Tutor Training
The Academic Learning Centre (ALC) offers tutor training throughout the year for writing and content tutors. The training is typically offered in a six-hour workshop. Morning sessions draw on the text Master Tutor by Dr. Ross B. MacDonald (Cambridge Stratford Study Skills). The manual is complemented with other resources including tutor training videos and intercultural training resources.

Tutor Training sessions will be scheduled for Fall 2018 and Winter 2019. More information and registration details will be available in August 2018.

Workshop Agenda

9:00 - 10:30

Tutor Role &
Tutor Cycle

This session is designed to help tutors reflect on the goals of tutoring and their roles as tutors. In this workshop, we also examine fundamental tutoring strategies that can help to maximize learning, such as modeling and scaffolding. Special attention is paid to strategies that facilitate learning but are sometimes missed in tutoring.


Intercultural Tutoring

Cultural backgrounds can affect student-tutor interaction and learning. This session offers the opportunity to explore some of the many factors involved in intercultural tutoring.


Lunch Break


Content Tutoring

Helping students understand and apply concepts is often difficult. This workshop explains the learning process and provides some strategies that tutors can use when working with the students they tutor. In addition, tutors will find out how to help students read more strategically. Reading is often the under-identified area of skill required to learn the knowledge necessary to progress in a given course or discipline. A strategic approach can help to address this gap. Examples from math and science will be provided.

History of the UM Tutor Training Program

The ALC has been providing tutor training on the UM campus since spring 2004. Tutors from Disability Services, ACCESS programs, Aboriginal Focus Programs, the ALC Writing Tutor Program, ALC Content Tutors, Bison Sport Plus, Campus Life, U1 Mentorship Program have taken part in previous training sessions.

Benefits of Tutor Training

Although tutors often intuitively use effective strategies during their appointments, it is easy to get drawn into tutoring to a test or focusing on short-term rather than long-term improvement. Moreover, many tutors are not aware of the need to explicitly explain and model learning strategies and may be unaware of specific communication behaviours known to improve student learning. For these reasons, taking part in tutor training can significantly improve the way a tutor thinks and interacts with students. Investing time in tutor training will improve the overall quality of tutoring on campus.

Quotes from Participants

"Learning about metacognition in the math & sciences session was useful. It increased my awareness of thought processes."
"The most useful part of the intercultural session was the video. It was extremely enlightening - I had no idea that writing styles varied so much with culture."