Online eMaster Tutor
Training Course
The Cambridge Stratford
Study Skills Institute

Course Information
Online Demo
Site Licensing

What Is It?

The Online eMaster Tutor Training Course is an easy-to-use and effective strategy for providing tutor training through web-based instruction. It is integrated with the tutors’ reading of The Master Tutor: A Guidebook for More Effective Tutoring by Dr. Ross B. MacDonald and succeeds by involving participants in a “learning community” that is supported by a discussion board, an instructor-facilitated forum where tutors respond to prompts and each others’ postings. This serves as a cooperative and collaborative learning format to accomplish its goal for quality training of each tutor participant under its motto “No Tutor Left Behind.” It has been successfully pilot-tested using an organized five-week schedule that provided ample time-on-task opportunities for improving the effectiveness of tutoring strategies and techniques. A 1-hour face-to-face pre and post course meeting is recommended to outline components and to validate tutor competencies. Scheduling flexibility is available to accommodate special course delivery options and some may find team teaching with two instructors or with seasoned tutors a viable option.

How Is It Offered?

It is hosted on an independent server that provides direct access to personal computers having Internet access. No special software, connection components, or downloading capabilities are required. This makes it readily accessible to tutor trainers and conveniently available (24/7) from tutor’s homes, dormitories, or local libraries via most Internet browsers. It is developed using an asynchronous format meaning that interaction is not live. Instead, tutors are guided through an instructional modality that encourages e-mail contact with instructors, requires written word processed (double entry) journals to verify understanding, and employs threaded discussions to communicate both with the instructor as well as other members of the group. (i.e. “learning community”, etc.)

What Does It Do?

1. Ensures tutors’ self-directed reading of the text and online supplemental information

2. Ensures better feedback from individual tutors about their understanding of the material

3. Actively engages tutors in the review/reinforcement of the skills/techniques learned by emphasizing an applied, problem solving approach that requires tutors to demonstrate their learning by reacting to real world tutoring situations

4. Provides a forum for group discussions to encourage tutors to help other tutors

5. Archives all information to provide documentation on the flow and sequence of learning

6. Includes a recyclable course shell for another course or one hosted concurrently with little effort on the part of the instructor

7. Ensures quality of training with a standardized format on which to assess outcomes over multiple courses, with different instructors, and over continuous years.

Why Use It?

1. Ensures mastery of understanding for each tutor completing the course

2. Provides convenience of instruction for tutors and trainers

3. Includes web supplements that enhance the text (i.e. study skills, learning styles, etc.)

4. Facilitates individual tutor assessment for each tutor participant

5. Standardizes training across different departments

6. Validates learning for academic credit/tutor certification

7. Disabilities compliant for training tutors with disabilities

The motto “No Tutor Left Behind” is the underlying theme of the eMaster Tutor Training Course. It ensures mastery of understanding by each tutor completing instruction. Instructors will have written documentation to substantiate learning and such archival information will prove testimony to the fact that progress on task has been made effectively. A cornerstone to this verification is the written weekly group discussions in which tutors help other tutors develop deeper understanding (i.e. learning community, etc.).

It provides convenience of instruction at times (24/7) and places (i.e. homes, dorms, libraries, etc.) tutors can manage its completion while maintaining their other responsibilities. Similarly, instructors find it convenient to interact via e-mail at times they chose to maintain flow and direction while fulfilling their other duties.

It includes resources through web alignments that go beyond reading of The Master Tutor that many are restricted from including in formal training by time limitations. Study skills, learning styles, and enhancing cultural understanding are among such components.

It offers an invaluable vehicle for individual tutor assessment for instructors to verify the learning process. Each can offer written e-mail feedback to maintain a clear course for continuous improvement for each tutor. (i.e. “Explain what you mean” or “Re-read the chapter”, etc)

It standardizes training for all tutors across all departments. Time restraints, travel difficulties, and lack of trained tutor trainers to serve diverse groups of tutors will no longer impede quality training. The eMaster Tutor Training Course provides a common format for all tutors to engage effective tutor strategies and techniques

It validates learning as an aid to gaining academic credit or national certification by accrediting organizations. Written archives for each course serve as testimony to learning. This combined with time-on-task, the required text, pre and post assessments, and face-to-face validation provide components that review boards can readily ascertain to document learning.

