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Academic Research

Tutor.com Logic Model

Study Type: ESSA Evidence Level IV, Prepared by LearnPlatform

The Hallmarks of High-Quality Tutoring: White Paper

Dr. Danielle Kearns-Sixsmith

The Hallmarks of High-Quality Tutoring: A Higher Ed Study Using MM-GT

Dr. Danielle Kearns-Sixsmith and Jennifer Boller

Case and Efficacy Studies

Resource Guides

Conference Presentations

AMCSUS

Feb. 28–Mar. 2, 2022
Alexandria, VA
“Tutoring for Student Success: A Qualitative Analysis of Military Student Sessions”

NCLCA Conference

October 5–8, 2022
Reston, VA
“The Hallmarks of High-Quality Tutoring”

CCME

Feb 6–9, 2022
San Antonio, TX
“Student Success Tutoring to Build Resiliency: A Qualitative Analysis of Military Student Sessions”

Knowledge Without Boundaries

2022 Research Summit (Virtual)
September 15–17, 2022
“The Hallmarks of High-Quality Tutoring in Higher Education”
“The Hallmarks of High-Quality and K–12 Online Tutoring”

Webinars

Video thumbnail for Critical Thinking webinar Critical Thinking and Research Skills

Student Success Webinar Series 2022
Feb. 19, 2022

Video thumbnail for Confident Writing webinar Becoming a Confident Writer

Student Success Webinar Series 2022
Jan. 28, 2022

Video thumbnail for Collaboration and Teamwork webinar Collaboration and Teamwork

Student Success Webinar Series 2022
Feb. 11, 2022

Video thumbnail for Navigating the College Decision Navigating the College Decision

College Readiness and Management for Working Adults Series
Fall 2022

Video thumbnail for Navigating the Admissions Process Navigating the Admissions Process

College Readiness and Management for Working Adults Series
Fall 2022

Video thumbnail for Navigating the College Experience Navigating the College Experience

College Readiness and Management for Working Adults Series
Fall 2022

Video thumbnail for Navigating Life After College Navigating Life After College

College Readiness and Management for Working Adults Series
Fall 2022

Video thumbnail for Teacher Shortages and the Achievement Gap Teacher Shortages and the Achievement Gap

K–12 Leaders Webinar Series
Fall 2022

Video thumbnail for Updates to the College Admissions Process Updates to the College Admissions Process

K–12 Leaders Webinar Series
Fall 2022

Video thumbnail for Study Skills webinar Mastering Your Study Skills (and Note Taking)

Student Success Webinar Series 2022
Jan. 21, 2022

Video thumbnail for Test Anxiety Overcoming Test Anxiety

Student Success Webinar Series 2022
Feb. 4, 2022

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Annotated Bibliography

Bransford, J. D., Brown, A. L., & Cocking, R. R. (2000). How People Learn (Vol. 11). Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

This germinal work is deeply rooted in the core values at Tutor.com. Our tutors do not support rote memorization nor answer-giving, and as Bransford and his team revealed, it is through understanding that we learn. Learning involves building understanding based on existing mental schemata and developing conceptual and procedural knowledge of specific subject topics. Tutors are encouraged to foster this process by engaging through interaction, one-on-one with individual students, as learners seek to better understand the work they are engaged with; most often from the classrooms where they are led by teachers. Tutors do not simply transfer knowledge but rather, take time to access user understanding, introduce and guide through inquiry, and help students apply new connections appropriately in context. This includes acclimating to the individual’s learner style and preferences revealed through the one-on-one interactions. This informs tutors of the needs of the sessions and to adjust using the tools and capabilities available in the online classroom platform. This study also continues to inform current practices as we assess and improve quality of tutoring in sessions and begin developing and disseminating our own evidence for Bransford’s axioms.

Hrastinski, S., Keller, C., & Carlsson, S. A. (2010). Design exemplars for synchronous e-learning: A design theory approach. Computers & Education, 55(2), 652–662.

Hrastinkski et al. (2010) provided important work that initiated conversations and the offering of both asynchronous as well as synchronous online tutoring at Tutor.com. While essays were more commonplace for asynchronous sessions, live or synchronous sessions provide real time questions and answers to support learning that is scaffolded and speaks to learners who prefer the one-on-one engagement (later revealed as social presence in online learning experiences). In less popular asynchronous sessions, such as for STEM-related areas, for example, discussions ensued about answer-giving and implementing practices of providing parallel or example problems to help a learner associate the problems and questions they may be assigned during coursework. The findings from this study supported the Tutor.com philosophy that, “choice of communication media to be dependent on the way in which it can support the educational processes” (Hrastinski, 2010, p.656) for the learner seeking the support.

Dorn, E., Hancock, B., Sarakatsannis, J., & Viruleg, E. (2020). COVID-19 and learning loss—disparities grow and students need help. McKinsey & Company, December 8, 224–228.

As we follow the literature in more recent times; trends and findings of the Covid and post-pandemic educational impacts on education, we aim to heed the call that online tutoring can and should be used to address loss-of-learning across the country. With development to design better platforms for the teachers that recommend online tutoring, we also seek models that will reach the wide diversity of students tasked with learning. This may be high dosage tutoring or small group tutoring and several pilots are ongoing to explore the benefits and consequences for learners and their programs. These findings will inform the next round of development discussions and enhance our tutoring platforms even more.

Extended Bibliography

Duran, L. B., & Duran, E. (2004). The 5E instructional model: A learning cycle approach for inquiry-based science teaching. Science Education Review, 3(2), 49–58.
Garrison, D. R., & Akyol, Z. (2015). Toward the development of a metacognition construct for communities of inquiry. The Internet and Higher Education, 24, 66–71.
Heinrich, C. J., Burch, P., Good, A., Acosta, R., Cheng, H., Dillender, M., ... & Stewart, M. (2014). Improving the implementation and effectiveness of out-of-school-time tutoring. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 33(2), 471–494.
Hrastinski, S., Stenbom, S., Benjaminsson, S., & Jansson, M. (2021). Identifying and exploring the effects of different types of tutor questions in individual online synchronous tutoring in mathematics. Interactive Learning Environments, 29(3), 510–522.
Jansson, M., Hrastinski, S., Stenbom, S., & Enoksson, F. (2021). Online question and answer sessions: How students support their own and other students' processes of inquiry in a text-based learning environment. The Internet and Higher Education, 51, 100817.
Knowles, M. (1977). Adult learning processes: Pedagogy and andragogy. Religious Education, 72(2), 202–211.
Kraft, M. A., & Falken, G. T. (2021). A Blueprint for Scaling Tutoring and Mentoring Across Public Schools. AERA Open, 7, 23328584211042858.
Mendoza, D. F., & Kerl, E. (2021). Student Perceived Benefits of Embedded Online Peer Tutors. Learning Assistance Review, 26(1), 53–73.
Nadworny, E. (2022). More than 1 million fewer students are in college. NPR.org. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/2022/01/13/1072529477/more-than-1-million-fewer-students-are-in-college-the-lowest-enrollment-numbers-
Shim, M., Johnson, B., Bradt, J., & Gasson, S. (2021). A mixed methods–grounded theory design for producing more refined theoretical models. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 15(1), 61–86.
Stenbom, S., Hrastinski, S., & Cleveland-Innes, M. (2016). Emotional presence in a relationship of inquiry: The case of one-to-one online math coaching. Online Learning, 20(1), 41–56.