A Training Guide for College Tutors and Peer Educators

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A Training Guide for College Tutors and Peer Educators presents relevant and research-based methods for successful academic support sessions for tutors and peer educator trainees in an adaptable, user-friendly, and interactive format.

By mirroring appropriate methods for organizing and presenting material in an academic support session, it allows the reader to experience for themselves the practices and strategies they will apply as future tutors and peer educators. Based on solid learning theory, the activities, assessments, examples and features included in this flexible and engaging text simulate recommended peer educator practices and emphasize guiding college students to become active, self-monitoring and independent learners.

While teaching readers the key, research-based elements of quality peer assistance, this first-edition guide also incorporates a comprehensive list of topics represented in certification programs. Peppered with practical examples and interactive problem-solving scenerios that readers can immediately apply in their positions, trainees will learn how to plan for sessions, how to assess students’ learning, how to create collaborative activities, how to integrate college learning strategies, and how to approach common issues faced on the job.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

The text is a great resource for supervisors wanting solid, research-based instruction for training staff members working in one-on-one and group tutoring or course-based situations, such as with Supplemental Instruction. It is designed to be used in a range of training settings, be it a credit-bearing course, workshops, self-paced, or online. Also, if you are applying for CRLA’s International Tutor Program Certification or certification through NADE’s Course-based Learning Assistance or Tutoring Services, the Instructor’s Manual includes a section with suggestions for how the text materials can relate to certification requirements.

--Arden B. Hamer, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Sally Lipsky’s academic background and work experiences have centered on public education–from elementary to the postsecondary levels. Upon graduation from the University of New Mexico (B.S. elementary education), she began her career as a Title I reading instructor with the Houston (TX) public school district. After earning a M.Ed. in reading education from Texas Southern University, she taught in the Pittsburgh (PA) public schools. She earned a Ph.D. in language communications and adult education from the University of Pittsburgh and continued her career at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she has worked for over twenty years as a faculty member in the Developmental Studies Department, College of Education and Educational Technology. Her work involves coordinating academic support services and peer assistance programming; supervising paraprofessional peer educators; teaching first-year seminar courses and a peer educator training course; and developing promotional, evaluation, and outcomes assessment procedures. She has made numerous professional presentations and written about aspects of postsecondary learning, including the text College Study: The Essential Ingredients (in its second edition) published by Pearson Education. Furthermore, as a member of the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA), she has chaired the Learning & Study Skills Special Interest Group. As a member of the National Association for Developmental Education (NADE), she has chaired the Peer Assistance Programs Special Professional Interest Network. To this day, she remains fascinated with the process of learning and committed to the value of public education.

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Table of Contents


Chapter 1 - The Power of Peers: Your Role as a Peer Educator

Opening: Focus Questions

What is a Peer Educator?

Role of a Peer Educator

Activity 1.1: Andragogy and Peer Assistance

Facilitator of Learning

Peer Educator’s Role and Development of Students

Benefits for You, the Peer Educator

Activity 1.2: Interviewing

Learning Strategy: Managing Your Time

Activity 1.3: Assess Your Time Management Skills

Strategies for Improving Time Management

Setting Goals

Activity 1.4: Personal Goal


Activity 1.5: Check Your Understanding

Activity 1.6: Elements of Effective Peer-Led Sessions

Suggestions from Experienced Peer Educators

How do you incorporate learning and study strategies?

Chapter 2 - Promoting Active Learning

Opening: Focus Questions

Active Learning

Activity 2.1: Promoting Active Learning

How Learning Occurs

Information Processing Model

Activity 2.2: Information Processing and Learning Strategies

Activity 2.3: Applying the Information Processing Model

Differences in Learning

Visual, Auditory, Tactile/Kinesthetic Preferences

Activity 2.4: Assessing Learning Modalities

Activity 2.5: Analyzing Learning Modalities

Personality Type

Activity 2.6: Assessment

Description of the Dimensions

Activity 2.7: Reflecting

Activity 2.8: Learning Preferences and Learning Strategies


Activity 2.9: How do you learn best?

Activity 2.10: Checking for Understanding

Activity 2.11: Applying

Suggestions from Experienced Peer Educators

How do you increase active participation?

