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Writing Advice for College Students
By Jeff Wahl
Technology has had a significant impact on education.  Expanded subject matter and greater interactivity through online courses, as well as changes in the delivery platform from blended to a fully virtual environment have all transformed the way we educate and prepare students.  Yet, regardless of the ways and means – the ultimate outcome remains the quality of the learning experience.
Our experience and developed knowledge base has shown us that what happens in the classroom during the school day is not always enough for some students.  To help these students catch up, and leap ahead, their learning experience needs to step outside the boundaries of the traditional classroom.
We have long realized the benefits of personalized one-on-one instruction.  We have also come to realize that while the actual location of the learning experience may shift from a classroom in a school building to the living room in a family home – the teacher is still the one to establish a quality learning environment.
Therefore, the following four components of a Teaching and Learning Framework promotes the following best practices to ensure successful outcomes for learners, and should be taken into account as one evaluates a tutoring engagement.
The Foundations of Teaching and Learning:  A focus on the well being, development and progress of all learners, and personal and professional conduct. The tutor:

  • Demonstrates professionalism in manner, speech and dresses appropriately.
  • Attends tutoring hours faithfully and arrives on time or early.
  • Works whole sessions, uses time effectively.
  • Is polite, patient, attentive and helpful with child.

Assessment for Planning and Learning:  Knowledge of prior achievement is used to inform planning, and progress is assessed during the lesson so instruction can be adjusted to suit learner needs. The tutor:

  • Assesses student work to determine successful or weak areas.
  • Clearly identifies appropriate resources for addressing weaknesses.
  • Is able to share data from work sessions that indicate growth.

Strategies for Learning and the Application of Subject Knowledge:  Intentional use of strategies lead to progression within the subject and teaching enables learners to understand the concepts that comprise the subject they are studying.

  • Strategies are used skillfully to reinforce, refine and extend learning.
  • Teaching challenges all learners so that they make adequate and steady progress.
  • Strategies used show a desire to help the child become increasingly independent.

Climate and Culture for Learning:  A safe and positive learning environment is created to promote confident and purposeful learning, and the learner is engaged in their learning.

  • Excellent relationships are developed and evident.
  • Learners celebrate their successes.
  • The learner looks forward to each lesson.

Not all tutoring is the same.  Truly effective tutoring needs to be more than just extra time added onto the school day.  It must put an intense focus on foundational skills, complement the school’s regular curriculum, and most importantly engage students to get them excited about learning.
For nearly 20 years, EdisonLearning has partnered with school districts throughout the United States to provide customized extended education services.  Our Learning Force tutoring program focuses on reading and math – considered the two most important foundational aspects of learning.  Pre- and post-assessments, in combination with the follow up that occurs throughout the program, support the learning model and help teachers monitor student progress toward individual achievement goals.
Throughout, our Framework for Teaching and Learning is utilized to evaluate the quality of the teaching/tutoring, and the learning experience of the student and their achievement matched against intended outcomes.  Regardless of the environment – learning and student success remains the ultimate outcome.
Jeff Wahl is the President and CEO of EdisonLearning, a leading international educational solutions provider offering effective solutions to improve student achievement. EdisonLearning currently serves partners with more than 500,000 students in 24 states, the United Kingdom and the Middle East through nearly 300 school partnerships.  For more information:  You can follow Jeff on Twitter at:  @JeffWahl1.
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