrates good listening skills by using silence effectively 6. Tutor provides opportunities that actively engage the student in the learning process 7. Tutor incorporates study skills strategies into the tutoring session 8. Tutor demonstrates a working knowledge of basic individual learning styles 9. Tutor uses several tutoring strategies during the session. 10. Tutor paces the session appropriately 11. Tutor encourages independence in the student by helping the student to identify goals/objectives/problems or demonstrates “how to do” assignment (doesn’t do it for them)


Tutor summarizes topics covered

Conclusion Observations


Tutor suggests action plan for reinforcement of knowledge gained Tutor helps student to plan next session










______________________________________ Tutor’s Signature

General Comments: (use back if more space is needed)

____________________________________ Observer’s Signature



IV. Tutoring Session

the session 33

The Tutoring Cycle


Some Do’s and Don’ts of Tutoring Do…


R Relax and be yourself.

x Patronize—understand that your role is to work with, rather than talk at, your tutee.

R Strive to be a Role Model …be professional in your actions …be accountable …be willing to admit that you don’t have all the answers. Direct the student to the resources or seek-out the answer yourself. …demonstrate effective study habits …demonstrate time management (be on time for all appointments and completion of your own academic assignments) …know your own limitations and know when to say no (i.e. concerning your knowledge level, time, and emotional commitment.) R Plan ahead for your tutoring session. R Utilize ALC resources for your tutee’s benefit and your own growth and development. R Strive to consistently encourage your tutee (see handout on “Language of Encouragement”). R Use probing questions to promote independent learning (see handout on “Probing Techniques-How to Ask Good Questions”). R Seek to analyze your tutee’s ability to approach academic problems or study difficulties (see handouts on “Checklist for Problem Solving”). R Employ effective communication skills (see handouts on Attending Skills, Speaking and Listening Skills, Giving Feedback and “Personal Checklist for Tutoring Skills”). 36

x Do your tutee’s homework. x Expect students you tutor to show appreciation for your efforts although many will. x Allow the tutee to just “get by.” x Date your tutee. This can reduce your effectiveness as a tutor. If you decide to date a tutee, please refer him or her to another tutor. x Make quick or snap judgments about your tutees. As you know, stereotypes can be damaging and very misleading. x Talk about tutees or faculty. (If you have a concern, please speak to your supervisor). x Expect everyone to be the same and have the same goals or commitment to the learning process. Make allowances for individual differences, but talk to the students you tutor to find out exactly who they are and what they want to achieve.

A Guide to Tutoring in the ALC

It’s Free! Don’t Wait… Before It’s Too Late! Seek Tutoring What Tutors Can Do For You • Help clarify confusing parts of a lecture or text. • Help you solve problems by suggesting possible approaches or similar problems. • Give you comments or advice on papers in progress; illustrate how to correct grammatical or structural problems by using similar examples What Tutors Can’t Do For You x Solve homework problems for you. x Correct papers for you. x Help you with take-home tests. x Repeat the classroom lecture for you. x Help you with a course you are NOT currently enrolled in (ask about other resources) How to Meet a Tutor We encourage you to reserve tutoring time in advance, especially during exams. You can reserve tutoring time up to 7 days ahead. Please feel free to drop in if you need last-minute help. However, do not rely on last minute help since most tutors stay very busy. How do I Make an Appointment? • Tutors are “on-call.” You will be given a tutor’s name to call and make an appointment. We encourage you and the tutor to meet in the ALC but you are welcome to meet elsewhere at a mutually convenient time. Do I Need To Cancel An Appointment if I Can’t Make It? Yes, you must notify us at least 4 hours in advance. If you are NOT meeting the tutor in the ALC, you must notify the tutor directly. If you miss two appointments during a semester without giving adequate notice, you will not be allowed to make further appointments during the semester.


A Guide to Tutoring in the ALC How to Get the Most Out of Tutoring • Check the course catalog to be sure you’ve had all prerequisite courses. (Don’t rely on the Schedule of Classes for this information). • Tell the tutor or receptionist which specific topics-not just the courses- you want help with. • Read assignments and attempt homework problems beforehand; for writing tutoring, bring papers/assignments with you. • Be prepared to ask specific questions. • Bring your textbook/workbook. Tutors don’t always have current texts. • Let us know if a tutor is unable to help you for any reason. We may need to hire additional tutors. Helping Us to Help You In this era of budget cuts, we need to demonstrate that the tutoring services are well used. To help us do so, please be sure to fill out an Appointment Record (available from your tutor or the receptionist) each time you are tutored. Other Options: Group Tutorials Meet with a tutor and other students. Check listing of current tutorials or request a tutorial. ________•________


The Role of the Tutor 1. Facilitator—not teacher—not lecturer a. It’s important to remember that you are not an instructor. We tutor to meet the student’s goals. b. Works with a student. Does not talk at a student. c. Shows tutee processes that lead him to make his own discoveries and to gather information independently. d. Does not do assignments for a student. HELPS STUDENT ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR OWN LEARNING. Can say NO to such a request without worrying about popularity. e. Furnishes examples of concepts and practice materials that help the tutee reinforce skills. 2. Patient—with slow learners a. Able to move slowly in small, manageable units to help the tutee to learn concepts and skills. b. Willing to go over material several times. 3. Sense of Humility—helps for the right reasons a. Relates as equal. Not superior. No Messiah complex. No ego trips. b. Knows self and limitations. Can admit not knowing. Willing to seek help. c. Recognizes tutee’s areas of excellence and shows honest appreciation. d. Does not expect praise and thanks. 4. Good Listener—builds rapport a. Finds out tutee’s concerns and goals. b. Exchanges bits of personal background with tutee to help establish common ground. c. Gives feedback during sessions based on listening to what tutee says or answers to questions. 5. Responsive—actions and words communicate clearly a. Uses accepting tone of voice and body language to show genuine concern for tutee’s academic problems and needs. b. Has empathy for tutee and creates a comfortable setting for sessions. Doesn’t ever make tutee feel dumb. c. Is careful that actions and words intended to reassure the tutee accomplish that goal. 6. Flexible—takes things in stride a. Plans sessions, but can adjust to meet tutee’s special requests for interruptions in plans. b. Can adjust pace of work to fit tutee’s needs. c. Maintains a sense of humor and perspective.


The Role of the Tutor 7. Trustworthy—maintains professional attitude toward tutee • Keeps personal and academic information CONFIDENTIAL. 8. Utilizes Supervisors—knows when to request help a. Regularly discusses work with supervisor. b. Consults supervisor when aware that tutee’s problems are not academic. DOES NOT ATTEMPT TO ACT AS COUNSELOR FOR PERSONAL PROBLEMS. c. Seeks help when plans or methods are not helping a tutee. d. Asks for guidance if a personality conflict develops. 9. Follows up on tutee attendance a. Stresses that tutees keep appointment or call. b. Makes supervisor aware when tutee misses (no shows). c. Doesn’t let a tutee drop without finding out why. 10. Realistic—does not have unreasonable expectations • Does not punish self if tutee fails course after tutor has given best effort to sessions. ________•________


Your First Tutoring Session Note: Before attending your very first tutoring session, review The Tutoring Cycle and training information. The actions listed below should be completed for each initial session. Introduce… Introduce one another making sure the names, phone numbers, e-mail addresses and times and meeting arrangements are clear and agreeable. Note: You may tutor in the ALC, study lounges, and available classrooms. If you need a classroom for a small group tutorial, make arrangements with the coordinator. Review… Complete the Tutor Intake Form with the student. Emphasize that you can help with study habits, time planning, clarifying new information, and with those areas that a tutee could not do independently, e.g. the few problems that were really confusing and impossible to solve. Note: The Tutor Intake Form only needs to be filled out once per student per semester. You need to discuss the expectations outlined on this form with each tutee. Explain… Explain to the student that this form serves as a contract between you and the tutee. It is very important that you read out loud and discuss each item before beginning the tutoring experience. The contract guidelines are very basic. You may elect to add additional expectations. Once you have discussed these guidelines, have the tutee sign and date the form, and then sign it yourself. Re-emphasize… Before you being the actual tutoring session, be sure to re-emphasize that you cannot do the student’s assignments and tutoring cannot replace class attendance. Talk… Talk with the student about the course in question and try to determine the source of difficulty. Ask to see the textbook, the student’s notes, and a course syllabus. Determine… Determine if the student has the prerequisites for the course. Remember that many UB students are returning to school after many years away. Their prerequisite skills may be weak. Discuss… Discuss the student’s overall goal for the course and introduce “The Tutoring Cycle.” Remain


Your First Tutoring Session upbeat and encourage the student to set high goals, but be careful not to fall into a situation where the student expects you to help him/her achieve unrealistic goals. This may also be a good time to let the student know how often you are able to meet. Get to know… Spend a little bit of time, at least five or ten minutes, simply getting to know the student(s). Building rapport at the very beginning will assist you greatly in meeting the needs of the student. Be certain to discuss how you and the tutee learn best. Utilize… Bring out the copy of “The Tutoring Cycle” and begin utilizing it step-by-step. Go through the cycle with the student. Before leaving… Before the student departs, be certain that he/she completely fills out the Appointment Record. Check the form for accuracy and sign it. Note: This form must be filled out each time your tutor a student. The Group Sign-in Sheet should be used for group tutorials. The Appointment Record and Group Sign-in Sheet serve as a records of your sessions and need to be turned in by the timesheet deadline for your payroll to be verified. ________•________


Planning for the Tutoring Session Directions Be prepared and spend at least 15 minutes before each tutoring session considering the following questions. This sheet is a planning tool for your use only. Before the session: 1. What do you need to plan for the session? 2. Do you need to bring any materials to the session? 3. What do you plan to cover in the session? What questions do you plan to ask? 4. How do you plan to determine what your tutee needs today? 5. What will you say to give positive feedback? Encouragement? 6. Do you anticipate any problems from this tutee? If so, how do you plan to handle them? 7. How will you decide when to meet again? 8. How will you let the tutee know what you expect from him or her? After the session: 1. How will you plan for the next session? 2. How will you evaluate your session? Use the evaluation provided. 3. What do you need to change before the next tutoring session? Will you seek assistance and/or support from other tutors or your supervisor? 4. Will you do things the same or differently the next time you meet? 5. What do you think the tutee learned from the session today? ________•________


V. Study/Learning A ids

study aids 45

Learning Styles Inventory Terry O’Brien’s book, A Learning College for the 21st Century, discusses the need to rethink traditional learning. How do we decide what methods to use when tutoring a student? Whether formally or informally, we make some type of learning styles assessment. What is a learning style? Clay Johnston & Carol Orwig, who published a Lingua Links library on the Net and run a summer institute of linguistics, say, “a learning style is the unique collection of individual skills and preferences that affect how a person perceives, gathers, and processes information.” This, in turn, affects a person in what areas? • how he/she works in a group • relates to others • learns and solves problems • teaches, works • participates in activities The ability to learn is the most important skill a person can acquire. Many of us are tutors because we have mastered that skill and want to share it with others. The difficult task occurs because what works for us does not necessarily work for our students. Example: I write everything down to remember-does not work for M-he is dyslexic and must hear or see pictures. What we need to do is help students understand the way they learn best. When a student is having trouble with a class, it is not necessarily the difficulty of the subject matter, but rather, the type and level of learning skills required to learn the material. Teaching style needs to be related to learning style. Most often, we can only assess a student’s learning style from what we see. We don’t have much time as tutors. What influences learning styles? How we think, how we feel, what our physical characteristics are, our culture and background all influence learning styles. Traditional learning styles Visual—see, think in pictures, visual images Auditory—talk and listen, lecture and discussion Kinesthetic/Factual—likes to work with hands, hands-on experiments, this group does the poorest 47

