June 30, 2008

Tutoring Tools: How Attitudes Affect Grades – A Worksheet

by Dennis Congos, University of Central Florida, originally published in The Learning Center Exchange

In the most simple sense, it appears an attitude is some state of mind about an object, fact or situation. Since attitudes are revealed through our behavior, the way we behave lets others know our state of mind about something.

It was once believed that attitudes were unchangeable and once acquired, we were stuck with them. Now we know this is not true. Psychologists say that we tend to do what we tell ourselves to do. Therefore, if we have negative attitudes, these negative attitudes affect what we expect of ourselves which in turn, affect our actions. For example, those with the negative attitude that they "can’t do math", are almost assured of trouble when attempting math. A negative attitude limits performance, saps motivation, and inhibits learning.

Click on the following title to download the full pdf version of How Attitudes Affect Grades

Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,College,Study Tools

June 25, 2008

Multitasking: The Good, the Bad, and the Unknown

by Cora M. Dzubak, Ph.D., Penn State – York, originally published by the Association for the Tutoring Profession

Multitasking is a term frequently used to describe the activity of performing multiple tasks during a specified time period.  But what does it actually involve?  Is multitasking the simultaneous engagement in various activities or is it sequential engagement in multiple tasks?   Does it literally refer to actively performing more than one activity at the same time? Or, might it involve active engagement in a single activity while also passively processing another source of stimulation, such as auditory or visual input? Whichever it is, different types and levels of cognitive processing are required depending on whether tasks are performed simultaneously or sequentially. 

For this entire story click here

Filed under: Productivity,Research

June 20, 2008

Reducing Test Anxiety – Tips for Tutors to Share With Students

This article originally published as "How to Reduce Test Anxiety" by the Academic Support Department at Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

To help your students learn how to reduce math test anxiety, you need to understand both the relaxation response and how negative self-talk undermines their abilities.

Relaxation Techniques

The relaxation response is any technique or procedure that helps you to become relaxed and will take the place of an anxiety response. Someone simply telling you to relax or even telling yourself to relax, however, without proper training, does little to reduce your test anxiety. There are both short-term and long-term relaxation response techniques which help control emotional (somatic) math test anxiety. These techniques will also help reduce worry (cognitive) anxiety. Effective short-term techniques include The Tensing and Differential Relaxation Method and The Palming Method.

For the full version of this article, click on the following link to read How to Reduce Test Anxiety

Filed under: Test Prep

June 17, 2008

Twenty-first Century Safety: Learning Center Preparedness

By Michael Ruwe, University of North Carolina Wilmington

Originally published in the Learning Center Exchange

It is that time of year when learning center administrators begin to think about the Fall semester. That said, I have mixed emotions as I begin this essay about learning center preparedness: sad that it is necessary; apprehensive that I am able to do something; certain that I must. Perhaps by the end I will have found, if not a solution, then a sense of preparation.

During a regular workday, the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s (UNCW) University Learning Center will host approximately fifty tutors and one hundred tutees. In light of tragic events such as those at Virginia Tech in the Spring of 2007 and Northern Illinois in the Spring of 2008, many questions have been occurring to me with regard to my Learning Center’s preparedness for dealing with an emergency situation:

  • What is the university’s role?
  • Am I responsible for my tutors?
  • How do I prepare myself and my tutors for a threatening situation?
  • Are my tutors responsible for their tutees?
  • The University Learning Center has emergency plans in place for fire, and because we are located on the coast, a hurricane, but do we need a plan for
  • for this “threat”?
  • Each of our 8×10 tutoring rooms has a glass window in the door—how do we prepare it for “lockdown”?
  • Our Learning Lab is a large room that can have up to three tutors and twenty students in it at one time (it also has a glass window in both doors)–how do we prepare it for “lockdown”?
  • Our lobby area, which two front desk workers occupy, has a glass wall front that faces a central hallway–how do we prepare it for “lockdown”?

For the full version of Twenty-first Century Safety: Learning Center Preparedness click on the preceding link.


Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,Admin/Management,College

June 13, 2008

A Free Online Graphical Dictionary Tool for Writing Tutors

by the Journal Editor

Encouraging writers to enjoy the exploration of language requires a variety of approaches and resources. The Visuwords online graphical dictionary is a visual playground of word definitions, associations, and derivations. The following is from their website. I invite you to visit.

"Look up words to find their meanings and associations with other words and concepts. Produce diagrams reminiscent of a neural net. Learn how words associate.

Enter words into the search box to look them up or double-click a node to expand the tree. Click and drag the background to pan around and use the mouse wheel to zoom. Hover over nodes to see the definition and click and drag individual nodes to move them around to help clarify connections.

  • It’s a dictionary! It’s a thesaurus!
  • Great for writers, journalists, students, teachers, and artists.
  • The online dictionary is available wherever there’s an internet connection.
  • No membership required.

Visuwords™ uses Princeton University’s WordNet, an opensource database built by University students and language researchers. Combined with a visualization tool and user interface built from a combination of modern web technologies, Visuwords™ is available as a free resource to all patrons of the web."

For more information to start exploring immediately, visit Visuwords.com


Filed under: Study Tools,Technology,TechNotes

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