7 Plan Tutor Sessions
Discuss Benefits of Session Planning
A session plan is a map that will guide you and your tutee through each session. If you are not sure how you will get somewhere you will waste time and energy. Even experienced tutors can get lost in exercises and activities if they do not have a clear picture of where these will lead. It is important to take the time to plan with a student how to use their tutoring session efficiently. Creating a session plan will allow you to determine a holistic approach that supports the learner and their learning needs. Your job is to take what a student wants to be able to do (their overall goal) and choose a session objective and then implement a course of action. This is the basics of session planning.
Set Learning Objectives with Tutees
- Approach the student in a friendly yet professional manner.
What is your subject? What are you most interested in learning?”
- Discuss student’s perception of the academic challenge.
What do you understand so far? Where does it become difficult? Let’s talk about how to do…”
- Agree on desired outcome of tutoring
“What is your learning goal? Overall? For this session?”
Have a look at study skills as necessary
Use an Anticipatory Set
This activity serves to put the tutee into a receptive frame of mind. Question to find out where the tutee’s greatest interest in the content matter lies. It should include what the learner already knows; review of other work that may relate to this new activity. The tutor will identify how this activity will help the tutee reach goals.
Jot down a few questions and resources that you might use to assess interest and connect with a subject.
Questions you might ask
Resources you might use
The peer tutor presents new information using specific materials related to the learning objective and focused on the necessary basic skills. Create an activity, pose questions, guide through problems or case studies and keep in mind the objective and the skills needed to reach that objective.
The peer tutor shows the skill needed so that the tutee can then do it themselves. The tutee asks question and tries the skill. It is important that the skills ladder from the tutees current understanding of the materials. Be a good model of what it takes to be successful in the task.
Check for Understanding
The peer tutor checks that each step has been understood and determines whether or not students are making sense of the material as the material is being presented. This is done through the process of observation and then offering variations on the materials to see if the understanding can be transferred to a new situation.
The peer tutor provides opportunity to practise what has been presented. Effectiveness of the learning activity is evaluated and adjusted. Consider how you can adjust it so that the tutee is successful. Take small steps.
The peer tutor brings the session to an appropriate conclusion with review and ensuring that the tutee has the main ideas. Summarizing learning will let the tutee see what they have gained and to also see what lies ahead.
The peer tutor provides an activity that the tutee can apply on their own to reinforce proficiency related to the stated objective. This activity will help the tutee to consolidate their learning and extend it to the next objective.
Notes and Questions:
What is the value of:
- Planning in anticipation of a tutoring session?
- Taking some time to plan with a student how to use their tutoring session?
Use a Model to Create Session Plans
Create a 30 minute tutoring session plan, using a topic in your subject area or discipline.
Planning (Hunter Model adapted from Madelaine Hunter, 1984)
|1. Learning Objective – What the tutee will be able to do upon mastery of this activity.|
|2. Anticipatory Set – Puts the tutee into a receptive frame of mind and defines the Session Scope. Include what the learner already knows; review of other work that may relate to this new activity.|
|3. Input – Tutor presents new information, using specific materials related to objective and focusing on the necessary basic skills.|
|4. Modelling – Tutor shows the skill needed so that the tutee can then do it themselves.
The tutee asks question and tries the skill.
|5. Check for Understanding – Tutee responds to each step to show it has been understood.|
|6. Guided Practise – Tutor provides opportunity to practise what has been presented. Effectiveness of the learning activity is evaluated and adjusted.|
|7. Closure – Tutor brings session to an appropriate conclusion with review and ensuring that the tutee has the main ideas and necessary resources.|
|8. Independent Practise – Tutor provides a takeaway task / activity to reinforce proficiency related to the stated objective.|
Implement your Plan (Simulation)
Get together with a partner and try out your session plan with one person as the tutor while the other is the tutee. Change roles.
Discuss what worked well and what you would change for next time. Make notes.
Notes and Questions:
How will you implement your Plan?
Document the Session
This may be called journalling, field notes, diary, logbooks, etc. You will document what happened so that when you meet with the tutee next, you refer to your notes and pick up from where you left off. Decide how you will do this. It might be by using a notebook to record your plan (date, times, subject, goals, actions, etc.) and then making further notes about the session itself. Remember – Do not write in personal information as this could cause other ethical issues.