The primary advantage of group tutoring is the potential for the sharing of a variety of views and information.  The ideal size of a group is 3-6 students. The following are some basic tutoring guidelines which enhance group learning:

  • Keep in mind you are a resource for students and their learning. Your role is to facilitate their learning process.
  • Stand or sit where all can see and hear you. Arrange seating so it encourages interaction and visibility.
  • Waiting for students to volunteer a well-developed answer allow high-level thinking to take place. Learn to be comfortable with some silence.
  • Respect all questions and responses by the students, no matter how basic.
  • Remember to use probing questions.
  • Do not allow individual students to dominate participation or discussion. Try to involve everyone in the learning activity; non-participants must be drawn into the discussion.
  • Do not interrupt student answers.
  • To check for understanding, ask another student to describe the same concept in his/her own words.
  • Ask open-ended questions and rephrase questions if they do not yield comments.
  • A little humor might be helpful.
  • Keep the tutoring session focused and moving at a pace appropriate for the group’s abilities.
  • Maintain productivity of the tutoring session by preventing irrelevant arguing or repetition.
  • As the tutoring session comes to a close, provide closure by asking the students what they learned.

Differences between Group and Individual Tutoring to Consider:

Group Tutoring Individual Tutoring
Time per student is restricted No restriction on time for the student except for the length of the tutoring session
Multiple abilities and backgrounds of the students can complicate level and pace of instruction Student is instructed at his/her level and pace
Non-participation by some students can occur Student must actively participate in the session
Content covered must be suitable for the general needs of the group Content is tailored to the student’s needs

Source:  Creighton EDGE/Creighton University.