Talking about our work at the Rollins College Student Resource Center, Florida, USA

Posts tagged ‘questioning’

Watching Aimee’s expert questioning & hinting

Observing Aimee (BIO tutor but also peer mentor for the CHM RCC class) with a repeat client was a real gas–or solid–or liquid?  The client was inCREdibly active, writing down those visual diagrams for the Lewis Dot (I had to write that down) Structures chapter, thinking out loud as she wrote, thumbing through the (very expensive I’m sure) CHM textbook, saying, “Was that 7, or 6?” by which she meant chapter.  In our debriefing session immediately afterwards, I complimented Aimee on getting that very active (almost frenetic) client to slow down, to think carefully about what she was doing, where she was looking, why she was using this or that table, what the numbers were showing her, etc. etc.

“I try to give my clients as little as possible,” she told me.  We talked about her pattern of tutor-client talk: They “struggle,”, I give them a “clue,” they get it, then they struggle some more, and so it goes.  Here are some of those questions/clues/guides, verbatim:

“What are you getting those numbers for?”

What is this …..showing you?”

“Does this (Lewis Dot?) structure give you anything?”

And some comments/questions from her client:

“Should I do the dot things? Or draw it out first?  I’m so visual.”

“I’m trying to find a way for me…his (the prof’s) way, visual, or the book’s way” (to which Aimee answered with a question, “Which way is better for you?”)

Lots of Aimee’s questions/comments started with “So, ….”  Slowing the process down, getting her to think carefully.

Aimee told me that she realized that this student started out as a very quiet client at the beginning of term, with few ideas on what to do, where to start, what to reference.   Now she’s got lots of ideas, and Aimee is trying to sort of rein her in, to get her to be more disciplined and efficient in choosing her next step.   MASTERFUL~~~~~~~  Yay!

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Blackboard: nope! –> our blog (re: Smarthinking, etc.)

Some of you might be confused about the Smarthinking assignment…where to post it, for example…and what to say. And for good reason. I realize that when I was printing out the sheets for the training manuals, I didn’t change Blackboard to our tutoring blog as the place for us to hold our discussions. Oops! Sorry… So every time you see a reference to Blackboard anywhere, think our blog. Blackboard –> our blog.

Now to this first new tutor journal/post. Here’s what the syllabus says: (you can always see the word document in a link on the blog called “Syllabi: training courses” which takes you to the training page on the Rollins’ TJ’s tutoring website)

From the TPJ 107 syllabus:
“Assignment (New Tutors Blog Post #1): Go to this website (on our blog; online tutor training sites) Go through two of the sample online tutorials, and notice what questioning and ‘listening’ techniques they use. Also think about how the online tutor is fulfilling the role of a tutor as we discussed this evening. Write about this on our blog before our second training session. See the assignment sheet in your training manual for more detail.”

The assignment sheet in the manual is on a dark blue page…I think in the Techniques section. There’s a bit more detail on that sheet, though I’ve put some more below.

And what to write? Whatever rings a bell from our discussions and activities in our crash training last Wednesday night. Since there is a transcript to analyze, you can see just how the tutor asks questions, reacts to what the student says (writes). Not, however, on how much time s/he waits for the student to say something, but certainly on how s/he reacts to what he says or tries to elicit from the student information about what he gets, doesn’t understand, how he’s approaching it.

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