What is a tutorial?

You might wonder what happens when you have a tutorial at the PQRC. You don't have to have a completed assignment to work with a tutor--a partial attempt, an outline, or even an assignment sheet are enough to get started.  No matter what you have to work with, here's what you might expect from a typical tutorial:

First, you may have made an appointment with a specific mentor and/or for a specific time of day.  If so, come in at the appropriate time and the mentor should be ready to see you.  You may also come in at any time on a drop-in basis.

The mentor may begin by asking you questions such as, "What course is your assignment for?" or "What is your assignment about?"  The mentor may also ask questions about what materials are needed to complete the assignment:  "Is the assignment from the text?" or "Do you need to use any specific software to complete the assignment?"  If you're not sure, be honest.  The mentor can help guide you through this process.

Depending on your specific needs the mentor may refer you to one of his or her colleagues with greater expertise in that area.  This is, of course, not intended as an insult toward you.  Our mentors come from diverse backgrounds and each has his or her own strengths and limitations (See our Mentors page for more details).  If you would prefer to work with a specific mentor we may be able to accommodate this.

At this point, the mentor will begin to ask more specific questions such as, "What have you done so far?" or "What are you struggling with?"  You may know the exact problem you are facing or you might just have a vague idea that something is off.  Either way, try to communicate that to the mentor.

You should see the tutorial as a conversation with the mentor, not just the mentor "telling you what to do."   Be ready to think aloud and answer questions, but also feel free to ask the mentor questions of your own. 

At the end of the tutorial, the mentor will get some information from you for our records (professor's name, course title, etc.); your instructor will be notified to let him or her know you have taken the initiative to visit the PQRC.  You will also have the opportunity to fill out a mentor evaluation form to give us feedback about your tutorial.