Learning Styles Inventory Some people feel that these are just too simplified. There are many more styles and combinations: e.g., linguistic, logical, spatial, musical, bodily, intrapersonal, and interpersonal (Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory). So, how do we identify styles of our students? Some feel you can’t teach an old dog new tricks; if a teacher teaches in a certain way, you many not be able to teach a student that learning style, but you can teach him/her how to adapt his/her style to the subject matter. Tutoring often gives the student this opportunity. Problem Solving—Ask the student what he/she is good at; how was that learned? How can he/she apply those steps to a difficulty subject? Converger—Dominant learning abilities are abstract conceptualization and active experimentation; greatest strength is in the practical application of such ideas; relatively unemotional, preferring to deal with things rather than people; tend to specialize in the physical sciences. Diverger—Best at concrete experience and reflective observations; strengths lie in imaginative ability; interested in people and tend to be imaginative and emotional; characterized by counselors, organizational development specialists, and personnel managers. Assimilator—Learning dominated by abstract conceptualization and reflective observation; strengths lie in the ability to create theoretical models; less interested in people and more concerned with abstract concepts; less concerned with practical applications. Assimilators are often found in research and planning departments in the physical sciences. Accommodator—Best at concrete experience and active experimentation; strengths lie in doing things and involvement in new experiences; called an accommodator because he/ she excels in adapting to specific immediate circumstances; tends to solve problems intuitively, relying on others for information. Often found in marketing and sales. Designing Learning Experiences The research suggests that the most effective learning occurs when the learning activities most closely match the learner’s preferred style and that some learning activities are more helpful for particular learners. Since typically a unit has not been designed to accommodate all learning styles, and some information is more cost effective when taught using one or another method, learners must be able to adapt to a variant of approaches. Concrete Experience—Theory readings are not helpful; peer feedback is helpful; activities should apply skills; teacher is coach/helper for a self-directed autonomous learner. 48

Learning Styles Inventory Reflective Observation—Lectures are helpful; teacher should provide expert interpretationtaskmaster/guide; judge performance by external criteria. Abstract Conceptualization—Case studies, theory readings, and thinking alone helpsalmost everything else, including talking with experts, is not helpful. Active Experimentation—Problem solving, small group discussions, peer feedback, and homework are all helpful; teacher should be a model of a professional, leaving student to determine own criteria for relevance of materials. Your are probably beginning to wonder where you fall and where your students fall. What will help in tutoring? Working with Learning and Thinking Styles The following teaching/learning ideas may be helpful in tutoring: 1. Students learn through doing. It is important for the student to be working in the session. If the student has not picked up a pen or pencil and you find yourself writing on that student’s paper, you are probably doing too much of the tutee’s work, and you are doing, not tutoring. 2. Help the student to develop good study skills. Please share your study tips with students as part of the tutoring process. 3. If the student begins negative talk about the class or the professor, it is time to turn the conversation around without hurting the student’s feelings. Try: “I wouldn’t know about that, but maybe we should take another look at these notes to see what we can understand”…or…”chemistry can be a difficult subject and you must feel frustrated, but I’m sure we can figure out these problems…” You are not helping the student, the professor, or yourself by increasing the student’s negative images. 4. Ask the student how he/she learns; most low ability or low achieving students do not know how to learn or how their thinking processes work. Students understand their thinking process by talking through problem solving. Tutors can teach the correct method more quickly by allowing tutees to demonstrate personal thinking and problem solving methods and by working through the tutee’s personal methods of learning. 5. If the student sounds like a scratched record, i.e. “I don’t understand,” you may wish to ask the student what he/she does not understand. The most common answer is “everything.” In this case, have the student pick up a pencil and begin by writing the problem. Observe the student’s problem solving process and work from there. Help the student to get out of the “can’t” trap. 6. Students often have to go back to the beginning and build from there. 49

Learning Styles Inventory 7. There are three particularly difficult learning problems: Can’t Traps—Students who give up before they even begin. These students need to see that they can be successful. The only way to help is to break the situation down into the basic and lowest level and then build up skills and the tutee’s confidence. Shotgun Thinkers—Students in this category try to solve the problem before reading. These students would do better if the tutor encourages rereading the questions after the tutee has answered them. Rereading may help the student to be certain that each portion was answered. Lack of Focus—If you are discussing a circle problem, this student will want to know why the circle is round, what is the diameter and circumference, etc. Becoming aware of the behavior and how it may affect total performance may help this student. This student is often known to worry over portions of the test that have not even been asked, and a student of this nature will often answer questions that aren’t asked and neglect to answer those that are. Although this student will probably learn more than the average student, test scores will tend to be lower because of lack of focus. ________•________


Self-Assessment of Modality Strengths Read each question or statement and circle the most appropriate answer. Some will be difficult to answer, but try to respond according to how you would react most often. 1. You usually remember more from a class lecture when: a. you do not take notes but listen very closely b. you sit near the front of the room and watch the speaker c. you take notes (whether or not you look at them again) 2. You usually solve problems by: a. talking to yourself or a friend b. using an organized, systematic approach with lists, schedules, etc. c. walking, pacing, or some other physical activity 3. You remember phone numbers (when you can’t write them down) by: a. repeating the numbers orally b. “seeing” or “visualizing” the numbers in your mind c. “writing” the numbers with your finger on a table or wall 4. You find it easiest to learn something new by: a. listening to someone explain how to do it b. watching a demonstration of how to do it c. trying it yourself 5. You remember most clearly from a movie: a. what the characters said, background noises and music b. the setting, scenery, and costumes c. the feelings you experienced during the movie 6. When you go to the grocery store, you: a. silently or orally repeat the grocery list b. walk up and down the aisles to see what you need c. usually remember what you need from the list you left at home 7. You are trying to remember something and so you: a. try to see it happen in your mind b. hear in your mind what was said or the noises that occurred c. feel the way “it” reacted with your emotions 8. You learn a foreign language by: a. listening to records or tapes b. writing and using workbooks c. attending a class in which you read and write


Self-Assessment of Modality Strengths 9. You are confused about the correct spelling of a word and so you: a. sound it out b. try to “see” the word in your mind c. write the word several different ways and choose the one that looks right 10. You enjoy reading most when you can read: a. dialogue between characters b. descriptive passages that allow you to create mental pictures c. stories with a lot of action in the beginning (because you have a hard time sitting still) 11. You usually remember people you have met by their: a. names (you forget faces) b. faces (you forget names) c. mannerisms, motions, etc. 12. You are distracted most by: a. noises b. people c. environment (temperature, comfort of furniture, etc. ) 13. You usually dress: a. fairly well (but clothes are not very important to you) b. neatly (in a particular style) c. comfortably (so you can move easily) 14. You can’t do anything physical and can’t read, so you choose to: a. talk with a friend b. watch TV or look out a window c. move slightly in our chair or bed Scoring 1. Count the total number of responses for each letter and write them below a. ________ auditory (learn best by hearing b. ________ visual (learn best by seeing) c. ________ kinesthetic (learn best by touching, doing, moving 2. Notice if one modality is significantly higher or lower or if any two are close in number. 3. Are the results as you expected them to be? Is that the way you see yourself? ________•________ 52

Characteristics of Learning Styles Three of your five senses are primarily used in learning, storing, remembering and recalling information. Your eyes, ears, and sense of touch play essential roles in the way you communicate, perceive reality and relate to others. Because you learn from and communicate best with someone who shares your dominant modality, it is a great advantage for you to know the characteristics of visual, auditory and kinesthetic learning styles and to be able to identify them in others. Visual



mind sometimes strays during verbal activities

talks to self aloud

likes physical rewards

observes rather than talks or acts

enjoys talking

in motion most of the time

easily distracted

likes to touch people when talking to them

organized in approach to tasks likes to read usually a good speller memorizes by seeing graphics & pictures not too distractible finds verbal instructions difficult

has more difficulty with written directions likes to be read to

taps pencil or foot while studying

memorizes by steps in a sequence

enjoys doing activities reading is not a priority

enjoys music

poor speller

whispers to self while reading

likes to solve problems by physically working through them

remembers faces easily distracted by noises

has good handwriting

hums or sings

remembers faces

outgoing by nature

uses advanced planning

enjoys listening activities

will try new things outgoing by nature expresses emotions through physical means


uses hands while talking

quiet by nature

dresses for comfort

meticulous, neat appearance

enjoys handling objects

notices details * Students who have equal modality preferences are more flexible learners and are already using many studying skills rather than just a few. ________•________ 53

Suggested Aids for Learning Modalities Use these aids to sharpen your particular dominant learning modality or to strengthen a weaker one. Try to be aware of the different activities you do daily to help all three of your modalities. Visual



use guided imagery

use tapes

pace/walk as you study

form pictures in your mind

watch TV

physically “do it”

take notes

listen to music

practice by repeated motion

see parts of words

speak/listen to speakers

breathe slowly

use “cue” words

make up rhymes/poems

role play

use notebooks

read aloud


use color codes

talk to yourself


use study cards

repeat things orally


use photographic pictures

use rhythmic sounds

write on surfaces with finger

watch TV

have discussions

take notes

watch filmstrips

listen carefully

watch movies

use oral directions

associate feelings with concept/information

use charts, graphs, and maps

sound out words


use theater

draw/use drawings

say words in syllables

use exhibits

use mnemonics (word links, rhymes, poems, lyrics), refer to “Memory Chapter”

watch lips move in front of mirror use mnemonics (acronyms, visual chains, mind maps, acrostics, hood-ups), refer to “Memory Chapter”



write lists repeatedly stretch/move in chair watch lips move in front of a mirror use mnemonics (word links, rhymes, poems, lyrics) refer to “Memory Chapter”

Why is the Student Having a Problem?

A Checklist for Problem Solving Inaccuracy in reading: 1. The student read the material without concentrating strongly on its meaning. The student was not careful about whether he or she understood it fully. The student read sections without realizing that his understanding was vague. Student did not constantly ask: “Do I understand that completely?� This showed up in errors made later. 2. The students read the material too rapidly at the expense of full comprehension. 3. The student missed one or more words because the material was not read carefully enough. 4. The student missed or lost one or more facts or ideas because the material was not read carefully enough. 5. The student did not spend enough time rereading a difficult section to clarify its meaning completely. Inaccuracy in thinking: 6. The student did not constantly place a high premium on accuracy and did not place accuracy above all other considerations, i.e. speed or ease of obtaining an answer. 7. The student was not sufficiently careful in performing some operation or observing some fact. 8. The student was not consistent in interpreting words or performing operations. 9. The student was uncertain about the correctness of some answer or conclusion, but did not check it. 10. The student was uncertain about whether a formula or procedure used to solve the problem was really appropriate, but did not check it. 11. The student worded too rapidly, which produced errors. 12. The student was inaccurate in visualizing a description or a relationship described in the text. 13. The student drew a conclusion in the middle of the problem without sufficient thought. Weakness in problem analysis—Inactiveness 14. The student did not break a complex problem into parts. Student did not begin with a part of the problem that could be handled in order to get a foothold. Student did not proceed from one small step to the next small step, being extremely accurate with each one. Student did not use the parts of the material that were understood to help figure out the more difficult parts. Student did not clarify thoughts on the parts that were understood and then work from there. 15. The student did not draw upon prior knowledge and experience in trying to make sense of unclear ideas. Student did not try to relate the written text to real, concrete events in making the meaning clear and understandable.


Why is the Student Having a Problem?

