There are many different types of academic resources available to you as an undergraduate student at IU Bloomington. Here are some tips to get the most out of the available resources and tutoring services.
Get help early
It can feel scary to reach out to your instructor if you feel like you’re not doing well, but the truth is that they want you to succeed and they will be glad that you’re taking the initiative to get on track. Instructors may know just the right place to practice a skill or to get tutoring if you need it. If you try the instructor and aren’t sure you have what you need, your academic advisor is always there to problem solve with you.
Data tells us that going to tutoring every week can make a positive impact on grade and performance – sometimes a profound one. The catch is, going to tutoring just one time does not show those same results. Just like improving skills in a sport or musical instrument, tutoring needs to be a part of our weekly routine whenever we are struggling.
Our brains need repetition to master skills, and tutoring is the same way. To make durable knowledge, we need to work on things frequently over time. Go to tutoring often!
Be an active learner
Here are some tricks to make sure the help you receive in tutoring really sticks:
- Instead of just listening passively to your tutor, repeat what they say in your own words.
- When you finish a difficult problem, make your own quiz question (or find a similar one) and run through it yourself, with the tutor only stepping in to help if you get stuck.
- Teach the tutoring content to someone else – even to your tutor! Something really “clicks” in our brains when we work through a topic enough to teach it to someone else.
Focus on the process, not the answer
Sometimes when we are doing homework, we just want to get it done; we just want to answer these questions and move on. Tutors often help us find the answer to certain questions or problems. But knowing the answer is not nearly as important as knowing the process by which one finds that answer. So, the most important question you can ask in a tutorial is, "how did you find that answer?" On an upcoming test or essay, you will need to know that process.