It is disabilities-compliant for training tutors with handicaps. It was developed to gain certification under a format that is compliant under Section 508 of The Americans with Disabilities Act. This expands the opportunities for recruitment and allows those unable to participate in live formal training to serve as effective tutors.

In sum, the ultimate reason for using the Online eMaster Tutor Training Course is that it actually works. A greater depth of understanding results, trainers see larger, immediate gains, and it ensures better comprehension and retention of strategies, concepts, etc. by employing the sound pedagogical principles that underlie tutoring itself.

What are its Features and Benefits?

1. a recommended 1.5 hour pre and post course face-to-face meeting: This provides for an overview of the course ingredients, components, optional pre/post assessments, The TESAT (Tutor Evaluation and Self Assessment Tool), and syllabus outlining responsibilities both online as well as during the post course role play experiences: This short, live forum serves to verify learning and demonstrate its mastery through “hands-on” application.

2. continuous group discussions via a threaded discussion board that allows group members to offer individual perspectives, and enhance the learning of other group members. Response to discussion board prompts insure regular time-on-task by tutors in a sequential, step-by-step learning format that documents for instructors the tutors’ completion and learning from tasks assigned. The discussion board also creates a “learning community” where tutors often discuss, debate, and sometimes criticize personal perspectives of other tutors as related to the content presented in the course/text.

3. double-entry journals that allow tutors to focus on specific areas or quotations from their reading and provide personal perspectives on the meaningfulness of each in their growing understanding, and serve as a further reinforcement of the content covered.

4. individualized research into supplemental and supportive information through web site alignments on learning styles, study skills, and other areas to enhance the tutor’s understandings and effectiveness beyond their readings within the wider perspective of tutoring.

5. e-mail contact with the instructor to address questions, clarify expectations, and report on progress. This individual attention personalizes instruction and provides additional support for those tutors requiring it.

In sum, the eMaster Tutor Training Course encourages tutors’ self-directed reading and learning from the text, by managing a schedule that proves convenient to all, and through a medium that builds a “learning community” each supports and interacts with to improve their and other tutors’ understanding of effective tutoring components. It accomplishes this in a quality-filled environment that instructors orchestrate within the convenience of their own work schedules yet one that keeps the onus for learning on the tutor versus on the responsibility of the instructor for designing consistent and quality lectures year-after-year.

How Do You Use It?

Most will find obtaining a site license to be the most economical way to conduct training. Once obtained, the web-based course will be professionally hosted on our server for your individual and protected site with specific user names and passwords for each registrant. The only specialization required is your specific dates of instruction, biographical information about the instructor, and other refinements that will be completed by our course administrator prior to launching your site. No special technological changes or improvements are required for either the instructor(s)’ or tutors’ personal computers beyond what is common place with generic word processors, Internet browsers, and e-mail accounts.

What Do You Need To Do?

1. Obtain annual site-license by completing the Online Course Licensing Form.

2. Select the scheduled dates of instruction for up to five courses during the year (note: modifications and changes are allowable and courses can be offered concurrently by one or several instructors).

3. Select the course instructor and advise of an optional Train-the-Trainer Two-Week eMaster Tutor Trainer's Edition Course opportunity to build an understanding of and familiarity with online instructional components, pedagogy, and design.

4. Obtain copies of instructional texts, The Master Tutor, and the optional pre/post assessment, The TESAT, for each tutor planning to participate.

5. Notify tutors of the schedule planned for face-to-face and online instruction.

6. Monitor the time-on-task of tutors completing instruction by providing your e-mail follow up to their discoveries, understandings, and learning.

What Should I Expect from the eMaster Tutor Online Course?

