Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tutoring Class Goes Strong!

Hi All,

My tutors-in-waiting have been blogging and responding to each other's blogs well. In the physical world, they have been observing tutors in the Writing Center and reading tutoring theory and case studies. Meanwhile, based on both the tutoring observations and reading, they've been writing "Tutoring Dos" and "Tutoring Don'ts" on their blogs. Next week, students with a *B plus* or higher will begin tutoring my ENG 099 students.

To end their four weeks of observing tutors in the Writing Center, I have them writing (as their third graded paper assignment) a letter to Bert Eisenstadt, Manager of the Writing Center, evaluating tutoring in the Writing Center. On the way to writing this paper, I have them doing the following assignment. We will being this in tonight's class. The paper will be due May 4.


Problem Posing Exercise: Evaluation of Tutoring at the Writing Center
Professor Gallagher
ENG 220

Part A: What Seems Good at the Writing Center

Step 1: Identify and describe the best tutoring experience you witnessed over the last four weeks of observing tutoring at the Writing Center.

Step 2: Which strategy from our course readings best describes what you witnessed? Explain the strategy and cite the source. If what you witnessed does not resemble anything we read about, then describe the tutor’s strategy as best you can.

Step 3: How did you know the strategy worked? In other words, what evidence from the tutoring session makes you sure it worked? What learning outcomes did you observe?

Part B: What Seems Not To Work at the Writing Center

Step 1: Briefly identify and describe a problem you witnessed during a tutoring session you observed at the Writing Center.

Step 2: Which “tutoring don’t” from our course readings best describes what you witnessed? Present a quotation (identify the source and page number) that describes the problem, then continue the description in your own words, emphasizing what this “tutoring don’t” means to you in a way that will set the reader up for step 3.

Step 3: Describe what you saw in detail when you observed the problem. Describe how it relates to your definition of the problem in steps 1 & 2.

Step 4: Propose a solution to the problem based on strategies and “tutoring dos” from the course reading. Describe what strategy the Writing Center Manager might present in a tutor training session to remedy this problem.


  1. Brave Girl! (or was it Time B**h?-hehe) take the Writing Center to task as well as helping your students figure out what they need to do to be successful tutors...I take off a (metaphoric) hat.

    BTW, I added some tags to your post; I hope you don't mind.

  2. I talked to Bert about the assignment ahead of time and he welcomes the feedback. It's great for the students to have to name and describe both successes and problems and then come up with solutions to problems...especially as they start tutoring next week!

    Thanks for adding tags to my post. Sorry I keep forgetting that part!!!!!

  3. I think that that "evaluative piece" helps students establish a voice in the class--what in gaming would be called "strong engagement". My students really liked hearing from your tutors. They really looked forward to it! But they also liked that they *could* also respond and they also had a lot of fun responding to Luke's post. (Now that I have written that, I suppose we are really talking about agency.)