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Peer Tutor Handbook: Part 3: The Tutoring Session

Peer tutoring is a core component of student success at USM. Here's the Keleher Learning Commons approach.

Anatomy of a Session

Sessions in the Tutoring and Writing Center are 30-minutes long. When a student sits down, take the first few moments to introduce yourselves to each other, and establish the student’s goal for the session. Politely let the student know what the time limit is and adhere to it. Even if there are no other students waiting, it’s important to maintain the session’s timed structure for your benefit and theirs.

Getting started (5 minutes):

  • Introduce yourselves to each other and establish rapport
  • Set realistic goal(s) for the session, understanding the time constraint
  • Have the student uncover the assignment’s directives and any work (s)he has in tow
  • Locate any materials/aides you’ll need to conduct your session (i.e., white board, pencil, paper, etc.)

Work time (about 20 minutes):

  • Work on as much as you can, modeling all the way so that the student can take his/her new knowledge away from the session and implement it as (s)he continues to complete the assignment
  • Use the Socratic Method to gauge the student’s understanding and help facilitate learning
  • Make notes of progress or areas to work on for next time

Wrapping up (5 minutes):

  • Review what you’ve accomplished and assess the student’s understanding
  • Make a plan for next session
  • Ensure the student has all notes and materials worked on during the session
  • Explain the citation requirement of the session (if needed)
  • Thank the student for using the service
  • Ask the student to offer any feedback using the appropriate channels