ION | Illinois Online Network

Making the Virtual Classroom a Reality

Tutoring Online: Principles and Practice

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This course is instructor-led, fully online, and four weeks in length. It introduces the principles of tutoring and how those principles can be accomplished in the online environment. Participants will actively discuss topics related to tutoring and have the opportunity to tutor a peer online.


Tutors, potential tutors, and faculty who want to know how to use online tools for tutoring traditional subjects, and administrators creating online tutoring programs.


Participants will explore the following topics:

� What is tutoring?
� How adults and young students learn.
� Differences between traditional and online tutoring.
� Roles and responsibilities of tutors, the tutoring cycle.
� Strategies for tutoring effectively online.


Module 1 � What tutoring is and is not, how tutoring is different and the same as classroom instruction, and how students learn.

Module 2 � Responsibilities and roles of tutors, differences and similarities between traditional tutoring and online tutoring

Module 3 � The importance of listening and questioning and how they can be accomplished online

Module 4 � Conducting an online tutoring session


� Give prospective online tutors an opportunity to experience a virtual tutoring environment.
� Model facilitator skills and technologies that participants could use in their own tutoring sessions.
� Explore methods for tutoring adults
� Discuss strategies for becoming an effective online tutor.
� Consider strategies to promote communication online.


In threaded discussions via an asynchronous online discussion forum, participants will:
� Identify key characteristics of adult learners
� Identify the roles and responsibilities of successful tutors
� Identify skills, and strategies tutors need to be successful in the online environment

In a final Tutoring project participants will:
� Tutor a colleague online using the IVCTutor asynchronous discussion, synchronous chat, or synchronous whiteboard.


The course is four weeks in length and requires an online orientation.


You may take this course without any course prerequisites.


� Answer discussion questions related to the assigned Web articles.
� Engage in positive and meaningful dialog with classmates concerning the course subject matter.
� Write essays describing academic experiences.
� Write a summary of the key items covered and how they apply to your field.
� Tutor a colleague
� Be an online tutee.
� Write a reflective tutor journal.


The course has a modular structure in which each unit is individually assessed, but successive units build on previous information. Content is in the form of active participation in asynchronous discussion and synchronous chat, direct email, postings of materials, Web resources, and instructor notes. Student participation in discussion forums to comment on the ideas and work of others is a major component of the course. Students will acquire more in-depth information on some topics through links to outside sources.


This is an intensive course requiring about 8-10 hours a week. The time commitment will vary depending the individual's input, needs, and personal study habits. Students are required to log on to the course a minimum of 3 times a week.

Credit Options

Continuing Education Credit (CEU Credit)
4 Continuing education units (CEU credit) are available for this course.


A fee is incurred for anyone enrolled in an Advanced Online Seminar, although there is a discount for ION members. (Only Diamond level ION partners are exempt.) The fee is determined by the number of contact hours and online discussion requirements for the course. To view the fee schedule for a specific section of this course, visit the Schedule and click on the link for that section (e.g. TM1051).

Taking a course for Graduate Credit through the University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS):
Most MVCR courses [not the Advanced Online Seminars] may be taken for graduate credit through UIS. You do not pay twice if you choose this route. You pay only the tuition and fees associated with UIS enrollment. If you choose to enroll through UIS, you need to follow the instructions. You do not register through this site.

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Taking Courses for Academic Credit

Most 8-week MVCR courses can also be taken for academic credit through the University of Illinois at Springfield.

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Suggested Tracks

Instruction Centric

  • Online Learning
  • Instructional Design
  • Student Assessment
  • Encouraging Comm.
  • Elective
  • Practicum

Technology Centric

  • Online Learning
  • Technology Tools
  • Instructional Design
  • Student Assessment
  • Elective (Multimedia or Sims, Labs, Games, and VR)
  • Practicum

Support Professional

  • Online Learning
  • Instructional Design
  • Student Assessment
  • Universal Design
  • Elective (Supporting Students, Copyright, Global eLearning, Blended/Hybrid, Librarians Collaborating, Multimedia Principles)
  • Practicum

COLA - track

  • Administration Seminar
  • Quality Assurance
  • Issues and Strategies in Faculty Training
  • Supporting Students Online

Choose one of the following three for your elective:

  • Administration of Online Programs
  • Copyright
  • Blended - Hybrid Learning Design and Instruction
  • Practicum for Administrators
What They're Saying
"Online courses won't necessarily replace traditional courses. However, it never occurred to me until this week that teaching online courses might improve my delivery of traditional courses."     

MVCR Participant

Award winning courses

The MVCR program won the Award for Excellence in ALN Faculty Develop-ment (in conjunction with other ION programs) from the Sloan-consortium in 2002. One of our instructors won the WebCT Exemplary Online Course Award for an MVCR course as well.

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