A Checklist for Problem Solving

16. The student skipped unfamiliar words or phrases, or was satisfied with only a vague understanding of them, rather than trying to obtain a good understanding from the context and the remainder of the material. 17. The student did not translate an unclear word or phrase into his or her own words. 18. The student did not use the dictionary when necessary. 19. The students did not actively construct a representation of ideas described in the text, where such a representation could have helped in understanding the material. 20. The student did not evaluate a solution or interpretation in terms of reasonableness, i.e. in terms of prior knowledge about the topic. Lack of perseverance: 21. The student made little attempt to solve the problem through reasoning because of lack of confidence in the ability to deal with this type of problem. Student took the attitude that reasoning would not work with this problem, and felt confused by the problem, so didn’t start systematically by clarifying the portions of the problem which were readily understandable, and then attempting to work from there. 22. The student chose an answer based on only a superficial consideration of the problem—on an impression or feeling about what might be correct. Student made only a superficial attempt to reason the problem then guessed an answer. 23. The student solved the problem in a mechanical manner without very much thought. 24. The student reasoned the problem part way through, then gave up and jumped to a conclusion. Failure to think aloud: 25. The student did not vocalize his or her thinking in sufficient detail as the problem was worked through. At places, he or she stopped and thought without vocalizing the thoughts, and then performed a numerical computation or drew a conclusion without vocalizing or explaining the steps taken. ________•________


Strategies Six Levels of Thinking For those of you who have taken Psychology of Education courses, you may already be aware of the six levels of cognition of Bloom’s Taxonomy. Knowing these levels of thinking can help you develop your questioning techniques. They are: I. Lower Order Knowledge—requires memory only, repeating information exactly as memorized (define, recall, recognize, remember, who, what, where, when) Comprehension—requires rephrasing, rewording and comparing information (describe, compare, contrast, rephrase, explain the main idea) Application—requires application of knowledge to determine a single correct answer (apply, classify, choose, use, write an example, solve, how many, which, what is) II. Higher Order Analysis a. identify motives or causes b. draw conclusions c. determine evidence (support, analyze, conclude, why) Synthesis a. make prediction b. produce original communications c. solve problems (more than one possible answer)-predict, produce, write, design, develop, synthesize, construct, how can we improve, what happens if, how can we solve, can you devise Evaluation—make judgments and offer opinions (judge, argue, decide, evaluate, assess, which is better, give your opinion, do you agree, would it be better) Questioning initiates different levels of thinking. When the higher levels of thought are emphasized, the most effective and meaningful learning takes place and the information is stored in long-term memory. As a tutor you will find it useful to ask lower order questions at the beginning of a session to establish the level of content that your tutees know. As the session progresses, ask higher order questions that require the tutees to summarize patterns and suggest strategies for learning and retention. Close-Ended Questions vs. Open-Ended Questions Considering the six levels of cognition, close-ended questions usually elicit short, specific answers that demonstrate knowledge, comprehension and application of facts. Open-ended questions will elicit responses that include analysis, synthesis or evaluation of material. If you find that you are getting short, quick answers from your tutees and little discussion, reflect upon your questioning techniques. Are you asking questions that only require factual 57

Strategies answers? (Example: “What is the radius?” “What is the formula for Boyle’s Law?” “What is the subject of the sentence?”) Certainly some of these questions are needed to check facts at the beginning of a session. To explore the tutee’s understanding of material, students need the opportunity to expand upon the basic facts. For example: “How are the problems from this section/chapter different or like problems from the previous sections/chapters?” It takes time and practice to develop your questioning techniques. To help you with this process we ask you to complete the “Summary of Session” report after each tutorial session as a way to help you reflect on the questions you used and your communication patterns (i.e. initiation-reply or explain-active listening). Additional Things to Consider: 1. Always use a questioning strategy, as tutees need to be guided through a process. 2. Be careful not to give too much information in the questions that you ask. 3. Formulate questions carefully so that you are clearly asking one question at a time. 4. Phrase your questions carefully so that you are clearly asking one question at a time. 5. When tutees indicate that they do not understand the question, rephrase the question to clarify it. Avoid asking the same question again. 6. When tutees answer a question incorrectly, ask them to explain their answers. If there is a misunderstanding of the question, clarify the question. If it is a lack of understanding of content, either direct the tutees to the text or ask a question that breaks the content into a smaller part. Review Chapter 3 of The Master Tutor - A Guidebook for More Effective Tutoring The Informal Quiz The informal quiz is not to be used to formally evaluate student work. Instead, it develops and reinforces comprehension, improves retention of information, stimulates interest in a subject area, and promotes student participation in the tutoring session. It enhances an educational experience in the following manner: • Generates student trust • Provides the student an opportunity to demonstrate competence. • Promotes student self-testing • Facilitates student’s ability to interpret, answer and predict test questions. 58

Strategies The goals may appear to be excessive for what is feasible within a single tutoring session; however, these goals can be accomplished in a small way each time the procedure is used. The informal quiz frequently is used at the beginning of the session. The whole procedure may take no more than 10 to 15 minutes. However, the discussion generated by one or more question may become the focus of the tutoring session. Students may answer questions orally, on paper, or on the board. They may collaborate to answer questions, use their textbooks, notes, handouts, etc. Use the informal quiz to evaluate knowledge or lack thereof and to promote group discussion. Mapping and Matrices Students need an overview or a framework on which to hang information. Visual models can help them to organize the material and provide an easy mechanism to remember the sequencing of information. The first time a matrix or map is introduced, you should provide a sample for the student to use. When the student demonstrates an understanding of the concept of mapping, then you can encourage them to spontaneously make up matrix or maps as they discuss various topics. Post Exam Survey The following are some questions that students might like to think about after taking an exam. Answers to these questions may help them focus on effective exam preparation strategies. Do not use this as a formal handout, but as a basis for discussing exams and exam preparation. a. Which part of the exam was the easiest for you? Why” (May get into the essay, multiple choice, true/false, short answer type questions. If so, explore the appropriate areas as you continue with the questions). b. Which part of the exam was the most difficulty? Why? c. Which of the following activities did you complete prior to the exam? _ All required reading assignments • Preparation and review of all reading notes • Review of lecture notes • Self-testing of material to be covered by the exam • Prediction of possible questions by you prior to the exam • Study with friends d. Which of the above did you find most helpful in preparing for this exam? e. What activities work bet for different types of questions? (True/False, Multiple Choice, etc.) f. How much time (in hours) did you spend preparing for the exam? g. Did you feel prepared when you walked into the exam? Why or why not? h. How might you study differently for the next exam? 59

Strategies Note Taking in Class and Note Processing Have students reading their notes. How does the professor indicate what’s important to know? What shape are their notes it? Are their notes organized? Will they be able to read their notes to prepare for an exam? Would a loose-leaf notebook be better to use than a spiral one? Would graph paper be better to use for particular subjects? Note taking can be made easier if students prepare for lectures by reading or at least previewing the material to be covered in advance. The vocabulary will then be somewhat familiar which allows for better spelling and organization of notes. Every person will take notes differently, But, whatever they do, it should be consistent. If abbreviations are used, a key should be placed at the top of the page to avoid confusion (i.e. Vit.=vitamin, m=mole, e=electron, etc.) As soon as possible after a lecture, notes should be reviewed and edited. Incomplete areas can be filled in from reading the text. Key points can be highlighted and extra definitions inserted if necessary. Share your thoughts and ideas on note taking. What helped you and how do you process your notes? Remember, our goal is to help students learn appropriate study skills so they can become effective learners. Students cannot apply themselves until they have the skills to do so. Integrate the Cornell Note-taking Strategies. Review the Textbook Discuss the process of previewing and reviewing chapters. Talk about the benefits of taking chapter notes vs. highlighting/marking textbooks. Whenever possible, refer students to their textbooks for information and answers to questions. Most students do not know how to use their textbooks well and often they avoid using them at all. Give them a tour of their texts; show the benefits of how the text is formatted and how to use the chapter summaries, captions, charts and graphs to their advantage. Also try to help them make connections from chapter to chapter. Ask them to identify how content from a previous chapter relates to the next chapter. Ask them to compare lecture notes to the text. How is the textbook different from or similar to the lecture? Reading involves physical and mental participation. The goal is to comprehend, understand, and assimilate the material. Help students to avoid performing this process in a mechanical manner just to get the assignment completed. Reading paragraph headings, graphs, reviewing pictures and summaries is not only helpful prior to lectures, but will help students to read with improved comprehension. Integrate the SQ3R strategies.


Strategies Reversing Questions/Transferring Information The following questions could be asked to help tutees focus their attention on the general principles of new material covered, homework problems or test questions. These are especially useful in the math/science area and can be adapted for other disciplines. a. What are the different kinds of problems and how can they be recognized? b. What is the format of the problem? Do the directions indicate the specific technique to use? c. How are these different problems related? d. How can this problem be restated? e. What are some other ways to word the question? f. What changes in the wording of the directions would indicate different procedures? g. Is there only one method to work this type of problem or are there several techniques applicable? If several techniques are appropriate, how does one choose which to use? h. What means (if any) are available to check your answer other than reworking the problem the same way? i. How are the problems from this section/chapter different/alike from the problems of previous sections/chapters? Predict Test Questions Students have great difficulty preparing for tests. Help them to learn how to predict test questions by using their notes, textbooks and homework. Let students develop their own questions and quiz each other. Encourage them to find old exams and practice with them. Some texts offer study guides and can be most useful in preparing for exams. Cramming for tests is common. Homework and reading assignments are often left to the last minute leaving areas of confusion ignored. Students will look for “the quick fix:” “Tell me what I need to know for this test so I won’t have to study anymore.” They become focused on the answers and not the process. Help students to avoid this deadly trap, as it will lead to many disappointments. Encourage students to meet with their professors several days in advance of a test. Try to time it so that the instructor has probably already prepared the exam. Sometimes professors will subtly direct students to study the appropriate materials by their answers to questions, giving extra information, and sometimes suggesting; “…and don’t forget to review…”


Strategies Work on Vocabulary and Terminology Use fl ash cards or develop other memory games to help students learn difficult concepts, vocabulary, etc. Students often do not know “how” to approach learning. If they haven’t been exposed to techniques or “tricks of the trade” then they have no basis from which to work. Share our ideas. When working on vocabulary, be sure students can give the definition in their own words and apply the information to a problem. Also ask definitions and seek if students can name the term. Have students repeat or write definitions in their own words instead of repeating “the textbook” version. This helps you to determine whether or not they really do understand the material. Brainstorm Ideas This is a very effective method in promoting discussion of ideas and concepts. Often, students will discover that they really do not understand something during a discussion and it will prompt them to dig further for information. We often “think” we understand until we have to actually apply what we’ve learned! Students need to “say things out loud.” If they can successfully explain a concept to someone else, they have accomplished two things. First, they have demonstrated understanding of the concept. Second, they have used another of their “senses” to reinforce that knowledge. Paired Problem Solving Have students work on the same or different problems and compare methods and results. You will be amazed at the different approaches that students will take. Paired problem solving also avoids putting one student “on the spot” and causing embarrassment. Give Assignments as Appropriate Assignments do not have to entail more of the same that an instructor would give. Use your imagination and give assignments to get your tutees involved in the learning process. Require them to go to the library to find out more about a particular topic. Ask them to see the professor to clarify some points brought up during the tutoring session. Students need to learn how to use and take advantage of the available resources on campus.


Strategies Use Popular Games, Models, Pictures, and Graphs Many tutors have adapted games such as Jeopardy, Pictionary, Scattegories, Name that Tune, Wheel of Fortune, Monopoly, Scrabble, Parcheesi, Sorry, Dominos, etc. to the subjects that they tutor. Using games is an excellent method to help students to learn and apply material, self-test, and have fun at the same time. Use models, pictures and graphs to help students see or visualize what is happening. Ask them to draw their own pictures of what something means to them. For example, in Biology, ask students to draw pictures of photosynthesis. During an exam, they will remember “their picture” as opposed to a complicated graph from the text. Students need to utilize all of their senses in learning. Try to incorporate ideas/strategies where students constantly reinforce what they’ve learned by “doing” and “thinking.” Minute Paper Students are asked to take one or two minutes to respond to the following two questions: “What was the most important thing you learned during this session?” and “What important question remains unanswered?” Tutors can use these answers to help guide the next session and also to see what the student most valued from the session. Comments from the students can be used as an opening activity or discussion item. Focused Listening Students focus on a single important term, name, or concept and are directed to list several ideas that are closely related to that “focus point.” This helps the students to see connections between ideas. Empty Outlines Use their lectures, notes, and textbook to complete the outline. This helps students to recall and organize the main points of a lesson within an appropriate knowledge structure making retention more likely. It also provides a model for organization that could be used with other material. Memory Matrix The matrix is a two-dimensional diagram- a rectangle divided into rows and columns- used to organize information and illustrate relationships. Provide the row and column headings.


