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Communicating Advice

Peer Tutoring and Communication Practice

Edited By Wendy Atkins-Sayre and Eunkyong L. Yook

Although competent peer tutoring depends heavily on knowledge within the particular discipline, there is certainly more to the process than subject knowledge alone. One of the most important components of tutoring in any academic area is effective communication. Research in the area of communication studies is relevant to all areas of tutoring, but is often only a minor component of peer tutoring training. This book brings together tutoring center experts and communication experts to provide research-based advice for training peer and near-peer tutors. With a broad audience in mind, these experts translate research from the fields of communication and pedagogy into advice that can be used for tutoring in any field. Peer tutoring centers or pedagogy courses in any discipline will find this book to be an effective discussion tool for encouraging tutors to consider the importance of how they communicate their advice to students.
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Chapter 3. Building an Effective and Supportive Peer Tutoring Team Steven A. Beebe

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BUILDING AN EFFECTIVE AND SUPPORTIVE PEER TUTORING TEAM

Steven A. Beebe

Peer tutoring centers function best when staff members work collaboratively as an effective and supportive team. Although tutoring others is often a one-on-one instructional activity, there are benefits to working as a team to achieve the goals of a peer tutoring center. Yet teamwork typically doesn’t just happen without careful coordination and planning. This chapter presents practical strategies to develop a well-functioning peer tutoring team. After identifying why working together as a team is important, teamwork is defined and the characteristics of effective teamwork are delineated. The chapter then presents the skills, techniques, and strategies for developing an effective peer tutoring team. Since peer tutors often collaborate during meetings, how to organize, lead, and participate in meetings is presented. Finally, how to avoid groupthink in teams and achieve team consensus when there are differences of opinion is presented. The overall goal of this chapter is to identify the key skills and principles to ensure that peer tutoring centers operate as a collaborative community.1

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