Please, join the Conversation about creating a Canadian Tutoring Standard: Discussion Forum
Some Background Information:
Lyn Benn, of Kwantlen Polytechnic University's (KPU) Learning Centres, assisted by Alice Macpherson and with the encouragement of a number of other practitioners has started a conversation about developing a Canadian Tutor Standard. Harvey Starkman, School of English and Liberal Studies, Learning Centre, Seneca College and Krista Bianco, Manager SLG Programs, University of Guelph have also been involved.
Material was presented at LSAC National Conference in May and at CACUSS National Conference in June 2015, as well as LSAC Western regional conferences. We started with questions:
Other tutors (e.g. adult literacy tutors) working in the field are also looking for certification to attest to their skills and experience. Is there a common ground or desire for the creation of Canadian tutor training standards?
Currently, CRLA and NTA in the USA seems to be the major accrediting body that we use as Canadians and there are 14 Canadian Colleges and Universities involved. There are some issues that include, the different legislation between Canada and other countries, as well as, other cultural and regional differences that we have noticed. As Canadians, we have been learning from each other and sharing materials, but there is nothing in place that might assist us with quality assurance. There are varying training options for tutor trainers and we are well aware that Canadian educational systems vary. Some of the methods that have been shared in this conversation already include the categories that various institutions feel are important for Tutors to be well versed in. These include: Topics and hours and reflection; Disability customer service standards; Differing populations; Orientations and expectations; Manuals, workshops, orientations, ongoing support; Writing programs; Broad collection of subjects, train for one day together, breakout sessions; Sessions every two weeks, collecting data on issues to respond; connecting with diverse partners for other expertise. The range of training provided varies from two hours to five days.
Participants at the conferences this year have identified some of the things that they want to move forward with:
KPU has been using dual accreditation through CRLA and the NTA. We like CRLA for program certification and the NTA for the levels of tutor certification and our tutors can become members of a larger tutoring (professional) association.
However, one big issue with the provision of certification through the NTA is the requirement to forward personal student tutor details through to an American organization’s database. Canadian privacy legislation restricts the kind of sharing of information.
KPU also felt that we needed measurable standards for our Peer Tutors that could be validated within the environment and needs of our four campuses and so developed good practice tutor training modules for three levels and a train the trainer program. There are clear Learning Objectives that encompass the education and activities required to become a Peer Tutor. We have three levels of staged education, training, and experience to support new and continuing Tutors. Each level has:
Tutors are supported throughout.
There is a well-defined Evaluation process that includes:
This all results in a clear understanding of what Learning Centre Tutors can do for and with students and what they will not do.
This is the standard for KPU that can be comprehended and quantified by all stakeholders in the tutoring support process. The following chart outlines the current objectives that we have developed through consultation, analysis, and validation.
Matches Topic and Time requirements for CRLA Certification and is aligned with KPU TLC practices.
Level I Objectives for 1 Day Training (6 hours)
Level II Objectives for 1 Day Training (6 hours)
Level III Objectives for 1 Day Training (6 hours)
Level I integration exercises using online resources (6 hours)
Level II integration exercises using online resources (6 hours)
Level III integration exercises using online resources (6 hours)