Chapter 3 - Incorporating Critical Thinking and Questioning Skills

Opening: Reading Textbooks

Activity 3.1: Practice Previewing


Talk Out Loud

Activity 3.2: Practice Cognitive Process Instruction

Include Questions

Activity 3.3: Integrating Questions in Sessions

Activity 3.4: Observing

Include Higher-Level Directives

Activity 3.5: Directive Words

Activity 3.6: Critiquing


Activity 3.7: Analyzing

Activity 3.8: Elements of Effective Peer-Led Sessions

Suggestions from Experienced Peer Educators

How do you encourage critical thinking?

Chapter 4 - Assessing Students’ Learning

Opening: Self-Assessment

Why Assess Students’ Learning?

Activity 4.1: Reflecting

How to Assess Students’ Learning?

Beginning of Session

Activity 4.2: Assessment Example

Middle of Session

Activity 4.3: Try it Out

End of Session

Activity 4.4: Thinking and Assessing

What Is and Is Not Adequate Evidence of Learning?

Activity 4.5: Observation


Activity 4.6: Practice Summative Assessment

Learning Strategy: Preparing for Exams

Activity 4.7: Exam Preparation

Activity 4.8: Summarizing Important Information

Suggestions from Experienced Peer Educators

How do you assess students’ understanding?

Chapter 5 — Collaborative Learning and Group Work

Opening: Predicting

Collaborative Learning

Activity 5.1: Examples of Collaborative Learning

Collaborative Learning Guidelines

Group Configurations

Activity 5.2: Observing

Dealing with Common Problems

Activity 5.3: Responding to Problems

Planning Sessions

Activity 5.4: Plan a session


Learning Strategy: Graphic Organizers

Activity 5.5: Collaborative Graphic Organizer

Activity 5.6: Check for Understanding

Suggestions from Experienced Peer Educators

How do you create collaboration among students?

Chapter 6 - Tutoring as a Proactive Process

Opening: Highlighting and Annotating

Activity 6.1: Guidelines

Activity 6.2: Applying


A Proactive Model

Activity 6.3: Reflection

The Tutoring Cycle

Step I. Assess the Student’s Needs

Activity 6.4: Assessing a Student’s Needs

Step II. Recommend, Demonstrate, and Apply

Activity 6.5: Try it Out

Step III. Break Down Content; Evaluate Learning

Activity 6.6: Tutoring Strategies

Step IV. Plan for Application

Activity 6.7: Evaluate Student Responses

Step V. Follow Up

Activity 6.8: Tutoring Cycle: Observing and Practicing

Active Listening

Activity 6.9: Reflecting

Activity 6.10: Active Listening Strategies

Activity 6.11: Verbal and Nonverbal Cues

Verbal Communication

Activity 6.12: Practice Verbal Communication

Guidelines for Verbal Communication

Activity 6.13: Active Listening and Verbal Communication


Activity 6.14: Follow up— Highlighting and Annotating

Chapter 7 — Valuing Diversity Among Students

Opening: Listening and Note Taking

Activity 7.1: Note Taking Strategies

Thinking About Diversity

Individual Activity 7.2: Reflecting

Group activity 7.3: Brainstorming

Group activity 7.4: Creating a Venn Diagram

Individual activity 7.5: Predicting


Dealing with Differences

Activity 7.6: Identifying Similarities and Differences

Guidelines for Peer Leaders

Activity 7.7: Case Studies

Resources for Referral

Activity 7.8: Role-playing Scenarios


Stereotypes and Biases

Activity 7.9: Different Perspectives


Suggestions from Experienced Peer Educators

How do you create a welcoming setting?

Chapter 8 — Online Assistance

Opening: Learning Discipline-Specific Terminology

Procedure for Learning Terminology

Activity 8.1: Chapter Terms

Adjustments for Online Assistance


Activity 8.2: Summarize and Apply

Synchronous vs. Asynchronous

Activity 8.3: Summarize and Apply (cont’d.).


Activity 8.4: Summarize and Apply (cont’d.)

Activity 8.5: Summarize and Apply (cont’d.)

Activity 8.6: Critique an Online Dialogue

Learning and Study Strategies

Activity 8.7: Summarize and Apply (cont’d.)


Activity 8.8: Summarize and Apply (cont’d.)



Activity 8.9: Summative Assessment

Chapter 9 - Effective Peer-Led Sessions: A Summary


Activity 9.1: Top-ten List

Self Assessment

Activity 9.2: Revisiting Your Role in Students’ Development


Activity 9.3: Self Assessment


Suggestions from Experienced Peer Educators

What can you do with an empty box?

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