Many of our partners offer drop in tutoring sessions, where students are free to come and go as they need (we’ve even developed a virtual drop in platform through the Nimbus App.)
Here, we have 5 tips to manage a drop-in tutoring session, so all of your students leave feeling heard and prepared.
Solicit questions from students ahead of time
In our previous blog, “Tips to market yourself as a peer tutor” we suggested starting a social media account or blog specifically for connecting with students who may need some help. This is also a great tool to help you understand what topics students need help in.
Before your drop in session post a poll or invite students to send you homework questions they are having trouble with; anything that will give you some ideas on what sorts of things to prep ahead of time.
Set a rough agenda for the session
A lot of drop-in sessions are set up so students simply come in and ask whatever questions they need – and that’s great. Sometimes, however, students don’t have enough questions to fill up the full time period, and it’s up to you to make up the extra time.
This is why we suggest setting up a rough outline for things you think should be covered in the session based on where the students are in their classwork. Reviewing concepts, answering homework questions together, or even setting up a good game of Jeopardy are all useful, productive ways to fill the time.
Have a plan to make sure everyone is heard
Some students are far more comfortable bringing up questions than others, so it’s important to make sure every student feels there is room for them to talk. This can be as simple as just going around the room (or going down the list of participants if in a virtual session) giving each student the chance to ask one question at a time.
Other ways to make sure all students feel they have an equal opportunity to learn is have them write down all of their questions on separate scraps of paper and throw it in a hat. Then you can just randomly pull out each question to answer.
Remember to take breaks
A marathon study session may seem like a great idea, but if you want to extend your drop-in session to hours and hours, be diligent about giving yourself and your students breaks. The most common recommendation for intense studying is 5 minutes after 25 minutes of work, and a longer 15 minute break after 4 study segments.
Whatever you decide, encourage your students (and yourself!) to look away from any screens and move around.
A great way to end off the session is to point students towards more support for after the session. This could be providing links to previous tests in your institution’s test bank, posting samples of all the questions you covered on your social media accounts, or even reminding students that you are available for 1-on-1 tutoring if that’s the case.