Working with Penn Tutoring
The Tutoring Center at the University of Pennsylvania offers undergraduate students a variety of options to supplement their learning experiences. As the tutors employed by the Center demonstrate a diverse array of knowledge and skills, they are also continually looking for ways to maximize the impact of their engagement with students in terms of learning outcomes for tutees. As part of that effort, Donna Brown, the Center’s director, has developed an ongoing working relationship with the Weingarten Learning Resources Center to facilitate collaboration across fields and areas of expertise, particularly in helping tutors to appreciate students’ learning styles and how to respond to them accordingly. She recently contacted Dr. Rashmi Kumar and James Arrington for a workshop for the tutors to help deepen their understandings for tutoring in the STEM fields.
Dr. Rashmi Kumar asks the tutors about their learning styles
The workshop was designed to engage the tutors’ knowledge of learning the STEM subjects. After recalling various experiences and challenges encountered by students and tutors, Dr. Kumar connected these narratives to Bloom’s Taxonomy of knowledge, focusing in particular on instances of declarative, procedural, and critical knowledge work. This demonstrated what one tutor described as moving “from basic understanding to higher level understanding.” The two WLRC staff then reviewed what one tutor called a “variety of strategies that can be used to help students,” including concept mapping, constructing hypothetical test questions, and syllabus analysis. Overall, the tutors found the workshop “engaging and useful” for their work, and the activity further deepened the ongoing collaboration between the Tutoring Center and the WLRC.
Staff Writers/STEM Workshop Facilitators: Dr. Rashmi Kumar and James Arrington
Ready, Set, Succeed.
The acquisition of knowledge is often viewed in three forms—declarative, procedural, and critical. Each of the above has different, although, sequentially significant aspects. Declarative knowledge focuses on the notion of ‘knowing what,’ procedural knowledge is anchored in ‘knowing how to,’ and critical knowledge is driven by the quest of ‘why.’
STEM courses are fundamentally geared to the constant pursuit of answering how and why.
Within the above context, a workshop series, Ready, Set, Succeed was launched in Spring 2015 to create a deliberate and focused pathway for students on how to study, prepare for exams, maximize the impact of practice exams, and utilize (free/open source) mobile technologies to fortify their efforts.
Ready Set Succeed workshop series is being offered again this semester:
Staff Blogger: Rashmi Kumar, Ed.D, Specialist in STEM Learning