Scenario-Based Practice Providing Reading Support in Tutoring Sessions


Thanks to Allison Neeland for scenarios 6 and 7.

Consider two of the scenarios below. For each of your chosen scenarios, use the resources available in this training module to write a response or make a video in which you explain how you might help the student accomplish their goals. In your explanations, offer a “good” approach and a “better” approach for each scenario.

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


  1. Second-year student Jem books an organic chem tutoring appointment because they don’t understand lectures well enough to make sense of them. They confess that they haven’t really been doing the reading because it takes them too long to do it.
  2. First-year student Bilx has to write a paper in their psychology (or sociology or biology or environmental studies) class that demonstrates their understanding of key course concepts as defined in the readings. Bilx explains that they don’t know how to identify concepts in readings until they’re pointed out in lecture or a prompt.
  3. OT major Pilomba says that they understand what they’re reading when they’re looking at the text but can’t explain it in their own words in class discussion.
  4. Maclemenon says they can’t stay focused on their assigned reading because they find it boring.
  5. Cleady can do math computations without trouble, but is struggling to solve word problems.
  6. Nursing student, Jamel, is struggling to find enough time to attend class, clinicals, and to study for exams.  He doesn’t read because he has discovered that the reading sometimes contradicts what the professor says in class.  He has decided to just focus on what is taught in class, but he is not doing as well as he would like on exams. 
  7. PA student, Olga, spends 4 hours a day reading.  She reads slowly and carefully because she doesn’t want to miss any detail.  She writes notes on her tablet as she reads.  Because she spends so much time reading in addition to completing all her other class assignments, she has not talked to her friends in over a month, she has stopped going for her morning run, and she is only sleeping 4-5 hours a night.