Academic Success Exchange Recap: Improving Training for Staff and Tutors

20 May 2021



For our Academic Success session held on May 20, 2021, center managers and higher education professionals met to discuss concerns, challenges, and ideas for improving training staff and tutors. We pondered thoughtful questions and heard about methods employed by those centers represented. Below are some of the questions asked and the ideas that were discussed.

“How are you assessing your tutoring and other services to see where the needs for training might be?”

Several centers are measuring needs by performing observations. With tutoring taking place online, it has become much easier to do observations in that the tutor can just record the session and submit it rather than have the awkwardness of a supervisor listening in.

Others are surveying students and/or having their staff complete session assessments after meeting with each student. And some are asking the tutors to complete a workshop evaluation after each training session so that they can take into consideration the tutors' suggestions when planning future training.

One center manager in attendance talked about their mentoring/coaching program where senior or more experienced tutors and staff mentor the newer and less experienced staff. The manager gives them a weekly question to ask their mentee.  They report back on their mentee's progress and training needs.

“How can you make your training more fun and engaging?”

Several are utilizing tools like quizzes and activities. Kahoot and AccuCampus' quiz tools were mentioned as some fun ways to engage the staff.

To make sure students are paying attention, some schools use services like Edpuzzle or Nearpod to make video training more interactive.  For example, they insert questions at certain places in the video for the participants to answer before continuing with the video.

“Are you using any specific tutor certification programs or methods for facilitating training?”

A few center managers in attendance mentioned they were happy to be utilizing the Association for the Coaching and Tutoring Profession (ACTP) or College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA) as their tutor certification body and using their models for tutor training.  Several in attendance however noted that budget for these programs was an issue and so they are having to design and implement their own training.

Someone mentioned they have been utilizing Tutor Lingo for their training needs.

Another school shared that they hold a larger pre-semester training in the fall and spring.  When these were held in person, they would assign some tutors to facilitate the sessions on topics they felt confident in (much like a mini-conference). The tutors seemed to really enjoy learning from their peers and this gave their tutors an opportunity to create a paper to submit for the New England Peer Tutor Association conference that takes place every spring.

Some mentioned using Blackboard or Canvas LMS systems to create a training course for the tutors to be enrolled in and take online.

Other resources that came up for training needs are the LRNASST-L Listserve: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals and Learning Center Professionals Discord server. Several chains/channels have been geared toward this important topic.

Please comment below if you have additional questions or insights you wish to share on this topic.

Academic Success Thursday: Join us from 1:00 – 2:00 PM Eastern every Thursday for this engaging networking session!

Have questions for other centers and institutions about Accudemia or other topics of interest? Join us to get connected and ask!

This is a great way to network with other academic center administrators to exchange ideas and collaborate. While we will host and moderate the live session, the discussion will be driven by academic center administrators such as yourself. Each weekly session will have a preset topic voted on by those who attend. We invite higher education professionals to join us Thursday, May 27th for our discussion on Data and Reporting Needs.  See more details at the Accudemia Weekly Sessions website.

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