We are in the process of revising our tutor evaluation process and I've got two staff engaged in a debate. I'm reaching out in hopes that someone will sway me one way or another.

Here's the issue:

We can continue in our practice of having our tutor observation form based on a Likert Scale with vocabulary that aims at inspiring our tutors to approach this position with a growth-mindset. This will allow us to rate the actions we see during the tutorial in a continuum. And, after doing some preliminary research, most tutoring programs use a scale as part of their own tutor observation process. This, however, leads to a more subjective range of evaluations, making the observation forms less "comparable" across programs/supervisors, which also means we'll have a more difficult time identifying improvement.


We can revise our tutor observation form to require a "yes" or "no" observation response; in other words, "Yes, I saw evidence of this behavior," or, "No, the tutor did not do this." Instead of rating how strongly a tutor performs (or how often a tutor behaves a certain way, etc.), observers will simply identify what did and didn't happen. There will be a space for more comments and feedback (which can also contribute to growth-mindset), but this allows us to do more comparison across programs and supervisors-not to mention measure improvement-as it limits bias. But, we didn't find evidence that anyone else is doing this and sometimes new feels a little bit uncomfortable.

Any wisdom that you would be willing to share is welcome.

Kolene Mills
Director, Academic Tutoring
Utah Valley University

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