American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U)
LEAP LEARNING OUTCOMES
Peer tutors and writing consultants at Rollins College work within the curriculum, on specific course demands. As such, they are reinforcing curricular content and developing their student clients in their knowledge (I), their skills (II), and their personal and social responsibility (III).
New tutors and consultants looked at these learning outcomes in crash training, and then again, more carefully, in their final self-assessment. For the Intellectual and Practical Skills, they chose the two skill areas that most applied to their peer educator role, writing consultants using Written Communication as one. In each of these three areas of LEAP learning outcomes, they analyzed where they saw themselves and how they helped their clients.
I. Knowledge of Human Cultures and the Physical and Natural World
…through study in the sciences and mathematics, social sciences, humanities, histories, languages, and the arts
II. Intellectual and Practical Skills
Including Inquiry and analysis, Critical thinking, Creative thinking, Written Communication, Oral Communication, Quantitative Literacy, Information Literacy, Reading, Problem Solving, Teamwork http://www.aacu.org/value/metarubrics.cfm
III. Personal and Social Responsibility (PSR)
As peer educators working mostly one-on-one or in small groups, tutors and writing consultants are also uniquely positioned to help students develop in the areas of Personal and Social Responsibility (PSR). Indeed, the evaluations they get from student clients and the session notes they make each time they meet with students emphasize how multilayered the learning process is, and how much there is to be responsible for, both in learning and in tutoring/consulting.
These following five categories of the PSR come from the Core Commitments, in which Rollins participated for several years. They are another way to conceptualize Personal and Social Responsibility. Peer education groups across the Rollins campus decided to find ways that their training, supervision and evaluation could be aligned to these dimensions, using a common language, but made concrete in each of the different peer educator roles, described below.
Striving for Excellence: developing a strong work ethic and consciously doing one’s very best in all aspects of college.
When students come for learning assistance, they often assume that learning and writing come naturally to the peer tutors and writing consultants. Part of their job is to demonstrate to students the hard work necessary for this task and others to follow in the course, major, and entire curriculum. As tutors look at the student’s work in the session (in tutoring, the students’ texts, notes, study tools; in writing, the draft and whatever else is applicable in the student’s notes and/or memory), they give feedback on the efficacy and efficiency of the student’s learning process. They guide them in trying new ways of learning.
Cultivating Personal and Academic Integrity: recognizing and acting on a sense of honor, ranging from honesty in relationships to principled engagement with a formal academic honor code
Tutors and consultants have to model academic integrity when working with students, by not crossing the line, by realizing that their job is to help students become more independent learners and writers. They also help students realize the reasoning behind an honor code: doing one’s own work but acknowledging the role of others’ work and ideas in what they are presenting.
Contributing to a larger community: recognizing and acting on one’s responsibility to the educational community and the wider society, locally, nationally, and globally
Tutors and consultants model for other students in their classes the importance of contributing intellectually to the academic community. They come prepared, participate in class and stretch out their learning/writing process; their striving for excellence has a positive effect on the classroom climate. In sessions with students, tutors help them become more actively engaged in the work and therefore in class. They help students target specific questions to ask in class and in professors’ office hours.
Taking seriously the perspectives of others: recognizing and acting on the obligation to inform one’s own judgment; engaging diverse and competing perspectives as a resource for learning, citizenship, and work
Working one-on-one with students allows tutors to adjust to their different learning styles, and to listen carefully to students’ ideas, all the way through. Writing consultants must present the perspective of the person reading the paper, which means understanding the ideas in the paper well and looking for alternatives, in case they are not and/or need to be addressed in the draft.
Developing competence in ethical and moral reasoning and action: developing ethical and moral reasoning in ways that incorporate the other four responsibilities; using such reasoning in learning and in life.
Tutors and consultants encourage students to examine the impact of their decisions—to read before class or not, to review after class or not, to attend class or not, to start early on projects or procrastinate, to work with others (classmates, tutors/consultants, professors) or not. They also help students to bridge the gap between theory and practice, applying knowledge learned in assignments.