Hello Learn Assister's,

I have been lurking for a while, and learning some valuable
information, but now I have some questions regarding beginning
a peer tutorial program.  First some background.

Here at the Naval Academy (USNA), we have had a tutoring program
as a part of our learning center (Academic Center) for several years.
However, the tutors have been Master's Level Experts, usually
retired USNA civilian and military faculty, working on the evening and
weekends on an hourly basis.

The Academic Center and others at USNA are now looking into a
peer tutorial program to supplement (maybe eventually replace???) our
existing program, for we are aware that our current system is not
serving students in the absolute best way possible.  We have formed
a working group to study the issue and are just beginning the long
road to instituting a peer tutorial program.

Thus our questions about peer tutorial are practical and fundamental:

1)  How do we go about comparing peer tutorial programs to find the best
        fit for USNA?  We have looked into two "classes" of peer
        tutorial programs, which I can summarize as SI and "not SI".
        However, class size for the "high risk courses" at USNA is limited
        to 24, so students are invariably on different schedules, learning
        different topics, etc., which might rule out the SI model of a
        peer tutor being assigned to each class.  We have considered the
        drop-in tutorial model that has been discussed lately on this
        listserv as maybe a good beginning point.

2)  How can we compensate tutors?  Unlike most universities, USNA
        cannot pay students for their time.  Are there programs out
        there that do not pay tutors but give other compensations?

3)  How do we convince others that peer tutorial is a net benefit
        for the university community?  There is some resistance here
        to the idea of tutorial of any kind, and there is additional
        resistance to the idea of students helping students, for SOME
        of the faculty/military staff believe that the cheating scandal
        of a few years back is a direct result of too much collaboration
        between students.

We have some very good people working on this issue here, but
ultimately, we are all new to beginning a tutorial program from
scratch, and would appreciate any advice from the "trenches".

Kirsten Hubbard
Director of Tutorial Programs, Academic Center
US Naval Academy
Annapolis, Maryland