Strategies Categorizing Grid In this activity the tutor provides the matrix and the headings. A list of the contents of the matrix is also provided. The tutee is then to fill the matrix with the individual items. This allows an evaluation of the students’ “sorting rules.” Students discuss the rules that they used to sort the information. Pro and Con Grid This activity provides important information and analysis of information. One Sentence Summary Students are asked to synthesize an entire lecture into a single, informative, grammatical long summary sentence. Word Journal First, the student summarizes a section of a chapter into a single word. Second, the student writes a paragraph or two explaining when he or she chose that word. This helps students to write highly condensed abstracts and to “chunk” large amounts of information for more effective storage in long-term memory. Concept Maps Students draw or diagram the mental connections between a major lecture concept and other concepts that the students already know. This helps students to see connections. Problem Recognition Tasks The student’s task is to recognize and identify the particular type of problem each example represents. Identifying the problem type and the first step to take in solving it is a significant hurdle for many students. What’s the Principle? This assesses student’s ability to associate specific problems with the general principles used to solve them. Thus, focus is on the general principle and not the precise individual steps taken to solve the problem.


Strategies Documented Problem Solutions Students are asked to identify the specific steps taken to solve the problem. By analyzing these detailed protocols, students can identify other ways to solve problems. Application Cards After students have dealt with an important principle, generalization, theory, or procedure, the tutor hands out an index card and asks them to write down at least one possible, realworld application for what they have learned. This helps them to connect newly learned concepts with prior knowledge. This helps to increase the relevance of what they are learning. Student Generated Test Questions Students are asked to generate possible examination questions. Questions should start with “What are the factors,” “What contributed to,” “What are the causes and effects,” “Why…,” “How” Students begin to understand how well they can answer the questions they have posed. It also empowers students to believe that they can predict and study for examinations in a proactive manner. ________•________


VI. Communication

skills for effective tutoring

communication 67

How to Ask Good Questions

Probing Techniques Any tutor response, which immediately follows a student response, is either a NON-PROBE or a PROBE. A PROBE is a tutor response that requires a student who has just responded to go beyond his/her first response—TO CLARIFY—TO JUSTIFY—TO FURTHER EXPLAIN IT—OR TO RELATE IT TO ANOTHER IDEA. Types of Probes and Examples of Probing Responses 1. Clarification: The tutor asks the student for more information or meaning. “What do you mean by ________?” “Tell us more.” “What else did they do?” “Be more specific.” In what way? 2. Critical Awareness: The tutor asks the student to justify his/her answer. “What are you assuming?” “Why would that be so?” “How can that be?” “Are you sure? Give an example of that. “What do we need to know in order to solve the problem?” 3. Refocus: The tutor asks the student to relate his/her answer to another idea or topic. “How is that related to ________?” “Can you summarize the discussion up to this point?” “Pretend you are _____then what?” “How does your response tie into ________?” “If that is true, then what would happen if ________?: 4. Prompting: The tutor gives the student a hint, or else the tutor rephrases the question to help the student respond. Giving a hint Asking for an example 5. Redirect: The tutor changes the direction of interaction from Student #1 to Student #2. The tutor is asking Student #2 to respond to Student #1’s response. ________•________

Source: Adapted from M.E.J. Orme (1970), Institute for Educational Research, Indiana University


Language of Encouragement Phrases That Demonstrate Acceptance: I like the way you handled that. I like the way you tackled that problem. I’m glad you enjoy learning. I’m glad you’re pleased with it. Since you’re not satisfied, what can do so that you will be pleased with it? It looks as if you enjoyed that. How do you feel about it? Phrases That Show Confidence: Knowing you, I’m sure you’ll do fine. You’ll make it! I have confidence in your judgment. That’s a rough one, but I’m sure you’ll work it out. You’ll figure it out. Phrases That Focus on Contributions, Assets, and Appreciation: Thanks, that helped a lot. It was thoughtful of you to __________. Thanks, I really appreciate __________ because it makes my job easier. I need help on _________. You have skill in __________. Phrases That Recognize Effort and Improvement: It looks as if you really worked hard on that. It looks as if you spent a lot of time thinking that through. I see that you are moving along. Look at the progress you’ve made. You’re improving in __________. You may not feel that you’ve reached your goal, but look how far you’ve come. Summary: Accept peopls as they are. Point out positive aspects of behavior. Show faith in people so they can come to believe in themselves. Recognize effort and improvement. ________•________


Attending Skills: The SOLER Approach S - Squarely Face the Person Facing the other person squarely is the basic posture of interest and involvement. It says, “I’m available to you.” Turning to the side lessens one’s involvement and makes distraction easier. O - Maintain “OPEN” Posture An open posture is a sign that the listener is open to what the speaker has to say and interested in communicating. It is a non-defensive position. Crossed arms and crossed legs are often at least minimal signs of lessened involvement. L - Lean Forward When both of you are seated and you lean forward, it says to the other person that you are interested, available and/or involved. E - Eye Contact Maintaining eye contact lets the other person know that he or she has your attention. Do not stare, but do look directly into a person’s eyes. R - Relaxed Expression: Maintaining a relaxed expression is important in order for you to be perceived as a warm, open person. This does not mean to slap a smile on and leave it. But be aware of the impact of your facial expressions as you listen to someone. In particular, smile when you greet someone. ________•________

adapted from Egan, G. Interpersonal Living. Monterey, California; Brooks/Cole, 1976


Guidelines for Effective Communication 1. Express your thoughts and ideas using “I” statements.

2. Focus on concrete action- what has been or needs to be said or done, rather than on the character, personality, or motives of the person.

3. Tailor your communication to the listener by placing yourself in the listener’s shoes.

4. Suspend judgment of rightness/wrongness, goodness/badness of situations until you have all the information. Understand that the student’s position in regard to an issue or concern is always valid for him/her although it may never make sense to you. Strive to show empathy.

5. Provide specific examples to support your communication.

6. Look for ways to affirm the value of the other person even in difficult communications!



Reflective Listening Reflective listening involves the use of the following skills: 1. Restating as nearly as possible what you have heard d word for word. 2. Paraphrasing the speaker’s statement in your own words. 3. Describing what you think the other person feels about what he/she has just said. Guidelines for employing these skills include: 1. Putting yourself in the other person’s place to determine how the other person feels about the issue you are discussing. 2. Suspending your critical judgment of that person’s viewpoint with regard to whether or not it is correct or complete. 3. Conveying understanding (empathy) and acceptance by your tone, posture and facial expressions (attending skills and restating and/or paraphrasing the other’s most important thoughts, feelings and desires).

The impact of these skills will be to show the other person that you understand his perspective although you may not agree with it, and that you care about him and what he is saying to you. In this way, you also permit the other to more fully express him/herself without distraction or interruption. ________•________


Common Roadblocks to Communication The following “roadblocks” are to some extent a part of everyone’s communication. They are ineffective shortcuts to either informing someone about what we think and feel, offering problem-solving assistance, or finding something out about a person. These types of communications can usually block a positive outcome from your interaction, leaving individuals feeling misunderstood, frustrated, un-helped, or unaccepted. 1. Probing, Questioning, Interrogating “Why…,” “Who…,” “What…,” “You will…” 2. Ordering, Directing, Commanding “You must…,” “You have to…,” “You will…” 3. Moralizing, Preaching, Obliging “You should…,” “You ought…,” “You are required…” 4. Advising, Giving Suggestions or Solutions “Why don’t you…,” “What I would do is…,” “It would be best for you…,” “Let me suggest…” 5. Judging, Criticizing, Disagreeing, Blaming “You are wrong…,” “You are acting stupidly…” 6. Interpreting, Analyzing, Diagnosing “Your problem is…,” “What you need is…,” What’s wrong with you is…”

“Don’t worry, It’ll be alright…,” “It’s not so bad…,” “You’ll feel better…” 8. Persuading with Logic, Arguing, Lecturing “Do you realize…,” “Here is why you are wrong…,” “The facts are…,” Yes, but…” 9. Warning, Threatening “You had better…,” “If you don’t then…” 10. Withdrawing, Distracting, Humoring, Diverting “We don’t talk about that at the dinner table,” “Got up on the wrong side of the bed?” “That reminds me…” 11. Name-calling, Ridiculing, Shaming “Stupid,” “Jerk,” “If you’re so smart, then…,” 12. General Praising, Approving “Good job…,” “I approve of…”

7. Reassuring, Sympathizing ________•________


Guidelines for Giving Feedback 1. Be descriptive of behavior rather than evaluative of the person. By describing one’s own reaction, it leaves the individual free to use your feedback or not use it as he/she sees fit. 2. Feedback should be specific rather than general. Being told, “I like what you said” is not as helpful as “I understand what you said because your examples were good and easy for me to relate to.” 3. Present observations instead of assumptions. 4. Share ideas and information instead of giving advice. 5. Present your ideas as alternatives to be considered rather than as final solutions. 6. Present only the kind and amount of information that will be of value to the recipient; giving feedback is not a good occasion for letting off steam or for impressing others with your knowledge and insights. 7. Direct feedback toward behavior that the receiver can do something about. Frustration is only increased when a person is reminded of some shortcoming over which he/she has no control. 8. Feedback is mot useful when the receiver himself has formulated the kind of question that those observing him can answer. In other words, we also have the responsibility to ask for feedback. 9. In general, feedback is most useful at the earliest opportunity after the given behavior (depending, of course, on the person’s readiness to hear it, the support available from others, etc.) 10. Feedback needs to be checked to insure clear communication. One way of doing this is to have the receiver rephrase the feedback he has received to see if it corresponds with what the sender had in mind. ________•________


Using “I” Messages

Constructive Confrontation Five Ways to Say “I” An “I” message can include any or all of the following five parts. The more you include, the more effective your message. The facts, ma’m, just the facts. 1. Observations Describe the facts—the indisputable, observable realities. Talk about what you—or anyone else—can see, hear, smell, taste, or touch. Avoid judgments, interpretations, or opinions. Instead of saying, “You’re a slob,” say, “Last night’s lasagna pan was still on the stove this morning.” Feelings, nothing less than feelings… 2. Feelings Describe your own feelings. It is easier to listen to, “I feel frustrated” than “You never help me.” Talking about how you feel about another’s actions can be valuable feedback for that person. I thought that you thought I knew what you thought you wanted… 3. Thoughts Communicate your thoughts, and use caution. Just because your statement begins with an “I” doesn’t qualify it as an “I” message. “I think you are a slob” is a “YOU” judgment in disguise. Instead, say, “I’d have more time to study if I didn’t have to clean up so often.” Oh, Cinderella! Re-do your math & rewrite your paper, or else! 4. Wants You are far more likely to get what you want if you say what you want. If someone doesn’t know what you want, he doesn’t have a choice about helping you get it. Ask clearly. Avoid demanding or using the word “need.” Most people like to feel helpful- not obligated. Instead of, “Do the dishes when it’s your turn, or else!” say, “I want to divide the housework fairly.” I intend to do my share, only my share, nothing but my share… 5. Intentions The last part of an “I” message is a statement about what you intend to do. Have a plan that doesn’t depend on the other person. For example, instead of, “From now on we’re going to split the dish washing evenly,” you could say, “I intend to do my share of the housework and leave the rest undone.” 76

Using “I” Messages

Constructive Confrontation Suggestions for Conferences With Your Instructors A Constructive Confrontation Don’t try to solve a serious problem with a professor in the few minutes before or after class. Set up a separate meeting. The instructor might feel uncomfortable discussing the problem in front of the other students. Use “I” messages to make your conference more effective, especially if you are addressing more difficult subjects such as grades, lecture styles, personality conflicts, or insensitive remarks. For example, imagine how you would react if a student marched into your office and said: “You aren’t grading fairly. You gave me a C! You’re impossible to please!” Judgments like those limit the possibility for effective and open communication. Instead, use “I” messages. Consider saying: “I worked hard on this paper and feel disappointed about my grade. I expected a higher grade. I feel frustrated because, though I’ve tried harder, I can’t improve my grade. I want to know how I can do better.” It is easier to listen to a complaint about a specific problem than to a personal attack. Listen without judgment to your instructor’s comments. Discuss the issue openly and be assertive. Ask for what you want. Exercise Pick a person at school who frustrates or irritates you. Pretend you are talking to that person. 1. Write what you would say as a “YOU” message