1. greater depth of understanding by each tutor

2. better long-term retention by all tutors

3. more satisfaction among tutors mastering tutoring techniques and strategies

4. fuller understanding of the model for tutoring and the source of learning (texts/class notes/discussions)

5. credibility of instruction based on learning outcomes

Greater depth of understanding by each tutor is a function of individualizing instruction that can often increase its quality. Instructors will benefit from ongoing interventions with tutors via e-mails and threaded discussions that will prove to make in-depth training with each tutor a reality. Such depth of training will require time-on-task that in many cases will prove in excess of that needed to organize a 1-2 day formal training program. However, the time saving over the long run is significant as witnessed by training tutors more effectively and seeing larger, immediate and long-term learning gains.

Better long-term retention is a factor of time-on-task. This is often the key ingredient in changing habits and behaviors of tutors in improving their effectiveness. The eMaster Tutor Training Course allows tutors ample time to learn from their reading, from their group discussions, and from instructor interaction, all within the convenience of their own dorms, homes, or local library. Such a conveyance allows the opportunity for increases in quality that more shortened formal interventions are hard pressed to document. This documentation will result from over one hundred pages of written course archives that will attest to learning among all tutors.

More satisfaction among tutors mastering tutoring techniques and strategies is readily verified. Exit reviews from actual tutors in five early pilots indicated their deeper and more quality-filled understanding of the strategies and methods of tutoring. Most indicated the convenience of the online course of instruction provided a “learning community” atmosphere they enjoyed and one not replicated through regular classroom instruction. The result, the need for ongoing follow-up review and reinforcement was substantially reduced.

Tutors gain a fuller understanding of the model for tutoring, namely that the source of learning is from the text, course components, and class discussions, not the instructor. The eMaster Tutor Training Course is a model for training tutors many would encourage their tutors to use in tutoring students. Specifically, that learning can be enhanced by reading the course text and taking notes from instruction, by interacting with and making the information personal, and finally, by becoming involved in class discussions as a way of learning from others. In this way, the course frees tutors from a dependence on the knowledge of tutor trainers in the same way that tutors must free themselves from a dependence on their knowledge by students.

Credibility of instruction based on learning outcomes is well documented. Whether seeking academic credit, national accreditation, or documentation of tutor training for consumer protection issues and legalities, the eMaster Tutor Training Course provides sound verification and validity. Compared to documentation of learning from other tutor training conveyances (i.e. videos, formal inservice training, etc.), the long-term gains of the online course conveyance should prove to outweigh others, especially considering its focus on a research-based text.

In sum, a better understanding, retention, and satisfaction by tutors combined with their deeper concept of their role as tutors are expected results from using the eMaster Tutor Training Course. The resulting documentation will prove invaluable for the future needs of tutor trainers.

What Further Opportunities are Available?

Serious tutor training practitioners may wish to go beyond training of their own institution's tutors. They may wish to share their time-on-task learning with others who are called upon to tutor formally or informally in schools, community centers, agencies, corporations, government grant programs, and others internationally. To assist, site-licenses will be granted to such practitioners who become Certified Online eMaster Tutor Course Instructors. Once certified each will be authorized to offer tutor training on a registration-fee basis. All such temporary licenses will be available under a nominal cost with registration served and fees paid to our Web Server Administrator. Commensurate remuneration for professional fees will be made available to each practitioner at the completion of instruction. This will prove valuable for those intending to provide tutor training to a wide cross-section of tutors from local agencies as well as for continuing education, professional conference pre/post presentations, and other extracurricular professional endeavors. Information is available on request. Certification as an Online eMaster Tutor Training Course Instructor requires completion of the Two-week Trainer's Edition of the eMaster Tutor Trainer's Course as a prerequisite for participation. Further details and information can be obtained by e-mail or by calling (800) 747-5614.

Course Information
Online Demo
Site Licensing
Trainer Edition Registrations
Cambridge Stratford Home Page

Need direct, personal support? Call the Cambridge-Stratford Institute at (800) 466-2232 or e-mail a question or comment by clicking info at:
The Cambridge Stratford Study Skills Institute
8560 Main Street
Williamsville, New York 14221
(800) 466-2232 or FAX (716) 626-9076