Tutoring DVD Series

A DVD Training Series Developed and Produced by the University Tutorial Center

Productive tutoring consists of a complex set of behaviors that can best be taught by demonstrating effective techniques, allowing practice in real tutoring situations, and giving opportunities for reflection and discussion. Over time, this guided training approach steadily closes the gap between actual and optimal tutoring performances.

A Look at Productive Tutoring Techniques is designed to be used in this cycle of modeling, practice, reflection, and discussion. This training DVD series consists of eight modules and over 90 minutes of actual tutoring footage. Prompts are included to remind viewers to pause and discuss what they have seen. A User’s Guide is also available.

Training videos are resources recommended by the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA) to be included in tutoring programs receiving CRLA certification. In addition, the techniques illustrated with college students and tutors in A Look at Productive Tutoring Techniques are also applicable to tutoring at the middle and high school levels.

Read an independent review of the DVD series.

Module Descriptions

Click on the module number below to see a 1 – 2 minute sample. Within each module are several topics, and there are several examples from different tutoring sessions within each topic. A User’s Guide accompanies the series.

Module / (Length) Title Description
The Tutor’s Role An overview of the the tutor’s main roles as a helper, a peer learner, a teacher, and a Tutorial Center employee.
Positive Reinforcement Examples of verbal and nonverbal positive reinforcement.  How to use positive reinforcement effectively.  Use of qualified positive reinforcement.
Listening Skills Examples of patience and active listening skills shown by good tutors.  Tutors shown waiting for students to ask questions and waiting for responses after asking questions.
The Student’s Ideas Emphasizes the importance of building on the student’s own ideas. Strategies include:  encouraging and acknowledging student ideas, yielding to student ideas, active listening by paraphrasing ideas, redirecting student questions, and delayed positive reinforcement.
Importance of Student Verbalization Demonstrates the importance of student verbalization for both student and tutor.  Advantages cited include giving the tutoring session a conversational quality, clarifying thinking, increasing the number of student questions, helping the tutor diagnose the learning difficulty, improving student confidence, and helping students answer their own questions.
Questioning Skills Use of questions for both diagnosis and teaching.  Questions classified as closed- or open-ended and by the first three levels of Bloom’s taxonomy of the cognitive domain (memory, comprehension, and application).  Use of Socratic questioning to lead students to correct concepts and procedures.
Helping the Student Become an Independent Learner An emphasis on the long-term goal of tutoring–improving study skills so that the student becomes self-sufficient.  Strategies highlighted include: letting the student do the work; offering study tips, problem solving strategies, and test-taking strategies; referring to the text and notes; and encouraging the use of other campus study resources.  In addition, high structure and low structure tutoring sessions are contrasted.
Direct Techniques Traditional techniques used when students need more structure. Topics include: giving feedback, correcting errors, pacing explanations so that students can participate, including questions with explanations, using visuals and real life examples, and summarizing key points.

The DVD series was originally developed for use in the University Tutorial Center’s (UTC) tutor-training program at North Carolina State University, where new UTC tutors are required to take a one-credit tutor training course during the first semester of employment. Course components include the modeling of skills needed for tutoring, practice of the skills in actual tutoring sessions, class assignments that provoke self-reflection on tutoring behaviors, and class discussions about recent tutoring experiences. The DVDs are used as a tool that allows tutors to view positive examples of ideal tutoring behaviors. The reflection, discussion, and activities that accompany the DVDs are essential components to help tutors develop their instinctive tutoring behaviors into more effective ones.

New 4th edition!  This guide includes many features to help instructors maximize the effectiveness of using A Look at Productive Tutoring Techniques during tutor training.  The 2014 edition has been updated by providing references to Put the Pencil Down:  Essentials of Tutoring.  The intent is to provide support for tutor trainers in locating all available resources from the UTC on a particular tutor training topic.

Features include:

  • Complete narrations of all eight DVD modules.
  • Selected bits of verbatim tutoring conversation, e.g. exemplary questions.
  • Suggested questions to pose to new tutors during DVD Pause Screens.
  • Suggested activities and projects for new tutors.
  • References for further reading.
  • Easy to follow labeling: Modules and sections numbered to correspond with DVD title graphics.