2. Now, write the same complaint as an “I” message. Include all of the elements suggested in “Five Ways to Say ‘I.’”

Adapted from David Ellis, Becoming a Master Student, College Survival, 1991



VII. Groups

g roups 79

Techniques for Group Tutoring 1. Be descriptive of behavior rather than evaluative of the person. By describing one’s own reaction, it leaves the individual free to use your feedback or not use it as he/she sees fit. 2. Feedback should be specific rather than general. Being told, “I like what you said” is not as helpful as “I understand what you said because your examples were good and easy for me to relate to.” 3. Present observations instead of assumptions. 4. Share ideas and information instead of giving advice. 5. Present your ideas as alternatives to be considered rather than as final solutions. 6. Present only the kind and amount of information that will be of value to the recipient; giving feedback is not a good occasion for letting off steam or for impressing others with your knowledge and insights. 7. Direct feedback toward behavior that the receiver can do something about. Frustration is only increased when a person is reminded of some shortcoming over which he/she has no control. 8. Feedback is mot useful when the receiver himself has formulated the kind of question that those observing him can answer. In other words, we also have the responsibility to ask for feedback. 9. In general, feedback is most useful at the earliest opportunity after the given behavior (depending, of course, on the person’s readiness to hear it, the support available from others, etc.) 10. Feedback needs to be checked to insure clear communication. One way of doing this is to have the receiver rephrase the feedback he has received to see if it corresponds with what the sender had in mind. ________•________


Facilitation Skills & Techniques Five Ways to Say “I” An “I” message can include any or all of the following five parts. The more you include, the more effective your message. The facts, ma’m, just the facts. 1. Observations Describe the facts—the indisputable, observable realities. Talk about what you—or anyone else—can see, hear, smell, taste, or touch. Avoid judgments, interpretations, or opinions. Instead of saying, “You’re a slob,” say, “Last night’s lasagna pan was still on the stove this morning.” Feelings, nothing less than feelings… 2. Feelings Describe your own feelings. It is easier to listen to, “I feel frustrated” than “You never help me.” Talking about how you feel about another’s actions can be valuable feedback for that person. I thought that you thought I knew what you thought you wanted… 3. Thoughts Communicate your thoughts, and use caution. Just because your statement begins with an “I” doesn’t qualify it as an “I” message. “I think you are a slob” is a “YOU” judgment in disguise. Instead, say, “I’d have more time to study if I didn’t have to clean up so often.” Oh, Cinderella! Re-do your math & rewrite your paper, or else! 4. Wants You are far more likely to get what you want if you say what you want. If someone doesn’t know what you want, he doesn’t have a choice about helping you get it. Ask clearly. Avoid demanding or using the word “need.” Most people like to feel helpful- not obligated. Instead of, “Do the dishes when it’s your turn, or else!” say, “I want to divide the housework fairly.” I intend to do my share, only my share, nothing but my share… 5. Intentions The last part of an “I” message is a statement about what you intend to do. Have a plan that doesn’t depend on the other person. For example, instead of, “From now on we’re going to split the dish washing evenly,” you could say, “I intend to do my share of the housework and leave the rest undone.” 82

Facilitation Skills & Techniques Suggestions for Conferences With Your Instructors A Constructive Confrontation Don’t try to solve a serious problem with a professor in the few minutes before or after class. Set up a separate meeting. The instructor might feel uncomfortable discussing the problem in front of the other students. Use “I” messages to make your conference more effective, especially if you are addressing more difficult subjects such as grades, lecture styles, personality conflicts, or insensitive remarks. For example, imagine how you would react if a student marched into your office and said: “You aren’t grading fairly. You gave me a C! You’re impossible to please!” Judgments like those limit the possibility for effective and open communication. Instead, use “I” messages. Consider saying: “I worked hard on this paper and feel disappointed about my grade. I expected a higher grade. I feel frustrated because, though I’ve tried harder, I can’t improve my grade. I want to know how I can do better.” It is easier to listen to a complaint about a specific problem than to a personal attack. Listen without judgment to your instructor’s comments. Discuss the issue openly and be assertive. Ask for what you want. Exercise Pick a person at school who frustrates or irritates you. Pretend you are talking to that person. 1. Write what you would say as a “YOU” message

2. Now, write the same complaint as an “I” message. Include all of the elements suggested in “Five Ways to Say ‘I.’”



VIII. Special Populations

s p e cia l 85


Students with Disabilities At the University of Baltimore, in order for the Disability Support Services (DSS) Office to provide appropriate and reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities, proper documentation must be presented to the office for determination of accommodations. Under the federal laws, it is the student’s choice to disclose this information, not required, to others – faculty, staff, etc. Students who are registered with DSS are eligible for extended tutoring time that is calculated at double the regular tutoring time allotted for non-DSS students. Thus, if the tutor provides two hours of tutoring per week with a non-DSS student, the DSS student, if requested, can received 4 hours a week of tutoring per subject. The DSS student must disclose this request to the tutor; otherwise, they cannot expect the tutor to know. The DSS student is expected to present a red ticket to the tutor indicating they are registered with DSS and are eligible for extended tutoring time. If this occurs, the tutor should only ask if there is anything he or she should understand that may make the tutoring session more productive. Under no circumstances should the tutor ask questions about the disability unless the DSS student discloses information. Frequently Asked Questions* What is considered a disability? As defined by the Americans with Disability Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a disability is a mental, physical, or emotional impairment which substantially limits one or more major life functions such as working and learning. How do students with disabilities receive classroom accommodations? Students with disabilities must arrange an appointment with a member of the Disability Support Services staff to review documentation and determine appropriate accommodations. Accommodations are for the classroom environment and can be used when the student participates in other University events or activities (like tutoring). Is there a charge for services? No. The American with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibit charging students for services including but not limited to books on tape, tutoring, interpreters, and notetakers. ________•________


Disability Specific Accommodations While there are similarities within a disability, all students with disabilities are considered individuals and not accommodated simply based on their documented disability. Therefore, the following accommodations for each disability listed should be considered “suggested accommodations,” since they may not appropriate to each student. Most of the following information was thankfully borrowed from the Disability Support Services Office at the University of Baltimore. Deaf or Hard of Hearing Students You may have a Deaf or HOH student request tutoring at some point in your tutoring career. The question as to how to talk to Deafs if one does not know sign language. What to do: • Talk normally and clearly • Look directly at the Deaf person, keeping eye contact • Don’t tell the interpreter to “tell Suzy that…” Instead, get used to the Deaf person looking at the interpreter instead of you while you look at the Deaf person • Gestures, facial expressions, and body language help clarification • Be patient. Lip-reading is difficult with only 50% to 80% comprehension at the most. Many lip movements look the same. Try it yourself: Look at yourself in front of a mirror or ask someone what you are saying. Say without voice the words, “mark” and “bark.” M and B, as well as other lip shapes, are the same • Never hesitate to write to the person instead of trying to communicate in voice. Deafs appreciate it and are not offended • Just use courtesy, common sense, respect, and be yourself! What not to do: • Do not shout. The person cannot hear you anyway and you will distort a hearing aid • Do not exaggerate your mouth movements or mumble • Don’t look down or away, talk too fast or too slow • Don’t hide your mouth with your hands, hair, or other items. Also, do not smoke or chew gum. Moustaches can present a problem at times • Don’t use slang, idioms, or puns. In Deaf culture, there are different signs for English words that sound the same – puns. The same for slang and idioms. Never assume that Deafs are “dumb” because they cannot speak, or they make unclear sounds when they sign and/or speak. It is difficult to learn voice sounds when you cannot hear them. Your positive attitude is the most valuable asset you can have. You will win over a delightful student and perhaps learn some signs as well!


Disability Specific Accommodations Other suggestions: • Handouts and other visual aids such as PowerPoint, white boards, and charts are of great help • When using any of these visual aids, pause for a moment to allow the Deaf student to take his or her eyes off the interpreter, look at the material, then return to the interpreter without losing the explanation from you, the tutor. • If tutoring in a small group, it is helpful to have the other participants raise their hands when speaking to enable the Deaf student to shift focus from one speaker to another. In addition, be sure that only one person speaks at a time. Blind or Visually Impaired At some point you will meet a blind person. The following list of do’s and don’ts will serve to make each of you more comfortable and find that there is no difference between you both, except for the lack of vision. • Don’t hesitate to ask if he/she would like assistance if in unfamiliar surroundings. When you meet with a tutee for the first session and they are blind or visually impaired, they will need to create a “mind-map” of the space you will be tutoring in, such as a classroom, study area, etc. Give specific directions such as, “the table is on your right and the chair is on your left.” • When showing a blind person to a chair, simply place his or her hand on the back of the chair. He will be able to sit down without your assistance. • When you enter a room where a blind person is present, identify yourself so that the person knows you are there. Also, say when you are about to leave so that the blind person does not attempt to speak to you after you have left. This is particularly useful when working in a small group. • Don’t expect the blind person to guess who you are. Identify yourself and others who are speaking. • Never hesitate to be of assistance to locate items on a table that he or she may need. Also, feel free to read from a handout, a visual aid, a white board, or other materials that others can see. This will put the blind person at ease and let him/her know that if he/she does require assistance, he can freely request it. • Most blind students use a combination of methods including readers, tapes books, and taped lectures. Allow the tutee to record your tutoring session if they request. • Finally, don’t hesitate to use normal language, including words such as see, saw, watch, etc. These are everyday expressions and will not be interpreted literally by the blind person. • Blind students may also use raised drawings, charts, and illustrations, relief maps, and three-dimensional models. • Some blind students use service dogs. Service dogs are working dogs and should not be petted as to avoid distracting it from its duty. 89

Disability Specific Accommodations Students with Physical Disabilities Several disabilities, from cerebral palsy to physical trauma from an accident, may require that the person use a wheelchair. Regardless of the reason, a person who has difficulty with mobility may need assistance. It is federally required that doorways, hallways, and other areas have access that allows the minimum width of 36 inches. With that in mind, consider the layout of the area you will be providing tutoring for a student with a mobility disability. Is the area easily maneuverable by a wheelchair? Is it accessible from an elevator? The height of the table you work at may also need to be considered as well as how close the table is to a white board. Students with physical disabilities may fatigue easily and occasionally be late to tutoring sessions due to transportation problems inclement weather, wheelchair problems or an elevator that is not working. It will help the student for you to work out a plan to communicate if the student believes they may be late for the tutoring session. When having a conversation with a person in a wheelchair, you should sit or otherwise get to an eye-level position to talk. When walking with a person in a chair, walk slowly. Depending on the specifics of the disability, the student with a physical disability may request to tape record the tutoring session. Provide copies of all visual materials as well since these are hard to interpret through a tape recording. Students with Hidden Disabilities: Seizures If you have never witnessed someone having an epileptic seizure, it can be very unnerving and uncomfortable when you see it happening. Epilepsy is an umbrella term for more than 20 different types of seizure disorders. Seizure disorders are NOT a form of mental illness, are not contagious, and are treatable. The appearance of a seizure can range from a brief stare or period of confusion to uncontrolled muscle spasms and movements to a sudden fall. Seizures are categorized into two types: convulsive (grand mal) and non-convulsive (petit mal). What to do when someone is having a grand mal seizure: • Stay calm even though it can be difficult to watch someone having a seizure. The person is not in pain • Be sure that the student with the seizure is not in danger or being hurt. Remove nearby objects • Help lower the person to the floor and place cushioning under his/her head • Turn the person’s head to the side so that breathing is not obstructed • Loosen tight clothing around the throat • DO NOT force anything in the mouth between the teeth • DO NOT try to restrain body movement • Call Public Safety for assistance, extension 5520 90

