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Subject:

Re: Online Tutor Training

From:

Barbara Speidel-Haughey <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Thu, 29 May 2008 11:16:12 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (239 lines)

I appreciate your thoughts and concerns, Nicole. As far as tutors logging in
to the courses, that is not a problem since these are regular 2-unit college
courses transferrable to the CSU system. Ironically, we have more problems
with students making the two f2f sessions in the first level class. And, as
you say, because tutors are busy folks, the online format better
accommodates their schedules.

Our first tutor training class is required of all tutors, so if it isn't
successfully completed they don't tutor. In the EXXON Grant (1992), it was
found that the one programmatic factor that differentiates between
successful and unsuccessful developmental education programs was tutor
training. For that reason, we maintain high training standards for our
tutors.

I realize there are factors in online learning that make it difficult for
many to buy into. At the same time, with assignments that require
interactions among tutors, it does work well. For example, in the second
level class, partner and group exercises are presented, along with f2f
mentoring of a less experienced tutor or being mentored by a more
experienced tutor and completing a Mentee Matters Journal. If I have
concerns about a student, I am able to sit in on these sessions to get more
feedback. 

OK, I'll jump off my soapbox! Good luck in your work ahead; it sounds as if
you are off to a great start!

Barb


On 5/29/08 10:23 AM, "Nichole Bennett-Bealer" <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

> Barb,
> 
> I feel your frustration.  I really want all of our tutors to receive more
> training and recognize their busy lives make f2f training difficult.
> Currently, our system has a small minority of very well-trained tutors, but
> the majority of our tutors have very little training beyond the initial 2
> hour overview.  Online training seems to be a means towards addressing the
> need for training, but I am not sure if I would want to rely as heavily on
> online training as you do.  While CRLA is a limiting factor on how much
> online training we will offer, I am not sure how comfortable I would be with
> a completely online tutor training.
> 
> I think it is great that the online training medium has allowed you to
> garner a greater relationship with your tutors, but I am not so sure such an
> all-or-nothing approach would work as well with our tutors.  We have trouble
> getting them to log on to the course management system to access emails.
> Providing only online tutor training could have a drastic impact on our
> tutor training attendance.  Its abysmal now, but I think it would be
> negligible if we only offered online training.
> 
> I guess what I am saying is that I am caught in between a rock and a hard
> place.  I know that our tutors are not trained as well as they could be.  I
> know that online training modules, if thoughtfully planned, can be a viable
> and enriching experience for our tutors.  But I also fear that if we
> transfer most or all of our training to the web, then we will have even
> fewer trained tutors.  It is a delicate balance that really depends on the
> culture of the students you train and employ.
> 
> To meet my campus student body audience, I really want the online training
> modules to be engaging and interactive.  And the ideas fellow listers have
> shared so far have been helpful.  PowerPoint's that ask for critical
> thinking and reflection instead of purely presenting.  Activities that
> encourage collaboration and communication among tutors in f2f interactions
> that are reported through submitted assignments.  End of module
> quizzes/tests that tutors-in-training can complete multiple times to achieve
> content mastery.  Discussion boards (which we are not at all ready for --
> see above paragraph on email problem), but could be a move once the online
> training builds momentum.
> 
> Changing the tutor training program here at SUNY Plattsburgh is a long-term
> project.  I want to provide my tutors with the best possible training I can.
> And with your help, and the help of others who posted, I think I am heading
> in the right direction.
> 
> I'm still collecting ideas, and probably will be collecting ideas long after
> the first online module appears in the fall.  But that's what we, as tutor
> trainers, do, right?
> 
> Nichole
> 
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Barbara Speidel-Haughey" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Thursday, May 29, 2008 12:40 PM
> Subject: Re: Online Tutor Training
> 
> 
>> Our first level tutor training course, ED 100, is a hybrid class, with two
>> f2f meetings, the first and last day. It is a transferrable course, as is
>> the second level class, ED 101, which is completely online. Because of
>> CRLA's requirements, we are unable to get certification, requirements that
>> I
>> feel ignore the powerful learning communities that can be and are created
>> in
>> online learning. From the conversations in my classes, I come to know the
>> tutors far better than I ever did when the workshop approach was used and
>> the learning can be in much greater depth.
>> 
>> Barb *:)
>> 
>> Barbara J. Speidel-Haughey
>> Learning Assistance Services Coordinator
>> Ext. 6579
>> [log in to unmask]
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> On 5/28/08 8:41 AM, "Kat Powell" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> 
>>> Yes, we use on-line training here at the College of Southern Idaho.  I
>>> believe
>>> I can get you guest access if you would like to look it over.
>>> Kat
>>> 
>>> Kat Powell M.S., G.C.D.F.
>>> Learning Assistance Coordinator
>>> College of Southern Idaho
>>> P.O. Box 1238
>>> Twin Falls, ID 83303-1238
>>> (208)732-6685
>>> Fax (208)736-3029
>>> **Remember no matter where you go, there you are.**
>>> 
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals
>>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Nichole Bennett-Bealer
>>> Sent: Wednesday, May 28, 2008 9:12 AM
>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>> Subject: Online Tutor Training
>>> 
>>> Hello fellow listers:
>>> 
>>> At SUNY Plattsburgh we have trouble meeting our "modest" goal of all of
>>> our
>>> tutors (we had 234 student employees this past semester with an estimated
>>> 144 students returning in the fall) achieving CRLA Level I certification.
>>> I
>>> am working on a spreadsheet to track the courses our current tutors did
>>> well
>>> in so we can meet requests for courses from within our ranks and limit
>>> the
>>> number of new tutors we hire in the fall.
>>> 
>>> We do realize that a large part of our problem with CRLA certification is
>>> the number of students we employ.  We also acknowledge that many of our
>>> tutors simply cannot attend the Tutor Training course to become a content
>>> tutor.  All Writing Tutors must complete ENG390 before beginning to
>>> tutor; a
>>> policy we cannot equally enforce with our content tutors as we often
>>> receive
>>> requests for tutors in new courses after the Tutor Training course has
>>> begun
>>> or run (it is only 5 weeks long and starts the second week of each
>>> semester).  Those content tutors who cannote complete the Tutor Training
>>> course are required to meet with the Grad Assistant for a two-hour
>>> overview,
>>> mostly policies and procedures with some discussion of tutoring
>>> strategies.
>>> 
>>> To address the problem with training, we are considered online training
>>> modules.  We are aware that CRLA limits the number of online training
>>> ours
>>> that will count towards certification and we will stay within those
>>> limits,
>>> but we want to make sure that our online training provides the best
>>> possible
>>> alternative experience for our tutors.  Especially as many would be able
>>> to
>>> achieve CRLA Level I certification by attending the two hour overview,
>>> attending the required six hours of staff meetings (which we calculate to
>>> equal two hours of CRLA training as we do mini-training exercises during
>>> the
>>> meetings, i.e. Learning Style Inventories and discussions, sticky
>>> situations, etc.), and completing the maximum number of three online
>>> training hours CRLA allows each semester (or so I have been informed).
>>> 
>>> So after that long-winded explanation, comes my request.  Do any of you
>>> use
>>> online training modules?  And if so, would you be willing to share your
>>> advice/experiences with such training?  Sample modules if available would
>>> also be much appreciated.
>>> 
>>> Thank you!
>>> 
>>> Nichole
>>> 
>>> Nichole Bennett-Bealer, PhD
>>> Assistant Director/Writing Specialist
>>> Claude J. Clark Learning Center
>>> SUNY College at Plattsburgh
>>> 518-564-2265
>>> 
>>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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>> 
>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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> 
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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