The primary advantage of group tutoring is the potential for the sharing of a variety of views and information. The ideal size of a group is 3-6 students. The following are some basic tutoring guidelines which enhance group learning:
- Keep in mind you are a resource for students and their learning. Your role is to facilitate their learning process.
- Stand or sit where all can see and hear you. Arrange seating so it encourages interaction and visibility.
- Waiting for students to volunteer a well-developed answer allow high-level thinking to take place. Learn to be comfortable with some silence.
- Respect all questions and responses by the students, no matter how basic.
- Remember to use probing questions.
- Do not allow individual students to dominate participation or discussion. Try to involve everyone in the learning activity; non-participants must be drawn into the discussion.
- Do not interrupt student answers.
- To check for understanding, ask another student to describe the same concept in his/her own words.
- Ask open-ended questions and rephrase questions if they do not yield comments.
- A little humor might be helpful.
- Keep the tutoring session focused and moving at a pace appropriate for the group’s abilities.
- Maintain productivity of the tutoring session by preventing irrelevant arguing or repetition.
- As the tutoring session comes to a close, provide closure by asking the students what they learned.
Differences between Group and Individual Tutoring to Consider:
|Group Tutoring||Individual Tutoring|
|Time per student is restricted||No restriction on time for the student except for the length of the tutoring session|
|Multiple abilities and backgrounds of the students can complicate level and pace of instruction||Student is instructed at his/her level and pace|
|Non-participation by some students can occur||Student must actively participate in the session|
|Content covered must be suitable for the general needs of the group||Content is tailored to the student’s needs|
Source: Creighton EDGE/Creighton University.