Disability Specific Accommodations • If the person is pregnant, injured, or if you know the student is a diabetic, call for an ambulance at once Once the seizure is over, the student will be fully cognizant but exhausted and may need to rest. Students with Hidden Disabilities: Psychological Impairments Psychological impairments encompass a wide range of psychological conditions such as depression and anxiety, and a wide range of behaviors ranging from indifference to disruptiveness. Accommodations can include: • Extended tutoring time to allow for information processing • Tape recording the tutoring session It is important to discuss with the tutee that there are expectations in a tutoring session that are meant to support a successful learning environment. The Request for Tutoring Services form can be used as a starting point for this conversation since the responsibilities listed apply to all UB students. It is important, however, to not prejudge the student based on the disability they disclose. Most students with psychological impairments function well in society and are successful at the University of Baltimore. It is more important to remember that you are providing tutoring support. If a tutee begins to express concerns that are not class/content related, refer them to discuss these issues with the Disability Support Services office instead. They are highly trained and you are not the therapist! Students with psychological disabilities will display different characteristics, depending on the individual and the disability. The following are characteristics of this population. Source: College Students with Learning Disabilities, published by the Association on Higher Education and Disability (adapted). Reading • Slow reading rate and/or difficulty in modifying reading rate in accordance with material’s level of difficulty • Uneven comprehension and retention of material read • Difficulty identifying important points and themes • Difficulty integrating new vocabulary • Difficulty reading for long periods of time Written Language • Difficulty choosing a topic 91

Disability Specific Accommodations • • • • • •

Difficulty organizing thoughts on paper Difficulty effectively proofreading written work and making revisions Compositions may be too long or too short Slow written production Poor penmanship Difficulty deciding how much to disclose in writing

Oral Language • Inability to concentrate on and to comprehend spoken language when presented too rapidly • Difficulty in orally expressing concepts that they seem to understand • Difficulty following or having a conversation about an unfamiliar idea • Trouble telling a story in the proper sequence • Difficulty following oral or written directions Mathematical • Incomplete mastery of basic facts • Difficulty recalling the sequence of operational concepts • Difficulty comprehending word problems • Difficulty understanding key concepts and applications to aid problem solving Organizational • Difficulty with organizational skills • Difficulty with time management • Difficulty initiating/completing tasks • Repeated inability to recall what has been taught and studied • Lack of overall organization in taking notes • Inefficient use of library and other resources • Difficulty preparing for and taking tests Attention and Concentration • Trouble focusing and sustaining attention on tasks • Fluctuating attention during lectures • Distraction by stimuli inside and outside of themselves • Excessive energy or lethargy may accompany the inability to focus on attention


Disability Specific Accommodations Students with Hidden Disabilities: Learning Disabilities


People with specific learning disabilities are people with average or above average intelligence. They exhibit a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or using spoken or written language. These may be manifested in disorder of listening, thinking, talking, reading, writing, spelling, or mathematics. Individuals with specific learning disabilities are diagnosed using psycho-educational assessments. These assessments determine where the breakdown in the learning process occurs. Not all individuals with specific learning disabilities utilize the same accommodations since their assessment results will be based on their individual needs. When looking for evidence of learning disabilities one may observe combinations of the following: * Reading problems • Avoids reading aloud; skips over words; omits words; reads and re-reads • Vocabulary and comprehension scores may differ widely • Poor word attack skills • Poor comprehension and retention Mathematical Problems • Does not know mathematical facts, even after years of practice • Seems to understand the components of a math problems but answers incorrectly • Can calculate in his or her head but not on paper • Inserts or drops numbers form a problem • Reverses numbers • Copies problems and answers incorrectly • Difficulty in comprehension of word problems or in reasoning the why of mathematics • Difficulty in organizing problems on paper Written Language Problems • Leaves off endings such as “s”, “ing” or “ed” • Inserts, transposes, reverses or omits letters; spells phonetically • Uses capitals, commas, and periods but does not use other punctuation. May use them excessively. • Does not take accurate notes • Difficulty with sentence structure (e.g. run-ons, incomplete sentences, poor use of grammar) • Inability to copy from the board or a book • Writes very slowly • Penmanship may be immature 93

Disability Specific Accommodations Oral Language Problems • Difficulty in orally expressing ideas • Stutters • Fearful of oral reading • Speaks very quickly with excessive information or speaks very slowly, appears to have difficulty finding the correct words • Oral information appears to be out of sequence Time Management and Organizational Problems • Excessive tardiness; turns work in late although it may be correct; loses or leaves possessions • Spatial disorganization • Turns the wrong way out of the door • Difficulty following written or oral directions • Notes and written assignments out of sequence • Short-term memory difficulties; easily distractible Social/Behavioral Problems • Misinterpretation of subtle language • Thinks the instructor said one thing when something else was meant • Excessively quiet and withdrawn or excessively demonstrative and noisy • Misinterprets tone of voice or misunderstands facial expressions • Is unable to sort out background noises, becomes frustrated at parties, concerts, large lectures or group gatherings • “Daydreams” in class • Does not have friends; lacks assertiveness; inability to use mature judgment in a social situation Other Signs • Fails tests but answers questions and participates well in class • Passes one kind of test (e.g. multiple choice) but fails essay tests • Cannot understand material which is given orally but can understand when given an example on the board or an outline • Knows the math components but cannot “see” the signs The following are a list of accommodations that are often used by students with specific learning disabilities. A reminder, not all students with specific learning disabilities need or use all accommodations listed and some are used for certain courses while other courses do not require accommodations.


Disability Specific Accommodations • • • • • • • • • •

Computers with adapted software Tape recorders Calculators Extended tutoring time Readers for assignments Preferential seating in a classroom Visual aids Enlarged print Oral clarification of written material Specific study techniques ________•________


Adapted from The Community College of Baltimore County, Essex Campus, Office of Special Services Learning Disabilities and ADHD booklet, 2007


Characteristics of

Students with Learning Disabilities Typical characteristics of students with learning disabilities are listed below. Of course, no student has all of these problems. Reading • Confusion of similar words, difficulty using phonics, problems reading multi-syllabic words. • Slow reading rate and/or difficulty adjusting speed to the nature of the reading task. • Difficulty with comprehension and retention of material that is read, but not with material presented orally. Writing • Difficulty with sentence structure, poor grammar, omitted words. • Frequent spelling errors, inconsistent spelling, letter reversals. • Difficulty copying from board or overhead. • Poorly formed letters, difficulty with spacing, capitals, and punctuation. Math • Difficulty memorizing basic facts. • Confusion expressing ides orally which the student seems to understand. • Difficulty copying problems, aligning columns. • Difficulty reading or comprehending word problems. • Problems with reasoning and abstract concepts. ________•________


Now, Watch Your Language!


Language reflects a person’s beliefs. Often, what is said about a person with disabilities can be negative and reinforce stereotypes that are unfair and untrue. Yet, sometimes, people grow up with these labels, not having been taught any differently. Check this out:

Please don’t say:

Instead say:


Person with a disability


Person unable to speak


Person who has MS, polio, etc.


Person with seizures, spasms

Wheelchair bound

Person who uses a wheelchair


Developmentally delayed


Person with a psychological illness


Person with a physical illness, in a wheelchair, etc.

Avoid the labels, and put the person first.

But there is one important exception to this thought…

…Please don’t say “hearing impaired”!

Deafness is not considered a disability. It is a different minority culture based on its own language – American Sign Language (ASL). Most Deafs, who have been deaf since birth or early childhood, do not consider themselves disabled, but part of a vital, vision-based cultural group. Say “Deaf ” and “Hard of Hearing (HOH)” and you will be “correct.” ________•________

* Disability Support Services Resources Manual for Instructors and Staff, 2007.


Suggestions for

Tutoring Students from Other Cultures 1. Talk slowly and clearly. Repeat using synonyms. Avoid idioms and slang.

2. Try not to let any students “lose face” by putting them on the spot. Do not ask, “Do you understand?” Use activities that will demonstrate their understanding instead.

3. Explain the cultural expectations of American Higher Education.

4. Use as many examples and models as possible.

5. Help them to know how to use the library and computer lab.

6. Advise them to prepare for several quizzes and tests being given throughout the semester.

7. Be patient. Try to imagine yourself in their country as a student.

8. Be sensitive to their cultural perspectives (including cultural thought patterns).



Higher Education in the United States Most international students at the University of Baltimore attended secondary (high school) educational systems based on British or French models. These systems are centralized and governed by national regulations for academic instruction and examinations. The American educational system is quite different. The federal Department of Education sets policy guidelines and minimum standards for all public and private institutions in the United States. However, control of schools is decentralized at the state and local levels. Types of Postsecondary Institutions There are four basic types of postsecondary institutions in the United States: (1) Community or junior colleges: public or private; offer two-year Associate Arts degrees; academic programs can transfer to four-year colleges or universities; career programs usually can not transfer; (2) Technical, trade and vocational training schools or institutions: public or private, offer certification courses that do not transfer; (3) Four-year colleges: public or private; offer undergraduate Bachelor of Science or Arts degrees, sometimes offer graduate Master of Science or Arts degrees; and (4) Universities: public and private; offer Bachelors, Masters and sometimes Doctoral and/or professional degrees such as law and medicine. The University of Baltimore is a public state institution. It is one of the few “upper division (junior/senior year) universities in the US that admits only transfer students to is baccalaureate programs. The University offers certificates, Bachelors, Masters and professional law degrees. U of B has three administrative units: the College of Liberal Arts, the Merrick School of Business, and the School of Law. Academic Year: Most postsecondary schools divide the academic year into equal segments of “terms” and operate on a semester (2), trimester (3), or a quarter (4) system. The University of Baltimore operates on a semester system with a Fall and a Spring semester lasting 15 weeks each. A summer session is conducted for * weeks during June and July. Professor – Student Relationships: The relationship between professors and students in the US is less formal than in other countries. Students do not stand when called upon. Classroom dress is casual. Faculty maintain office hours and provide academic and personal advisement. Students are encouraged to ask questions, seek clarification, and present intelligent comments and arguments to the professor’s lecture. You can learn a lot about classroom protocol by watching the behavior of American classmates and observing the tone set by the professor. Prompt arrival and regular attendance is expected. Class Participation: International students sometimes are surprised that they are not only encouraged to participate in class discussions, but they are expected to do so. The final grade you receive for a course reflects a combination of factors: homework assignments, research papers, group projects, mid-term and final exams and class participation. Read the syllabus distributed by the professor to determine what percentage each factor will 99

Higher Education in the United States carry in computing your final grade. After some time and practice, your level of class participation will increase. You will become familiar with the terminology and feel more confident about communicating in English. Homework Assignments: You are expected to complete reading, written and project assignments by the deadline announced by the professor. Late work may keep up with the assigned reading because you may be called upon in class or be expected to participate in group discussion. Examinations take various forms: multiple choice, true/false, short answer, essay, open book, and take-home. It is acceptable to ask the professor before exam time about the general nature of the test. Research and term papers are common. Familiarize yourself with the staff and resources at Langsdale Library. Ask for assistance at the Reference Desk on the third floor. Papers should be typed in a certain format. Ask your professor for details or buy a copy of Turabian’s A Manual for Writers in the bookstore. The University provides computers for student use. Check in advance the date the paper is due. ________•________


Culture Shock & Cultural Adjustment What is Culture Shock? Culture shock refers to a person’s reaction to living in a new culture. Some of the things you were familiar with in your own country are very different in the United States: climate, food, social customs, gestures, language, values, the behavior of people and their roles. It is natural for you to feel confused, nervous, and frustrated when you enter a new environment. Most foreign students experience “culture shock” when they first arrive in the United States. You may feel homesick and lonely being so far away from your family and friends. You may feel (and find) that people treat you like a child or like you are stupid. Maybe they do not understand your English or the way you behave. Probably you do not understand them very well either. You feel like an outsider, as though you do not belong because your new environment is unfamiliar and unpredictable. You may even wonder why you decided to leave home and study overseas. Culture shock can be very tiring experience. But, it can also be an exciting and stimulating time during which you learn about another culture by observing and asking questions: Who? When? Where? What? Why? How? Culture shock is a temporary reaction to a new lifestyle. You will feel better in a few months after you go through the process of cultural adjustment. Symptoms of Culture Shock Everyone experiences culture shock in varying degrees and in different ways. Some people are more affected by culture shock than other people. Hear are a few common symptoms: Physical • Too little or too much sleep • Appetite: overeating or not eating enough • Headaches • Stomach aches • Nervousness Emotional (“Flight” reactions or “Flight” withdrawal reactions) • Homesickness • Loneliness and boredom • Crying and anxiety • Social withdrawal (not socializing with people) • Feeling helpless and too dependent on other people Irritability, anger and hostility toward the new culture. Rebellion against new ways of thinking and doing things 101

