Course-specific Tutoring

Course-specific tutoring

While WTS hires tutoring staff from throughout the curriculum, and cross-trains its tutors to work with students from a variety of disciplines, it also provides faculty with the opportunity to have a tutor assigned to an individual course.

These course-specific tutors' work deepens the writing-in-the-disciplines focus of the Campus Writing Program's mission. While familiarity with the discourse conventions of a particular discipline is useful to a tutor as he or she works with a student, familiarity with the course itself—with the instructors' pedagogical aims, the role assignments play in teaching both content and conventions, the critieria to be used in evaluation—provides the tutor with a more nuanced understanding of the writing task at hand than approaching an assignment "cold." The more prepared the tutor, the better able he or she is to help a student develop a reasoned response to a writing prompt.

Faculty members wishing to request that a course-specific tutor be assigned to their course should call the Campus Writing Program at (812) 855-4928 or Writing Tutorial Services at (812) 855-6738.

Course-specific tutor responsibilities

  • Meet with the faculty member to discuss course goals, assignment goals, expectations, and student needs
  • Obtain a copy of the syllabus and assignments to be filed at WTS
  • Provide a WTS class visit and distribute bookmarks (with the location, hours, and phone number of WTS) to the students
  • Check in with the faculty member during the semester to solicit feedback and updates
  • Keep up with the syllabus and assignments throughout the semester and serve as the “point person” for the course in Working Group meetings, reporting to other tutors on what is happening in the class, what assignment is coming up, problems students may encounter, and special requests from the faculty member
  • Place notes and guidelines in the course file at WTS regularly so that all tutors can access pertinent information when they meet with students enrolled in the course

Recent course-specific tutoring partners

AAADS–A 696 Interdisciplinary Research Methods
ANTH–A 208 Topics in Anthropology of the Arts & Expressive Behavior
ANTH–A 410 Capstone Seminar: Food and Famine
BUS–M 311 Advertising and Promotion
CJUS–P 430 Law and the Legal System
CMCL–C 306 Writing Media Criticism
EDUC–J 500 Instruction in Context of Curriculum
ENG–L 381 Recent Writing
GEOG–G 315 Environmental Conservation
GNDR–G 225 Gender, Sexuality, and Pop Culture
HIST–J 300 War and Peace
HUBI–B 301 The Intricate Human
INTL–I 100 Introduction to International Studies
MATH–M 330 Exploring Mathematical Ideas
PHIL–P 310 Introduction to Medieval Philosophy
REL–R 210 Introduction to Hebrew Bible

Instructor comments

In addition to the invaluable and highly personalized guidance, support and encouragement [the tutor] has provided my students, she has served as a constant reminder to me that Indiana University truly does attract some of the most gifted graduate students in the country—women and men whose exceptional promise as scholarly researchers is rivaled only by their sincere passion for teaching, and their incredible talent for doing so. Over the past several years a number of students have told me that working with [the tutor] is ultimately what helped them learn to enjoy writing—to really love doing it—and to think of themselves as writers with something important to say rather than as students struggling to finish a paper before the deadline.

Colin Johnson, Department of Gender Studies

The C-S tutor is already familiar with the format expectations of the discipline. That's an obvious advantage. Not so obvious is that they know enough about substantive issues to gently steer students who haven't got a clue back to the faculty member who is responsible for the course.

Steve Russell, Department of Criminal Justice