Greg’s TOP 10: Things to do (and consider) to run the most effective Exam-AID sessions!
- PACKAGE CODES = GREAT TUTOR FEEDBACK: Ensure you have uploaded the take-home package (pdf of slides & questions) and that you have printed the codes before the session- both on the Exam-AID Manager (www.studentsofferingsupport.ca/portal/ExamAid/Exam-AidManager.php) . Printing codes allows the students to download the material, BUT most importantly, it forces them to give you feedback! This is critical for tutors to develop, learn, and get the feedback everyone wants to read.
- MOCK SESSIONS PROVIDES PEACE OF MIND: Before the session, try hard to hold a mock session – an opportunity for the tutor to present the material in front of volunteers to test it out! Ideally, they’d do the full run, but at least spend 30-40 minutes doing the first chapter (for flow/intro) and doing the last chapter (as it’s the hardest!). This allows you to see if they are ready, able to handle the material, and if need be, provides enough time to cancel the session if the tutor(s) aren’t ready.
- SCHEDULE TWO DATES/TIMES FOR EACH SESSION: With scheduling conflicts and slow adopters, by having only 1 session for an upcoming exam, you miss out on a ton of students who would have come! Many will have scheduling conflicts, and many are hesitate to leap into it without hearing good things. By offering sessions on two different days, it gives students the chance to talk (word of mouth = #1 marketing) and fit one of those times into the schedule. BUT, two sessions isn’t just for the students. Tutors are high achievers. They crave feedback (see above!) both positive and constructive… having that second session allows them to improve and see their ratings improve. Below are ratings from one of our greatest SOS tutors (2010 Tutor of the Year), and he only had feedback so high because he had the opportunity to perfect his teaching by doing his sessions several times. (see pic below!)
BUT sometimes it’s just not possible! Totally correct. Often tutors can’t dedicate the time, or logistically your team just can’t coordinate more sessions. This is an ideal and something to set out with expectations up front and in your plans for the future, but definitely not always possible! IF, the constraint is that the tutor can’t do more, but you have volunteers to support more – DIGITAL EXAM-AID: film it and make it available (SEGUE!)
- DIGITAL EXAM-AID: Have an exponential impact! Gah, this tutor is so good I wish everyone could learn from them. … THEY CAN! We have built a full system to allow students to donate via paypal and watch videos – all that is needed is a volunteers help to film, upload, and market it (and permission from the tutor!). We have a Digital Exam-AID kit here at Head Office (camcorder, SD card, tri-pod, bag) but really all you need is a digital camcorder that can be plugged in for the duration of the session and bam! Check out this e-manual post if interested in doing this. With a digital Exam-AID, you can generate more revenue by helping students who couldn’t make it, great word-of-mouth, or even to students who came out who want to re-watch explanations, go back to hard chapters etc! (E-MANUAL POSTS: http://emanual.studentsofferingsupport.ca/?cat=146) .. and check out the list of already filmed Exam-AIDs, you may be able to use someone else’s: http://www.studentsofferingsupport.ca/portal/ExamAid/OnlineCourseManager.php
- DON’T RECREATE THE WHEEL – SOS MAY HAVE TAUGHT THE SAME COURSE BEFORE! With 30 chapters across Canada teaching the same big 10 first year courses (micro econ, macro econ, bio, chem, physics, psych, calc, financial acct, managerial acct, stats), and with only 4 main publishers (pearson, wiley, mcgraw-hill, nelson) – SOS volunteers have probably taught your course! We have also made a form (and catalogued ‘most’ of every course ever taught).. go here and see if there are materials uploaded for the same course! (IF you see your courses without materials, help others and get your tutors to upload) (PORTAL PAGE: http://www.studentsofferingsupport.ca/portal/Files/CourseDownloadPage.php)
- 2 HEADS ARE BETTER THAN 1: For sessions (especially first time tutors!), if you can, try to have 2 tutors teach a session. They can split up the chapters (less time to prep, and can put more effort into their chapters), more time to hopefully run 2 sessions, and during the session they are there for the other one – help answering questions, help clarifying hard concepts, and minimize the stress/anxiety!
- YOUR WEBSITE IS IMPORTANT: Last year, 150,000 students visited a chapter website. They DO check out the tutor profiles, and about the course description. With the new site (expected for winter term), it will be even more awesome to browse around – MAKE SURE TUTORS update their bio and picture! People need to be sold on the tutor.. which is why they should be a part of marketing if possible (…. See next point!)
- MARKETING: Sell your tutor. People come to sessions not to fund development projects.. they come to raise marks. What’s the best reason why students take the plunge and dedicate 3 hours (and $20) to SOS? .. because they believe the TUTOR is good and will help them! Put their skillz on the flyer / e-mails.. ideally, have THEM do a class talk and wow everyone on their great communication skills and confidence!
- AT SESSION FINANCES – keep them tight and speedy. At sessions, make sure you have a finance person (or Exec) there with your coordinator so you have 2 people collecting, registering, and counting money. Make sure they have the registration list, (if wi-fi, the At Session Registration page loaded), codes, SOS t-shirt on etc. All the details of this are here: http://emanual.studentsofferingsupport.ca/?p=2775
- HAVE FUN! There are lots to do, but remember you are helping hundreds of people to raise thousands of dollars – and hopefully doing it with really fun people! Do things to make sure you are having fun with this – play music, have lots of volunteers come out to sessions to create great energy for the students and tutor!