Helpful Hints for Successful Tutoring

The Learning Commons Staff is committed to collaborating with faculty and serving students from all disciplines. Below are some suggestions we offer for faculty in order to promote successful and impactful tutoring sessions at the Learning Commons.

You can help students learn about the Learning Commons by:

  • Including a description of the Learning Commons and our website link on your syllabus.
  • Encouraging students to consult our website for information on hours, location, and services provided
  • Familiarizing yourself with the Learning Commons' website, resources, policies and procedures, and staff.
  • Reminding students that the Learning Commons is not a place for "remedial help" -- the Learning Commons can help all students with general skill development and improvement regardless of their level of study.
  • Tell students they can bring in non-course work (creative writing, personal statements, applications, etc.).

Encourage students to use the Writing Center by:

  • Inviting us to visit your class and give an overview of the Learning Commons (see “Classroom Workshops”).
  • Scheduling a tour of the Learning Commons at the beginning or end of a class period. 
  • Mentioning that students can get help online as well as on campus.
  • Sharing anecdotes from former students whose work improved as a result of their visits to the Learning Commons.
  • Getting current students who have visited the Learning Commons to share their experience with their classmates.
  • Talking to your students about your own process and about the value of having a trusted reader provide honest, constructive feedback. Many students are intimidated or embarrassed by the idea of getting help, and it's encouraging for them to know that even experienced writers get help from others
  • Considering making a Writing Center tutoring session a condition of being allowed to rewrite a paper for a higher grade.
  • Giving extra credit for visiting the Learning Commons at least 2-3 times OR at least a full day before the assignment is due. 

First-time visitors are usually unprepared for their sessions and do not have a good grasp of how the Learning Commons operates.

Help students better prepare for their sessions by:

  • Reminding students to bring their assignment sheets and any previously graded papers with comments when they come. The more information students can provide for our tutors, the more catered and personalized each session will be.
  • Encouraging students to ask for specific types of help --the more students can identify their strengths and weaknesses, the more our tutors will be able to focus on those areas.
  • Emphasizing that students should come to the Learning Commons long before their projects are due. Students who visit the Learning Commons right before class/the assignments are due may not have the best results on their projects.
  • Reminding students to plan ahead and make appointments online before visiting the Center. Walk-in are extremely limited, especially during mid-terms and finals, and students may be asked to reschedule an appointment for a later date if we do not have walk-in availability.
  • Providing students with written instructions for written assignments; clearly detail expectations for content, organization, grammar, style, and documentation.