Learning Strategies

 

At iTutor, we do more than simply assist students with their current, most immediate needs. We apply learning strategies to our students' academic agendas that will carry forward throughout their educational careers and entire lives. 

 

Below is a breakdown of iTutor's Learning Strategies. These strategies incorporate the fundamentals of learning and are effectively implemented by your iTutor during each session.

 

Communicating Aloud – (CA)

  • Communicating Aloud is one of the most important iTutor Learning StrategiesTM. This strategy involves having the student verbalize their thought process aloud while problem solving. Many weaker students are reluctant to communicate aloud because they are embarrassed that they may say something wrong and they lack confidence overall, but this is a part of the confidence building process – pushing those comfort zones! When students verbalize their thought process, not only are they more likely to catch their own errors, but it also makes it possible for you or their iTutor to understand their problem solving methods and assist them along the way.

 

Self-Monitoring – (SM)

  • Self Monitoring is an essential iTutor Learning Strategy that works very well in combination with communicating aloud. This strategy involves getting the student to backcheck each step of their problem as they solve it. Essentially, this means doing every step twice. Almost every student at every academic level makes careless errors that are avoidable with proper self monitoring. At first this may seem time consuming; however, it becomes very efficient after sufficient practice and saves time overall. After each step, students are encouraged to look back at the step that they have just accomplished and communicate aloud whether their step makes sense, whether they are going towards the correct answer, and whether they are using the right formulae or rules to solve the problem. As students develop this learning strategy, they make fewer and fewer errors, which builds confidence and leads to a better overall understanding of material. A major issue with many students is that they become reliant on their tutor to tell them when they have made mistakes, which leads to a lack of confidence when the student is not with their tutor. By promoting constant self monitoring, students learn to catch their own errors without their tutors. This gives them the confidence that they need to do problems on their own when at home, in the classroom or during evaluations such as tests and exams. 

 

Visualizing the Process – (VP)

  • Visualizing the process is an essential learning strategy for all learners, particularly visual learners. Basically, this learning strategy is similar to communicating aloud, but instead it involves using a pen and paper. It’s important that students are able to visualize their steps as they are doing them, and as they are communicating them aloud. Almost all evaluations are written, and thus students must become comfortable communicating information to themselves and others with a pen and paper. Visualizing the process in this way, while communicating aloud, provides two mediums through which students can monitor themselves and catch their own errors.

 

Memorization Techniques – (MT)

  • Learning memorization techniques is a vital learning strategy for any subject, as all evaluations test a student’s ability to recall information. Students are often able to memorize rules, concepts and principles but they struggle with the recall of that information when they need it – particularly during evaluations. Each memory we create needs to be associated with some trigger that will recall it for us, thus memorization techniques focus on creating these memory triggers that will allow for seamless recall. In fact, the memory trigger should precede the rule or concept that it triggers!

 

Problem Solving – (PS)

  • There are generally two types of problem solving, and inevitably everyone has a combination of each; however, students tend to favour one over the other. An appropriate balance of both problem solving types is needed to properly solve problems. A global problem solver has many good ideas but tends to go in circles without being able to develop a plan of attack. These students need help structuring their ideas towards the proper answer. If a student reads a problem and immediately jumps in and begins manipulating information that looks familiar without knowing if it’s useful or not, they are a microscopic problem solver. They must be taught to back off and globalize the situation better, read the problem over a few times and make an overview before beginning. In either case, students must learn to take the information that is given in the question and develop a plan of attack that leads to the appropriate answer.

 

Transferable Skills – (TS)

  • This is one of the more advanced learning strategies. Generally when students come across complicated problems, they either do not know what to do at various steps or they do not know how to begin. Students must be taught to develop a similar but simpler version of the problem and use their solution to the simpler problem to tackle the more complicated problem. Complicated problems usually involve the same principles as simpler problems but with an added step or less obvious information, thus, often the answer comes to students when they transfer their method from a simpler problem to the more complex problem.

 

Positive Attitude – (PA)

  • Most students that seek the help of a tutor lack a confidence in their abilities and this lack in confidence further inhibits future learning. The importance of building student confidence can not be stressed enough – confidence in themselves and their abilities with their school work. Promoting a positive attitude is a learning strategy that should be used in combination with communicating aloud on a regular basis and will dramatically increase student confidence. Students must stop using negative expressions and replace them with more constructive expressions that lead them in the right direction.

 

Learning to be Resourceful – (LR)

  • Learning to be resourceful will not only help your child in their current academic endeavours, but it will continue to help them throughout their whole life. The practice of being resourceful will give them extra knowledge in their courses and give them a competitive advantage in life, which will dramatically increase their confidence. There is an extensive range of resources available to students and students need to be taught how to take advantage of their accessibility. The most important resource is their teacher. Students must be encouraged to see their teacher for individual help at least once every week. Not only will the teacher assist the student with their difficulties, but direct communication with the teacher outside of the classroom shows the teacher that the student cares. The teacher will also be more willing to allude to concepts and principles that should be known well for upcoming evaluations.

 

Each learning strategy is applied and monitored over the duration of every lesson administered by your iTutor. You will see first hand the effectiveness of these strategies because they are evaluated by your iTutor in the daily report and used to construct the monthly progress report.

 

 

Parent Assisted Learning Strategies – (PALS) 

 

  • The active involvement of parents enhances the effectiveness of the support team(s) that are in place. Parents and students have important information to share with members of the support team and should be invited to meet with the team(s) when necessary and appropriate. The support of parents has positive effects on the child’s success in school, and parents should be encouraged to feel that their contribution is a valuable part of the confidence building and skill learning process.