Culture Shock & Cultural Adjustment Culture is a way of life of a given people—the behaviors, values, attitudes and communication patterns that provide meanings and identity to the group. These components form a way of understanding and interpreting reality that is shared among the members of a culture. If you are sensitive and try hard then you will learn to function in two different cultures. This is a special skill. The Process of Cultural Adjustment The process of cultural adjustment involves a cycle of emotional stages. This process has “high” (good) and “low” (bad) points, like many experiences may help you to adjust. Leaving your home country to live in another culture is a challenging and sometimes difficult process. It requires much effort, patience and perseverance on your part. It is also an opportunity to grow and learn, to become more tolerant of others, and to gain a deeper understanding of yourself. You will slowly learn to adjust by trail and error, by observing the behavior of others, and by learning how to function in a new culture. You will learn from your mistakes and, after a while, become more comfortable in your new surroundings. You chose to come to the United States to further your education and much of your learning will take place outside of the classroom. Take advantage of every opportunity! How to Cope with Culture Shock 1. Listen and observe both verbal and non-verbal (body language) communication carefully. Try to put new things in their proper context. 2. Ask questions. Admit that you don’t understand something and ask for an explanation. You may need to re-phrase your question, check the meaning of something, or repeat what you have said. 3. Evaluate your expectations. Your reaction to life in the United States and at the University is a product of two things: the way things really are here and of the way you expected them to be. If you find yourself confused or disappointed about something, ask yourself, “What did I expect?” “Why” “Were my expectations reasonable?” If you determine that your expectations were unreasonable or mistaken, you can do much to reduce the amount of dissatisfaction you feel diversity of peoples 4. Try not to evaluate or judge others quickly. New customs, ideas and lifestyles should not necessarily be labeled as good or bad, right or wrong. They are simply different from those of your culture. Try to see things from more than one perspective. Develop and attitude that you can live with difference.


Culture Shock & Cultural Adjustment 4. Keep an open and curious mind. Try new things and be curious about the way things are done in a new place. Even though you may not personally agree with everything, you will feel more comfortable understanding them. Try to enjoy the and cultures. Be flexible. The more you explore, the more you learn. 5. Have a sense of humor. It is very likely that you will make mistakes as you explore a new culture. If you can laugh at yourself, you will feel better and more relaxed. Other people will respond with friendliness if you are not overly defensive about your own mistakes. 6. Stay active and set goals for yourself. Developing new relationships, visiting new places, and experiencing new ways of doing things are some of the great opportunities of overseas study. Don’t sit home waiting for something to happen! Join a student club, local church, or sports groups. Become involved in the International Student Association. Set a new goal for yourself each week and stick to it. You will accomplish a great deal while you are here and enrich your experience. 7. Develop a support network. Because you are away from friends and family back home, you cannot call upon them for advice, companionship and emotional support in the same way you once did. Therefore, it is important that you develop a new circle of close friends and trusted advisors with whom you can share your feelings and experiences, without fear of rejection or ridicule. Otherwise, you may find yourself isolated, lonely and overwhelmed. 8. Adapting versus Adopting: You may wonder whether you must become “Americanized,” whether you can maintain your own cultural identity, or whether there is some way to balance your own culture and the one you are entering. The best advice is to neither resist nor surrender to the new culture. You should not feel pressured to “adopt” or “assimilate” everything American. Rather, you should consider “ adapting” or “adjusting” to those things, which will help you to function while you are temporarily in this country. You will want to be selective in those new things that you accept or reject. 9. Visit the International Services Office: A confidential discussion with the International Student Advisor can help in achieving a positive and healthy perspective on culture shock and the cultural adjustment process. You can learn about ways that thousands of students before you managed to adjust to a new environment and succeeded! 10. Learn from your experience: Living in a new culture can be the most fascinating and educational experience of your life. It gives you the opportunity to explore a new way of life and compare it to your own. It allows you to become aware of your own values and attitudes. Your view of yourself and the world around you will change. Enjoy it! ________•________ 103

Categories of

Non-verbal Communication The categorization which appears below is not offered in isolation, but rather is intended for use in conjunction with other descriptions of non-verbal communication modes. The information presented below represents and indication, or guideline, rather than rigid categories. 1. Proxemics: The use of space. Ordinarily, the distance between sender and receiver. 2. Haptics: The study of touching. The amount of physical contact, or non-contact which occurs between sender and receiver. 3. Kinesics: Body movement. Motions made by the head, hands, etc. 4. Monochromism: The ordering, or organization of Interpersonal relationships. Monochronism – one at a time. 5. Smiling: Common facial gesture whose meaning is often misunderstood. 6. Occulism: Eye contact. Staring, quick glances, etc. 7. Sound: The presence of silence or noise within the lifestyle and environment of a group of people. 8. Clothes: Always an indicator of expression. 9. Laughter/Play: What types of behavior cause laughter? By whom? What is the object of play activities? In what atmosphere are they conducted? 10. Greetings/Farewells: Done with warmth? Touching? Brevity? 11. Paralanguage: Accompanies verbal expressions. Refers to tone of voice. 12. Frankness Reticence: Accompanies verbal expression. Are messages straight forward? Curt? Rude? Honest? 13. Time: Punctuality, or attitude toward it. Past, present, future. 14. Privacy: Along with #1, an indicator of attitudes toward interpersonal relationships. ________•________


Adapted from Jack Levy, George Mason University.

Cultural Values Social values are one of the variables that distinguish one culture form another. From birth, we are conditional by the values and cultures that our society considers important. They influence significant our ways of thinking and behaving. They are part of our cultural identity. They play a very significant role in the process of cross-cultural communication Below are some values assumptions that are commonly associated with American/Western and non-Western cultures. Remember that these are only generalizations and may not apply in societies. Finally, traditional social values are being challenge in many societies. How will our different cultures be affected? Will the changes be positive or negative? Why? You can learn more about American cultural values by covering the left-hand column. Try to describe the corresponding Western social value to those of other cultures. American/Western Culture

Non-western/Other Cultures

Status by Achievement: A person is what a person achieves and acquires through personal merit, talent and abilities. Equal opportunity governs individual potential and upward mobility. Hard work pays off.

Status by Affiliation: A person’s background, family heritage, personal connections, and tribal or social group affiliation are very important. Status is inherited at birth.

Individualism: Focus is on the individual As a self-sufficient and independently resourceful person. The rights, values obligation, and importance of the individual’s identity are implicit in Western culture. In child-rearing, socialization and education, individual achievement and autonomy are encouraged so that he/she will develop his/ her own opinions, solve his/her own problems, and own material possession. Competition, personal accomplishments, and the individual’s honor are paramount.

Primary Identification as Part of a Collective Unit: The individual is first and foremost a part of a family, clan, or tribe. Problem-solving and decision- making (marriage, education, career) are done through consultation and group consensus. Conformity, interdependence and cooperation are emphasized. Group, rather than individual, possessions are acquired. Collective responsibility for the common good and honor of all govern one’s behavior.

Who Am I? There is lot of emphasis on “finding oneself ” through self-help books and psychoanalysis. The “me generation.” “Do your own thing.”

Who Am I? Much of one’s identity is determined by birth, kinship, and social class. Emphasis on “Who Am I?” in relation to my family, community, ancestors and future generation is important.


Cultural Values American/Western Culture

Non-western/Other Cultures

Time Orientation: Americans operate on future-time orientation, scheduling, planning, keeping lists. Appointments are punctual. “Time is money,” a limited resource not to be wasted, but rather saved, organized, made up, and used effectively and efficiently. Constant reference to time on TV, radio, billboards. Important role of calendars and “day-timers” in daily living. Emphasis on deadlines.

Time Orientation: Past/present time orientation. Value on the past, ancestors cyclical and recurring seasonal patterns. Less focus on deadlines, punctuality and advanced planning. “Manana”—What can’t be done today can wait until tomorrow. No one knows for sure what the future will bring, so enjoy today. tomorrow. No one knows for sure

Nature and Fate: We are the masters of our own destiny. Man’s future is within his power to manipulate to his advantage or disadvantage. Progress comes from conquering the unknown and shaping our environment/nature to meet our needs. Take precaution. “Don’t leave anything to fate.”

Nature and Fate: The world’s natural forces operate in a pre-determined spiritually-controlled universe. Nature is a force greater than man to which he must adapt and live with harmoniously. Fate has a great influence on our lives and there is little we can do to alter it. Accept man’s lack of control over the future and all natural phenomena.

Organization and Use of Space: This variable involves the concept of and violating one’s spatial territory. Crowed buses, elevators, and parties are “uncomfortable.” Comfortable conversation distance for Americans is 3-5 feet. Space is “organized” in luggage, drawers, closets, office layouts. Compartmentalization results in greater efficiency. “Queues” (taking one’s place inline and waiting) are respected.

Organization and Use of Space: In some cultures, Latin American and Arab for Example, people stand very close together when talking. Hugging and physical affection (arm over shoulder, holding hands) are common. This has sexual overtones from Americans, causing them to step back in a self-defensive manner. This may offend the other person. Space is “shared.”

Sharing and Trust: Sharing of confidences and entrusting material possessions with others is not done Lightly. Frequent expectation of “return favor” or obligation. Written legal contracts and IOU’s are common. Within one family, each child may have his/ her own toys, stereo, bedroom, etc.

Sharing and Trust: Strong emphasis on sharing and collective possessions. Great generosity and unconditional hospitality. A man’s word is his honor. “The giver of goods, not the owner of goods “is most respected. “Mi casa es tu casa..”


Cultural Values American/Western Culture

Non-western/Other Cultures

Problem-Solving: Americans rarely take the attitude that one must bear what life gives. We have the ability to change life and situations through our own actions. Emphasis on questioning, doubting out yourself.” New solutions and ways of doing things. Confront the problem head-on.

Problem-Solving: What isn’t already decided should be resolved through group consensus or consultation with wise elders in the community. Reliance on the past, traditions, and experience of others as a guide to the present and future. Role of third party mediators (the clan chief or grandmother) in resolving problem or Settling conflicts is important.

Age: Focus on youth in advertising, fashion, recreation, etc. lack of concern for welfare of the elderly. Assumption that old people are senile and a social burden. Reliance on nursing homes and public assistance to care for the elderly.

Age: Focus on age, wisdom and respect for the elderly. Respect for seniority and authority. Deference to the opinions and desires of parents, grandparents and village elders. All ages participate in one family activity. Inter-generational closeness. Children care for their elders as they grow old and “golden.”

