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Peer Tutor Guide

Role of the Tutor

Role of the Tutor

The tutor plays a vital and multifaceted role in supporting students’ academic learning. Here is an overview of the roles a tutor often plays simultaneously.

1. The Tutor as a Helper

The tutor’s job is to help students learn and problem solve on their own. Tutors do
not just give students answers; rather, they are ready to help the student begin to make progress toward a solution. Tutors understand that learning is a process of comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. To assist in actively becoming involved in the learning process, tutors help tutees to:

  • Know the type of problem being solved.
  • Understand and use the vocabulary of the subject.
  • Practice the application of principles.
  • Realize that all learners make mistakes but that learning from one’s mistakes is a very effective way to learn.
  • Perform the work themselves.
  • Verbalize what they have learned.

2. The Tutor as a “Model Student”

Tutors are successful students, not experts. Tutors demonstrate the thinking, study skills, and problem solving skills necessary to learn new information. Since tutors are successful learners, tutors exemplify the behaviors of a model student. They must assess the areas where a student may need additional assistance and take the time to share tips and strategies that work.

3. The Tutor as a Learning Commons Employee

As a Learning Commons employee, tutors help to preserve the reputation of the Learning Commons on the OJC campus. Tutors follow the rules and policies outlined in this manual, and tutors are responsible for explaining tutoring policies to the students utilizing the center. During the semester, tutors should report any problems or concerns to the Director of the Learning Commons and Educational Resources. Tutors are respectful to the students, learning center staff as well as the faculty and administration at OJC.

Adapted from Employee Training Manual, Center for Academic Program Support, University of New Mexico. Adapted with permission from: Olga Thurman, Tutorial Support Services, El Paso Community College.