Agenda for Focus Groups

Peer Tutor Focus Group, October 16, 2002

The purpose of this study is twofold: 1) to assess the short and long term value of tutor training and writing center experience on former peer writing tutors and 2) to inform current tutor training and writing center practice from the perspective of former tutors.

The purpose of the focus group: to explore questions, prompts, tasks, etc. that will serve to shape the larger study, which will be conducted through a survey to all former tutors for whom addresses can be located and follow-up phone interviews to some of the respondents.

Agenda for the Focus Groups:

(Both focus groups will be held on October 16 in Milwaukee and Orono; both will be videotaped for analysis)

Hour One (focus on student years)

1. Welcome/Background for the Study

2. Introductions: Does any experience in the writing center or the tutor training course stay in your memory?

3. What influence did being a peer tutor have on your sense of yourself as an undergraduate at U. Maine or Marquette?

6. Being expected to help other students improve their writing is a big responsibility. How did you deal with that responsibility?

7. Did being a tutor shape or influence your sense of teaching and learning as a UM or MU student? Did your attitude towards your fellow students change in any way? Your attitude towards professors?

8. What impact, if any, did the tutor training course have on you as a writer?

9. What impact, if any, did tutoring in the writing center have on you as a writer?


Hour Two (focus on post-college years)

1. What are the most significant or meaningful skills or values or qualities you developed that you took away with you from your work as a writing tutor?

2. Did those abilities you developed seem to be a factor in your choice of job or further education? Please elaborate.

3. Did these abilities seem to play a role in your interviewing or hiring process? How do you come to that conclusion?

4. How have you used these abilities, values, skills in our work life? Would you give an example?

5. Do these abilities play a role in your social or family relationships? Can you give an example?

6. In what ways have these qualities or values helped to develop your sense of self?

7. Based on your experiences, how might we best develop the peer tutoring program at UM or MU? What changes might we make? What should we emphasize? How might we do what we do more effectively?