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Tutorial and Academic Coaching Services


Here at Tutorial and Academic Coaching Services, we value collaboration, feedback, and questions from instructors.

For your information

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

Tutor-Coaches work with students to build academic skills, confidence, and independence. This 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.

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.
  • Provide guidance on the personal essay portions of scholarship applications.

​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. 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.

Our role is also to ensure that academic integrity is upheld.  Therefore, we do not do the following:

  • Correct homework, check answers, etc. 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.

How we help students with writing

The goal of Tutorial and Academic Coaching Services is to help students 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:


  • Work with students on various aspects of their writing: 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.

  • Cover only one or two aspects of the student’s writing 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 or “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.
  • 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 will only be able to cover work that was written solely by the student(s) present at the session.

If students have questions about research and/or APA/MLA citation, we are happy to refer them to a Librarian for assistance.

What about confidentiality?

Tutorial and Academic Coaching Services respects the privacy of all students accessing the service. Any personal information collected is done so in adherence to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act. This obligates the Tutorial and Academic Coaching Services staff to collect information required only for educational and related purposes, and to maintain its security.

Tutorial and Academic Coaching Services does not disclose the names of students who use the service unless a request to do so is made by the student.

All student work and communications shared between students and Tutorial and Academic Coaching Services staff are kept confidential except in cases where it is believed that the student may be at risk of harming themselves or someone else.

How do we address academic integrity and plagiarism?

Academic integrity is actively promoted by Tutorial and Academic Coaching Services. Plagiarism problems are addressed directly with students in the context of educating them on how to paraphrase and cite sources correctly while avoiding plagiarism as defined by NorQuest’s Academic Misconduct Procedure (2016).

If plagiarism is suspected, Tutor-Coaches treat these cases as “opportunities for learning” (Gentile, Arzt & Riedinger, 2005). Plagiarism is addressed with the student and appropriate explanations and/or referrals to library staff are provided (on paraphrasing or quotation, citation, etc.). It is the student’s responsibility to make changes before submitting the paper.


Gentile, J., Arzt, J., & Rieinger, B. B. (2005). Etutor guidelines: Step-by-step procedures for the etutor. Retrieved from

NorQuest College. (2016). Academic Misconduct Procedure. Edmonton, AB: Author.

You may get an email from a tutor-coach early in the term offering a class visit. We find that it is helpful for students to get a topic-specific reminder of what we provide at Tutorial and Academic Coaching Services. The presentation lasts 5-10 minutes. We usually begin contacting instructors in the second week of term to offer visits because we do not want to overwhelm you (or your students) at the very beginning of term.

Please feel free to contact us at any time, and we will be happy to set up a class visit to suit your schedule. To set up a class visit, please email

Please note: if you are a LINC instructor, please contact your Associate Chair for further information.

What is the procedure for requesting exams? How does it work? 

  • Student requests to review exam with Tutor-Coach. 

  • Tutor-Coach sends the instructor a request via email. 

  • The instructor provides Tutor-Coach permission to access the student’s exam on Moodle. 

What happens when a Tutor-Coach reviews an exam with a student? 

  • Tutor-Coach reviews exam and draws out learning strategies that students could improve on. 

  • Tutor-Coach does not share exam questions with students. 

  • Students can take notes on how to improve their test-taking strategies. 

  • Tutor-Coach works with students on weaker concepts indicated on the test. 

Can the student take the exam home or take pictures? 

  • Tests are not shared digitally with students, so students are not able to take pictures or obtain a copy. 

How long does a tutor coach hold on to an exam? 

  • It is dependent on the length of time the access is granted by the instructor. 

Attached are links to our website and our Moodle. As of January 2021, students should be able to add our Moodle page to their dashboard for easier access to our service.