A typical tutoring or coaching session has the following structure:
Adapted from MacDonald, R. B. (1994). The tutor cycle [Figure]. In The Master Tutor: A Guidebook for More Effective Tutoring. Williamsville, NY: The Cambridge Stratford Study Skills Institute.
How we help students with course material
We work with students to build academic skills, confidence, and independence. This regularly takes the form of providing resources for students to fill gaps in their prior knowledge or further review current course concepts, assisting students with homework, and helping students learn successful study skills such as time management and organization.
The Tutorial and Academic Coaching Services team is made up of tutor-coaches who work with students on material from their NorQuest classes. Tutor-coaches do the following:
- Review and explain concepts. (We do not teach material.)
- Help students understand assignment instructions.
- Work with students to complete practice questions.
- Show students how to check their own work.
- Review marked assignments and exams with students.
- Refer students to additional resources.
- Help students develop study & exam-taking skills.
Only one or two concepts will be covered in any given session. More than one session might be needed if a student has multiple concerns. We will often work with a student to get them started on an assignment and advise them to work alone for half an hour before signing up again.
Tutor-coaches only work with NorQuest students on course material from NorQuest or eCampus classes. When working with a student on a specific assignment, the focus is on helping students build their skills over the long term. The focus is on the student as learner, first and foremost, rather than just on the assignment.
Therefore, we do not do the following:
- Correct homework, check answers, etc. It is not the role of the tutor-coach to “check over” an assignment prior to submission with the goal of ensuring a better grade.
- Help students with every question in their homework. Tutor-coaches will review one concept, and recommend similar questions for the student to complete on their own.
- Help students with specific questions on take-home exams or assignments that are for marks. Instead, tutor-coaches will help students understand the concept required to complete the question, for example, by reviewing similar questions.
- Guarantee improved grades as a result of using Tutorial and Academic Coaching Services.
- Assist students with paperwork such as resumes or funding applications.
How we help students with writing
Whether students use drop-in Tutorial and Academic Coaching Services or make an appointment with the Writing Centre, our goal is to help them develop their overall writing skills, recognizing that writing is a process, not a product. As a result, our focus when working with students is to help them develop writing skills over the long term rather than perfecting a specific piece of writing.
The Writing Centre team is made up of writing tutors and librarians who do the following:
Work with students on various aspects of their writing: research and citation, developing thesis statements, organization, proofreading skills, and more. Students are encouraged to come at all stages of the writing/research process, from brainstorming and forming a research question to planning, drafting, revising, and proofreading.
Only one or two aspects of the student’s writing will be covered in any given session. More than one session might be needed if a student has multiple concerns.
The tutor-coaches do not do the following:
- Edit, proofread, rewrite, fix grammar, etc. It is not the role of the writing tutor or librarian to “check over” an assignment prior to submission with the goal of ensuring an error-free paper or a better grade.
- Comment and/or make suggestions regarding the accuracy of content or factual details in written work.
- Guarantee improved grades as a result of using the Writing Centre.
- Work with students on take-home exams without explicit permission from the instructor.
- Assist with legal/government documents or resumes.
- Help with drafts of work written by someone else (i.e. a friend, classmate, relative). If students are working on a group assignment, all members of the group must be present; otherwise, the tutor-coach or librarian will only be able to cover work that was written solely by the student(s) present at the session.