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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 13. Engaging in Effective Instructional Communication Behaviors in the Tutoring Relationship Scott A. Myers, Jordan Atkinson, Hannah Ball, Zachary W. Goldman, Melissa F. Tindage, and Shannon T. Carton


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Scott A. Myers, Jordan Atkinson, Hannah Ball, Zachary W. Goldman, Melissa F. Tindage, and Shannon T. Carton

For decades, instructional communication scholars—whose focus is on the examination of communication variables that affect the teaching process across grade levels, subject matter, and instructional settings (Staton, 1989)—have concentrated their research efforts on examining the link between instructors’ use of in-class communicative behaviors and student learning outcomes (Myers, 2010). Collectively, these scholars have found that when instructors simultaneously utilize several rhetorical and relational communication behaviors in the college classroom, students not only view these instructors favorably in terms of perceived instructors’ credibility, approachability, and teaching effectiveness (see Mottet, Richmond, & McCroskey, 2006, for a review), but they also report gains in their affective learning (i.e., students’ positive attitudes toward instruction, learning, and instructors), cognitive learning (i.e., students’ retention of content and information delivered through instruction), and state motivation (i.e., students’ attempts to obtain knowledge or skills from instruction) as well as an increase in their levels of communication satisfaction with their instructors (Myers, Goodboy, & Members of COMM 600, 2014; Waldeck, Plax, & Kearney, 2010).

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