Good afternoon, Clint,
This topic come up on this listserv, and if you do a search in the archive, you can find several discussions. Hunter Boylan shares recent research from time to time. I’ve pasted one of his contributions below at the end of this email.

You can also review your own program to gauge its effectiveness, and your institutional research colleagues may be able to support the development of program outcomes and assessment tools. We provide tutor training here based on ITTPC Level 1 (we’ve just applied for actual ITTPC certification) and observe our tutors to assess the degree that we see our training principles in action to assess the tutor interactions based on those principles. We also observe the tutee half of the interaction to assess how much change we see in the tutee’s level of active, self-regulated, metacognitive engagement and learning. We don’t look at GPA’s so much since there are many variables involved in grades, and we’ve found thus far that GPA data doesn’t tell us much. We have yet to analyze DFW courses and tutor use to find out if there is any reliable measure of use of tutors and avoidance of D’s, F’s or withdraws due to low grades. Some of our tutees take online surveys related to the tutoring experience and what they attribute to it (e.g., better performance in the tutored class).

I know that some athletic departments either skip training their tutors or provide minimal training. Does your program provide International Tutor Training Program Certification training to your tutors? Is there observation and debriefing, along with continued professional development for the tutors? Tutor effectiveness is inseparable from tutor training effectiveness. You can’t have first in any systemic way without the latter.

The Learning Commons that I direct is co-hosting the Northwest College Reading and Learning Association ( )  conference on May 11-12 at the University of Portland. Leonard Geddes of the LearnWell Projects will lead a workshop and give the keynote, and there will by many breakout sessions that may support you in your efforts to enhance student athlete learning. We’d love to see you and your colleagues at the conference.

Below is a recent post from Hunter Boylan.

All the best,

Colver, M, & Fry, T. (2016).  Evidence to support peer tutoring programs at the undergraduate level. Journal of College Reading and Learning, 46-(1), 16-41.

This mixed methods study used qualitative analysis to determine student perceptions of the effectiveness of tutoring.  The study also used correlation statistics to identify factors that contribute to student success in tutoring.  Finally, the authors used an archival quasi-experimental approach to assess the effectiveness of peer tutoring for students who were re-taking an undergraduate class after having failed on their first attempt.  They found that students consistently perceived tutoring to improve understanding of course material, improve assignments, and improve student confidence.  Factors that contributed to student success in tutoring included meeting the terms of tutoring contracts and the number of weeks students actively participated in tutoring.  The study also revealed a strong positive relationship between tutoring participation and final grades for those re-taking an undergraduate course.

Mikyong Miksun, K. (2015).  Peer tutoring at colleges and universities.  College and University, 90(4), 2-7.

Based on a review of the literature the author concludes that tutoring typically has one or more of three purposes: 1) develop academic knowledge and skills, 2) develop interpersonal knowledge and skills, and 3) develop skills related to future careers.  The literature review also validates the efficacy of peer tutoring but suggests that there is little information available on whether or not students believe that tutoring will actually help them succeed.

Morales, E., Ambrose Roman, S., & Perez-Maldonado, R. (2016).  Transmitting success:  Comprehensive peer mentoring for at-risk students in developmental math.  Innovative Higher Education, 41(2), 121-135.

The authors studied 45 students from a large urban university enrolled in developmental math over three semesters.  They found that those who participated in peer mentoring not only obtained higher pass rates in the math course but they also developed a stronger sense of self-efficacy and social integration.  They also found that successful peer tutors had the ability to translate academically effective behaviors to their tutees.  Successful peer tutors were also able to provide formative evaluation feedback to help program coordinators revise and improve the tutoring program.
Vick, N., Robles Pina, R., Martirosyan, N., Kite, V. (2015).  The effectiveness of tutoring on
developmental English grades. Community College Enterprise, 21(1), 11-26.

A sample of 2235 students who took a developmental English course during one of three semesters but did not participate in tutoring was compared to a sample of 253 developmental English students who did participate in peer tutoring.  The authors found that, although tutoring was available to all developmental English students, relatively few actually took advantage of it.  Those who did, however, had a higher percentage of As and Bs in the course and were less likely to withdraw from developmental English.

Walvoord, M., & Pleitz, J. (2016).  Applying matched sampling to evaluate a tutoring program
for first year students.  Learning assistance review, 21(1), 99-113.

The authors used the “case-control” method to match 215 pairs of students according to high school GPA and standardized test score. The students were enrolled in a Midwestern university and participating in a peer tutoring program where undergraduate and graduate tutors had completed the CRLA tutor certification program.  They then studied those from the two groups who attended tutoring and those who did not.  The results indicated that those who attended at least one tutoring session had a GPA that was .29 higher than those who did not attend at all.


Hunter R. Boylan, Ph.D. Professor and Director
National Center for Developmental Education
Reich College of Education, Appalachian State University
ASU Box 32098, Boone, NC  28608

Jeffrey White, M.A., M.S.
Learning Commons Administrator, Shepard Academic Resource Center
Instructor of German, International Languages and Cultures
Buckley Center 163, MSC 184

University of Portland
5000 N. Willamette Blvd.
Portland, Oregon 97203

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From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Edwards, Clint
Sent: Thursday, December 21, 2017 12:08 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Tutor effectivness

Hello listeners!

We are starting to take a step back and really review how effective our tutor is. I’m on the search for some articles/literature/surveys… that can help us in our efforts to gage tutor effectiveness, and I’m wondering if any of you would be willing to share what you have found during your research.



-Clint Edwards
Learning Resource Coordinator
Academics for Student Athletes
Oregon State University
335 Beth Ray Center
Corvallis, OR 97331
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