Many other culturally-determined social values exist. Consider the concepts of friendship, loyalty, beauty, and success. Can you think of others? Remember . . . Values are usually relatives to the context in which they develop and exist. They are rarely good or bad, right or wrong . . . they’re just different. ________•________


Barriers to

Effective Cross-cultural Communication Cultural differences sometimes contribute to problem in communication. Increased awareness of cultural differences is the first step to open communication. Often we unaware of variables that influence our perception and the meanings we assign to certain communication acts by others. Recognition of our own cultural biases helps us (and others) to understand “Where we are coming from.” These variables include: 1. Attitudes are psychological states that pre-dispose us to react in certain ways when we encounter various situations or events. They affect our behavior and distort our perceptions. Attitudes that affect intercultural communication are: Ethnocentrism or the attitude that everything American is superior and that our ways of doing things are innately better than anyone else’s. This exists in the context of religion,, morality, government, child-rearing, etc. Some critics say that because of their ignorance of the outside world, Americans are quick to judge other societies in terms of the U.S., and feel that other societies should follow our example and adopt our ways of doing things. Stereotypes and Prejudices are attributes assigned to another person(s) solely on the basis of socio-economic class, religious, age, racial, cultural or other groups to which the person(s) belong or is affiliated. Values are implicit cultural assumptions that we adopt through the process of socialization. We are all products of and conditioned by our own culture, environment, and upbringing. 2. Roles and Role Prescription differ from culture to culture. The position and /or expected behavior of women, children, the elder, employees, professors, politicians and neighbors vary among cultures. 3. Language involves both “denotative” or explicit meanings such as the word “cat” literally defined as a furry mammal of the feline species and “connotative” or implicit meanings such as “Hey, check out that cool cat!” Culturally-determined slang is an element of language rarely taught in the classroom, but is an absolutely essential tool for effective cross-cultural communication 4. Non- Verbal Expressions or body language can be very distinctive to a particular culture. Facial expressions, gestures, head/finger/hand movement, styles of walking and sitting, and other mannerisms such as laughing or signs of approval/disapproval are examples. They are often used to convey or imply certain messages through the element of suggestion. Can you think of any specific examples or personal experiences(s) you have had involving the variables outlined above? Or, is it possible that you were not even aware of them? ________•________ 108

American English vs. British English If you think that persons educated in the British educational system or reared in Britain or a former British colony don’t experience communication difficulties when they arrive in America, think again. American English Apartment Auto or car Baby carriage Baggage Bathing suit Bathrobe Bug Can Candy Clothespin Commuter Conductor (railroad) Cookbook Cookie Cop (police) Cotton Deck of cards Dishes Drugstore Elevator Engineer (railroad) Eyeglasses Fall Filling station Flashlight 14 pounds Freight-car Game (i.e., football) Gas Get pregnant Glove compartment (car) Grade (school) Hood (car) Intermission (theater) Wax Knives and forks

British English Flat Motor car, automobile Pram Luggage Swimsuit or swimming costume Dressing-gown Insect Tin Sweets Clothespeg Season –ticket holder Guard Cookery book Biscuit Bobby Cotton wool Pack of cards Crockery Chemist shop Lift Engine driver Spectacles Autumn Petro station Torch One stone Goods wagon Match Petrol Fall pregnant Cubby hole (automobile) Form, standard, or class Bonnet (automobile) Interval Parafin Cutlery 109

American English vs. British English American English Mail Maybe Period (punctuation) Phonograph or stereo Pie Potato chip Radio Raincoat Run for election Sidewalk Soda, pop Steal Store Subway Sweater Table napkin Thread Thumb tack To fire someone Toilet, restroom, and the “john� Trash or garbage can Truck Trunk (car) TV Two weeks Umbrella Undershirt Vacation Wash-rag Windshield

Adapted by the International Services Office, University of Baltimore 1/04


British English Post Perhaphs Full stop Gramophone or record player Tart Crisp Wireless Mackintosh Stand for election Pavement Soft drink, cool drink Pinch Shop Underground Jersey Serviette Cotton Drawing pin To sack someone Lavatory or w.c. (water closet) Dust bin Lorry Boot (automobile) Telly Fortnight Brolly Vest Holiday Face-cloth Windscreen

Spelling Differences Center Center Emphasize Emphasise Favor Favour Honor Honour Insure Ensure Labor Labour Program Programme Theater Theatre Traveling Travelling

• confusion • disorientation • loss • apathy • isolation • loneliness • inadequacy • anger • rage • nervousness • anxiety • frustration • self assured • relaxed • warmth • empathy

• differences are impactful • contrasted cultural reality cannot be screened out

• differences are rejected

• differences and similarities are legitimized

• trust • humor • love • full range of previous emotions

• excitement • stimulation • euphoria • playfulness • discovery

Emotional Ranges

• differences are intriguing • perceptions are screened and selected


• differences and similarities are (5) valued and INDEPENDENCE significant






• expressive • creative • actualizing

• assured • controlled • independent • “old hand” • confidence

• rebellion • suspicion • rejection • hostility • exclusive • opinionated

• depression • withdrawal

• curiosity • interest • assured • impressionistic


Stages of Culture Shock

Social, psychological, and cultural differences are accepted and enjoyed. The individual is capable of exercising choice and responsibility, and able to create meaning for situations.

The individual is socially and linguistically capable of negotiating most new and different situations. He/she is assured of ability to survive new experiences.

Rejection of second culture causes preoccupation with likes and dislikes. Differences are projected. Negative behavior, however, is a form of self assertion and growing self esteem.

Cultural differences begin to intrude. Growing awareness of being different leads to loss of self esteem. Individual experiences loss of cultural support ties and misreads new cultural cues.

The individual is insulated by his/her own culture. Differences as well as similarities provide rationalization for continuing confirmation of status, role and identity.



Level of Personal Satisfaction


Adjustment Phase Familiarity with friends & language, American ways, Feels secure in new environment.

Years 2 – 5

Culture Shock Phase Loss of Cultural Cues, Inconveniences set-in, Hostility, Paranoia, Withdrawal, Doubts about Coming.

The Honeymoon Phase Initial Enthusiasm, Curiosity, Illusions, New Discoveries.

Initial Arrival –First Year

The U-Shaped Adjustment Curve

Reverse Shock Anxiety and doubts about re-entry into own culture.

Departure/Return Home

IX. Evaluating

evaluating 113

Personal Checklist of Tutoring Skills Rate yourself on how well you interact with your students in a tutoring session. 1 = Super 2 = Okay 3 = Needs Improvement Use Popular Games, Models, Pictures, and Graphs 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3

1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3

Many tutors have adapted games such as Jeopardy, Pictionary, Scattegories, Name that Tune, Wheel of Fortune, Monopoly, Scrabble, Parcheesi, Sorry, Dominos, etc. to the subjects that they tutor. Using games is an excellent method to help students to learn and apply material, self-test, and have fun at the same time. Use models, pictures and graphs to help students see or visualize what is happening. Ask them to draw their own pictures of what something means to them. For example, in Biology, ask students to draw pictures of photosynthesis. During an exam, they will remember “their picture” as opposed to a complicated graph from the text. Students need to utilize all of their senses in learning. Try to incorporate ideas/strategies where students constantly reinforce what they’ve learned by “doing” and “thinking.” Minute Paper Students are asked to take one or two minutes to respond to the following two questions: “What was the most important thing you learned during this session?” and “What important question remains unanswered?” Tutors can use these answers to help guide the next session and also to see what the student most valued from the session. Comments from the students can be used as an opening activity or discussion item. Focused Listening

1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3

Students focus on a single important term, name, or concept and are directed to list several ideas that are closely related to that “focus point.” This helps the students to see connections between ideas. Empty Outlines Use their lectures, notes, and textbook to complete the outline. This helps students to recall and organize the main points of a lesson within an appropriate knowledge structure making retention more likely. It also provides a model for organization that could be used with other material. 115

Personal Checklist of Tutoring Skills 1 2 3

9. In addition to examples, I ask the student to provide examples after they have understood the explanation.

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10. I am cautious about giving prescriptive advice based on my own experience because I am aware that everyone’s background is different.

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11. I observe my tutee’s learning habits and structure my teaching to his needs.

1 2 3

12. Whenever possible, I model a useful behavior rather than giving a long explanation.

1 2 3

13. When it comes to learning, I am suspicious of all panaceas and flat yes or no answers.

1 2 3

14. Once I identify a tutee’s typical learning style, I point out his strengths and weaknesses in hopes that he/she will become more aware of how he/she learns best.

1 2 3

15. I delay my correction of a wrong answer so that I can first question my own preconceptions. Is there another way to answer the question?

1 2 3

16. I try to make each tutoring session a joint effort with at least 50% of the work coming from my tutee.

1 2 3

17. I find out what my tutee already knows. I discover what he needs to know and then I show him how to learn what he needs to know in a way that best suits his learning style.

1 2 3

18. I try to concentrate on real learning and self-improvement, not just on earning better grades. ________•________

Adapted from Student Learning Center, University of California, Berkeley, 1978


Student Evaluation of ALC Tutors PEER TUTORING EVALUATION This past semester you utilized our tutoring services for a subject other than writing or math, and we would appreciate your feedback on the experience. Simply mail this completed form in the reply envelope provided. 1. Name of the course in which you were tutored __________________________ 2. Your tutor’s name __________________________________ 3. Please check all that apply My work with the tutor helped me... __Understand the course material __Relate the course material to my academic, career, or life goals __Understand and apply how I learn best __Identify subject-related strengths and problems areas __Increase my confidence with the course material My work with the tutor also helped me... __Maintain a required minimum GPA __Maintain my scholarship or financial aid eligibility __Pass a required course* __Other (please specify: ________________________________________) 4. What final grade did you earn?**

5. What final grade do you think you would have earned without any tutoring?

6. What effect has your tutoring experience had on your satisfaction with UB: __INCREASED my satisfaction

__DECREASED my satisfaction

__No effect

7. Was tutoring in this course available at times that fit your schedule? __Usually



8. Any other comments or suggestions? (Use back if necessary)

* This form is NOT for evaluating quantitative course tutoring or writing tutoring. If you received tutoring in either of these subjects, you should receive separate Quantitative or Writing Tutoring Evaluation in the mail. **Grades are no longer mailed. Visit My UB ( to view your grades. 117

X. R esources

resources 119

ALC Resources Books, videos and handouts are available in the following areas: • Study and Learning Skills • Not Enough Time to Study? • Too Much Stress? • Want More Family Support for Your Academic Goals? • Low Motivation? • Difficulty Concentrating? • Inefficient Learning Methods? • Resolving Conflict/Communication Problems with Faculty • Computer Skills • Oral Presentation Skills • Group Projects • Rusty Math Skills • Writing Skills • Reading Skills • Test Taking • Note Taking • Listening Skills ________•________


Staff Resource Materials Publications Teaching Basic Skills in College, Alice Stewart Trillin and Associates Teaching Study Skills, Allyn and Bacon Teaching Study Skills: A Guide for Teachers, Thomas G. Devine Improving Higher Education Environments for Adults, Nancy Schlossberg, Ann Q. Lynch, Arthur W. Chickering How to Study in College, 7th Edition, Walter Pauk College Success Strategies, Sherrie L. Nist, Jodi Patrick Holschuh Principles and Techniques of Effective Business Communication: A Text-Workbook, Isabelle A. Krey, Bernadette V. Metzler Getting the College Edge, Mona J. Casady A Guide To Success, Beverly Gold, Esther Rosenstock and Jo-Ellen Turner Toolkit for College Success, Daniel R. Walther Your College Experience: Strategies for Success, John N. Gardner, A. Jerome Jewler The Confident Student, 4th Ed., Kanar Essential Study Skills, 2nd Ed., Linda Wong Right From the Start: Managing Your Way to College Success, Robert Holkeboer Right From the Start: Managing Your College Career, 2nd Ed., Robert Holkeboer Your College Experience: Strategies for Success, Concise Ed., A. Jerome Jewler, John N. Gardner. with Mary-Jane McCarthy The Adult Student’s Guide to Success in College, Timothy L. Walter, Al Siebert Improving Higher Education Environments For Adults, Nancy K. Schlossberg, Ann Q. Lynch, Arthur W. Chickering Journal of the National Tutoring Association, Vol.1, No.1, Spring 2001, Laura Symons, Editor The Transfer Student’s Guide to the College Experience, Nadine S. Kock, K. William Wasson Concepts of Communication: Writing, Essay-Test Module, Mary Lou Conlin Peak Performance, Sharon K. Ferrett 122

Staff Resource Materials Principles of Language Learning And Teaching, H. Douglas Brown Self-Help Kit for Students: Math Anxiety, Math Avoidance, Reentry Mathematics, Mitchell Lazarus Advanced Listening Comprehension: Developing Aural and Note-Taking Skills, Patricia Dunkel, Frank Pialorsi Guide to Language and Study Skills for College Students of English as a Second Language, Anne V. Martin, Beverly McChesney, Elizabeth Whalley, Edward Devlin The Scribner Handbook For Writers, Instructor’s Edition, 2nd Ed., Robert DiYanni, Pat C. Hoy II The Practical Tutor, Emily Meyer and Louise Z. Smith Improving Student Learning Skills, Martha Maxwell Student’s Guide for Writing College Papers, 3rd Ed., Kate L. Turabian The Writing Lab Newsletter Tapes A Tutor’s Workshop: Student with Learning Disabilities The Tutor’s Guide, 1-4 The Tutor’s Guide, 5-8 The Tutor’s Guide, 9-12 Websites for Tutors ________•________








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