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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.

 

Or…

 

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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