Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tutors

Tutors are important members of the ASP team.  Anecdotally, I know that law students often will seek advice from a classmate before they will come to an “official” in administration.  This is true for academic coaching as well.

• Tutors have the advantage of being students themselves.  Some will have taken the course they are tutoring, from the instructor they are working for.  Tutors are in a position to know the professor’s teaching style, their focus and their exam style.  They will have a good handle on the workload for that course and, hopefully, will be enthusiastic about the doctrinal subject they are tutoring.

• If possible, work with the tutors at your school and help them become ASPish.  Tutors should understand that they can be really effective if they utilize some of the tools Academic Support Professionals use every day. 

• First, encourage tutors to think about their students’ learning styles.  An online tool for students to use which is easy and quick is the VARK.  Once tutors understand that students have different learning styles, ask tutors to use different teaching modes to teach to these styles.  PowerPoint and Prezi are good for visual learners.  Auditory learners benefit from a clear and organized lecture style.  Think pair share exercises are excellent teaching tools which add an active learning component into the session.

• Tutors should not merely give students the “answer.” Tutors should encourage students to be self-regulated learners.  Michael Hunter Schwartz’s book, Expert Learning for Law Students is an excellent resource to take students step by step through this process.

 • Tutors are in a position to give meaningful feedback to students.  It is especially important for first year students to know that the process of law school manageable and could even be enjoyable.  Constructive and positive feedback from tutors will help them succeed. (Bonnie Stepleton)

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