I agree that your suggestion does much to solve "the content problem" in
verifying a potential tutor's content background. We already use this type
of system.

The situation I am describing now is slightly different.  It is one in
which the department is suggesting that the learning skills center will
need to provide customized  training for tutors who will support this
particular course according to the department's curricular and pedagogical
specifications for the course. If we are arriving at a point where how
tutoring is conducted is driven from expectations of an academic
department, are we moving from a student support model to an instructional
support model?  If you agree that there is a difference between student
support and instructional support, is instructional support the realm of
the learning center or the academic department?  Hopefully, this clarifies
the question I am raising.


Georgine Materniak

On Tue, 10 Dec 1996, Perry Franklin wrote:

> Georgine,
> The way we have solved "the content problem" is to have the
> instructor recommend the peer tutor (in writing). This guarantees
> that the tutor is a known quantity in specific subject matter for a
> specific course--not just math, etc.
> Perry
> > Date sent:      Tue, 10 Dec 1996 10:39:51 -0500
> > From:           Georgine Materniak <[log in to unmask]>
> > Subject:        Re: Peer Tutorial Programs
> > To:             [log in to unmask]
> > Send reply to:  Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals
> >                 <[log in to unmask]>
> > Monica's distinction between skills expertise and content expertise is
> > something I'm currently examining in relation to my own program.
> >
> > As a Learning Skills Center, I view our role as one of assisting students
> > with skills that are necessary to learn content.  Our expertise is in the
> > process of learning, not in content per se.  Tutors at the LSC must
> > demonstrate that they have achieved a level of content expertise.  Our
> > training supplements that content knowledge with training in learning
> > strategies and process skills.  In other words, training focuses on
> > teaching how to learn and not on the content to be learned.  Training
> > links the process with the content knowledge the trainees already possess.
> >
> > Recently, one of our departments has indicated that there is to be a
> > significant change in the curriculum and pedagogy of a developmental level
> > course for which we provide individual and group tutoring.  The department
> > has said this change will require tutor training that will be specific to
> > the new course.  Since our training has been successful in training
> > students for roles across content areas, this would be a major shift in
> > our current training approach. It has brought to my mind the question, at
> > what point is content-driven training the responsiblity of the academic
> > department or the responsibility of the learning center?
> >
> > I would appreciate hearing your answers to this question.  By the way, our
> > program is a student service, not an academic department as a point of
> > information.
> >
> > Georgine Materniak
> > University of Pittsburgh
> > Learning SKills Center
> >
> >
> >
> >