Wednesday, September 30, 2009

9/30 George Cooper, Kara Bui, and Linda Riker "Protocols and Process in Online Tutoring"

What were your reactions to this reading? How might these ideas help you as a tutor? How might these ideas help you as a writer?

47 comments:

  1. I think the general suggestions for online tutoring, such as building report and focusing on larger issues, is relevant for all tutoring situations. I like to start off by trying to say something positive about a paper, especially if I know I'm going to go on and suggest a great deal of revision, even if it is just praise for their choice of a source.

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  2. I agree with Silver. Most of the suggestions given were generally applicable to most tutoring situations. Online tutoring, in general, is more like correspondance than anything else.

    As far as helping as a writer, it helps having time in between correspondance to read the tutee's work. It gives you as a tutor more time for reflection, which leads to better feedback.

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  3. I've found that creating a friendly atmosphere in an online tutoring session (especially Elluminate, where technological gremlins seem to gather in droves) becomes quite challenging; however, if tutors can help a student feel at ease and can make the session less structured (lecture/respond) and more conversational, online appointments can be very fruitful.

    Within Elluminate sessions especially (given my experiences), the tendency to lecture over the microphone while the student offers suggestions, questions or comments through the text box proves unhelpful to the student. If the student has a microphone, allow for conversation to engage both the tutor and student, back and forth, to create a mutual understanding of the material and the points being covered.

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  4. I've definitely had more online workshops than actual tutoring appointments, but I think online tutoring can be effective depending on the student. I think with and ESL student it would be much harder to communicated online, but sometimes tutoring a remedial student online is just as challenging.
    One of the main points from the article is the importance of engaging the writer thru the method of questioning the text rather than simply leaving comments. I find when doing email or Eluminate tutoring, asking questions within comments really helps open a dialogue between the tutor and the tutee.
    Where grammar and mechanics are concerned, I find it important to remind online tutoring students that the CTL is not an editing service. I tell students that if I see an error repeated throughout the paper, I might mark it once or twice and then I encourage them to find other instances of this error and correct it on their own. This strategy forces the student to look again at his or her own paper after the session instead of clicking "accept changes" and sending it off.

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  5. Going off of what others have said, building a good relationship is key, and refraining from the impulse to edit and still maintain a "minimalist" tutoring style is key. When I email comments, I tend to ask open ended questions and offer some explanation as to why I am asking the question or why I want to know more about something. My hope is that this simulates the dialogue (as least my portion of it) that I would have with a student in a face to face situation. But, again in emailing comments I struggle with how many comments I should make and what to discuss and what to ignore. I try to find patterns and as Katie suggested point it out once and invite the student to look for other instances of the same problem. It gets difficult when patterns are less apparent.

    As Sarah discussed about Elluminate sessions, I agree that having a two way dialogue using microphones is ideal. I have not had many Elluminate appointments, but I had one last week were we conversed back and forth and it was really good---although sometimes the student's voice would fade out and once she left the room for a short period of time so that was somewhat frustrating, but it was better than no discussion at all.

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  6. I have not had any experience using Elluminate, but I can see where it could be a real problem if only one participant was using a microphone while the other typed back the comments. I have, however, been doing some on-line tutoring; using a messenger to be able to chat "almost live." I have found that it works well if the paper is sent in advance and I can have time before the appointment to go over it and be prepared with positive comments as well as concerns. Being prepared in advance has been helpful in maintaining continuous dialogue in these appointments.

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