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Tutor Training Exercise


Margaret Hampson <[log in to unmask]>


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


Tue, 18 Apr 2000 10:30:00 -0400





text/plain (43 lines)

Here is my contribution:

To illustrate learning differences, I use the following activity as a
lead-in to Richard Lavoie's video, "How Difficult Can This Be?"  I usually
begin with a brief VAKT learning styles inventory to introduce differences
in processing information before moving into the activity described below.

Take a piece of paper and fold it in half.  Then fold the paper in half
again so that you have 4 equal boxes.  You have 15 seconds to draw each

1) Upper left box--Draw a house.
2) Upper right box--Draw a cat with your opposite hand.
3) Lower left box--Draw a flower with your eyes closed with the hand you
normally write with.
4) Lower right box--Draw a tree with your opposite hand and with your eyes

Tutors usually enjoy this activity, and the discussion that follows can be
quite lively.  I try to steer the discussion toward the idea that in some
situations we are in control and learning is easy.  In other situations, we
experience great difficulty.  For many of the students we work with,
learning a particular subject can be like drawing the tree with your
opposite hand and your eyes closed.

This exercise and the discussion that follows can help tutors understand
that students who struggle with course content are not "just lazy" and that
'more of the same' may not be enough.  Tutors need to try to reach students
using alternate methods.  If a student doesn't seem to understand
information presented one way, tutors need to explore other avenues of
learning. The combination of a learning styles inventory, the Richard Lavoie
video, and this exercise help to illustrate the idea.

Margaret Hampson
Center for Student Learning
College of Charleston
66 George St.
Charleston, SC  29424
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