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Peer Tutor Guide

How to Stimulate Active Learning While Tutoring

How to Stimulate Active Learning While Tutoring

Imagine a tutor is helping a student work a homework problem. What are the differences between passive learning and active learning?

Passive Learning:

Tutor: “Here, let me show you how to do that.”

Active Learning:

Tutor: “What section of the textbook discusses this?”

Passive is when...

  • Tutor lectures or explains without engaging the student with questions.
  • Tutor answers the student’s questions rather than asking the student to call upon prior knowledge and skill to try to figure them out, or to consult the lecture notes, textbook, or other reference materials.
  • Tutor solves homework problems rather than asking the student to solve them.

Active is when ...

  • The student does something to participate in learning to seek mastery of the material.
  • Activities are structured so that the student is required to do the work.
  • The student is engaged in the process summarizing the content he or she has learned.

Active learning has the following affects:

  • It makes tutoring more interesting and fun.
  • It fosters appreciation of learning.

It helps students practice self expression, critical thinking, and self initiated inquiry.