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Subject:

Re: Tutor feedback

From:

Elizabeth Keithley <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 11 Apr 2000 16:56:13 -0800

Content-Type:

multipart/mixed

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (111 lines) , NewTutorseminareval (111 lines) , Unknown Name (12 lines)

Hi Robin,
        I have a couple of thoughts that may help. I've been a program
coordinator for many years; this year half my job is Assistant Director of
the larger center, so I'm also supervising other coordinators and have
experienced being in both sets of shoes!
        One thought that occurs to me is that your program coordinator may
be responding to a perception of a loss of control over her program. One
suggestion I'd have is to ask your program coordinators to design their own
program evaluation forms, thinking in terms of what *they* would like to
know about how tutors perceive different aspects of the program--this
ensures that it is a tool for them to continually develop their program,
and not just an evaluation *you* are doing of their work. (You could of
course ask to see a draft and make suggestions before it is given out.)
Any assessment that is designed and administered by the coordinators
themselves is going to 1) be more useful to them, as well as to you, and 2)
have more credibility and buy-in on the part of the coordinators.
        Within our Writing Program, we give a pretty extensive program
evaluation out to tutors at the end of the semester, and survey them on
every aspect of the program we can think of (I'll attach a copy of the
program eval in case you're looking for samples). Embedded in this
evaluation are questions about our effectiveness as trainers and
supervisors, and coordinators share these evaluations with their/our
supervisors. One key point that helps for us is that coordinators share
the evals after they've already seen them and have done some of their own
analysis as to what the responses mean and what sorts of changes *they*
plan to make. (We also have tutors do a less formal "midterm feedback" of
the training seminars, which only the coordinator sees.)
        As a coordinator, I personally change some aspect of the training
program every semester in response to the feedback I get, but tempered by
my own professional judgement. For example, some tutors hate being required
to keep a journal, but I require it anyway because I think that it is that
valuable a tool. What I might change is simply how I introduce that
activity, explaining what I see as the value in it, while being sure to
include other training activities that encourage different kinds of
reflection.
        I'll stop here, and hope some of this is helpful,
-Liz



>Everyone,
>I could use some advice. I am the director of a center with four
>program directors. We have math, writing, content studies, and SI
>programs. I have only been here a year, but I realize that I could
>really use feedback from our tutors about the program directors. I
>have no way of really knowing what kind of training and supervising
>advice to give the directors because there is no system in place for
>feedback. My door is always open, but tutors are not going to
>come to me to discuss their job--unless there is a real problem. I
>would like to have both positive and negative feedback from the
>tutors. Since I teach and use student evaluations to help me
>improve (I hope) my teaching, I thought I would make up similar
>evaluation forms for the tutors to fill out on the center, including
>questions about their program director's effectiveness.
> Now for the reason I need advice: I mentioned this to my
>most productive program director--the one who goes above and
>beyond every week--and she was violently opposed to the idea.
>She said that it was "policing" and "put tutors in opposition to
>directors." She got upset enough to cry! I was taken by surprise
>and didn't know quite how to respond. I will have two new program
>directors in the fall and I have been given some responsibilities that
>will make me less accessible to tutors and clients. I really feel I
>need to have a way to "monitor"--in a good way--what the program
>directors are doing so I can do my job. I don't want to police, but I
>do need to supervise. The director who reacted so passionately is
>absolutely exemplary. If she has that reaction, what can I expect
>from the others?
>
>Do any of you have feedback forms or any type of "evaluation" (for
>lack of a better word--I was told that that word is *offensive*) of your
>coordinators or directors? Do your tutors "evaluate" their training or
>their supervisor? I currently run the SI program (but that will
>change in the fall) and I WANT feedback. However, if this director's
>response is any indication of the reaction I will get from the others,
>I could be in for a fight.
>
>Could those of you who have some type of program evaluations by
>tutors contact me off-list and let me know what you do? share your
>forms? or tell me what you did if you had opposition when you first
>implemented such a thing? I'm still reeling. Our tutors are
>evaluated by the clients--so is the desk staff. It seems like such a
>no-brainer to me to have the tutors evaluate us--I love getting my
>student evaluations each semester and often modify my approach
>because of them. I see the process as a very positive thing. I don't
>approach my job as "policing" at all and see our operation as a
>family unit. I just want to be able to stay in touch with the tutors'
>needs and get their advice. As I told the director who got so upset--
>no one is perfect--we need to be able to change our training, etc. to
>fit the ever-changing needs of the tutors. She said she would
>resent the idea that she should do something different just because
>some tutors didn't like something. I told her I wouldn't expect any
>of them to do that--but--gee whiz--my tutors are more creative than
>I am! I'd like to have their ideas--even if it comes across as a
>complaint! And if there are any real problems or deficiencies, I
>would like to address them in the early stages.
>
>Anyway, sorry about the long post. I'm still a little stunned. Thank
>you in advance for your help.
>
>Robin
>
>"The man who never alters his opinion is like standing
>water, & breeds reptiles of the mind."
> --William Blake
>Robin Redmon Wright
>Director of the Academic Assistance and Resource Ctr.
>Stephen F. Austin State University
>(409)468-1463





Elizabeth Keithley
Writing Program Coordinator
and Student Learning Center
Assistant Director
170 Chavez Student Center
U.C. Berkeley
(510) 643-6090, [log in to unmask]
http://slc.berkeley.edu

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