Real Life “Stuck-Student” Scenarios

How could we help each of these students get un-stuck? 

Scenarios by Megan Grumbling, Karen Tasker & Lori Wall – UNE SASC

Use the resources available in this training module to explain how you might help the student accomplish their goals.

You may find these prompts helpful: What questions do you ask? What advice do you offer? What resources can you draw on? What task planning and interpretation strategies might be appropriate to suggest? What activities could you do with the tutee to get them started?

  1. A student has been assigned to listen a podcast about sociopaths for his Psych course and write a response to it. But he has no idea why, and there are no guidelines for the response. The assignment seems random to him. He doesn’t know what to be listening for or what he should get out of it. He feels bewildered, irritated, and stuck. 
  1. A first-year student is completely at a loss with a complicated English assignment involving multiple texts that each require different treatment. She’s overwhelmed by the long paragraph of instructions, isn’t clear on several concepts named in the assignment and doesn’t understand what she’s being asked to do with these ideas. She can’t remember if she’s read all of the texts. She keeps reading the prompt but can’t get off the ground. She feels overwhelmed and stuck.  
  1. A student needs to write a lab report. They have all of their results and understand them, but they don’t know what to do with them, how the report should be set up, or how to start it. They scored low on a previous lab report and have worked up further anxiety about this one by procrastinating. They feel alone and incompetent and like they’re drowning in a sea of numbers. They’re even considering changing their major out of the sciences. They feel incompetent, anxious, and stuck.  
  1.  A gen chem student has a unit test to study for that includes content from three chapters in the course textbook.  This is the second unit test of the semester.  Unfortunately, the student wasn’t happy with the score they got on the first test.  The professor teaching the course does not provide students with a study guide for unit tests, and although the student tried to study for the first test, they felt as though they studied the wrong information and that the test questions were different from what they were expecting.  The student extremely anxious about the upcoming test and is unsure how to prepare for it.  
  1. A student has been assigned a worksheet of applications in precalculus. Each application is a short descriptive paragraph with lots of numbers and may include extra information. They say they can easily solve the required algebra equations but are struggling to write them. The student is staring at the first problem and is clearly distressed. Their confidence has been shaken since they did well in algebra and they don’t understand why this is such a struggle. 

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