What is a tutorial?

Small group tutorial sessions are held twice a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays, during the AVID class. During tutorials, the AVID class is divided into several tutorial groups. Under the direction and supervision of the AVID teacher, an AVID-trained tutor facilitates the discussion and work at each group.

What is the purpose of tutorials?

  • Create deeper understanding of concepts covered in core content class
  • Develop skills necessary to become self-directed learners.
  • It's not just homework help.

What are the goals of the tutorial process?

  • To push each other's thinking. AVID tutorials use an inquiry process.
  • Tutors do not give the answers. They facilitate the groups' learning process.
  • Tutors don't teach the answers. They ask more questions. This is called the Socratic method


How do AVID tutorials differ from traditional "tutoring?"
  • All students must arrive at the tutorials prepared with pre-work completed and specific questions written in a Tutorial Request Form (TRF). If they believe they have no questions regarding any homework, school work, quiz or test in any of their classes, they must still attend the tutorial with a completed TRF in which they ask a question that further explores the material they are studying in any of their classes.
  • Questions are high level thinking questions.
  • Students work and discuss in collaborative group.
  • Students must reflect on their own participation in the groups and on how the group worked together.

Students remember:

10% of what they READ

20% of what they HEAR

30% of what they SEE

50% of what they SEE, HEAR and SAY

70% of what they DISCUSS

80% of what they DO

90% of what they SAY and DO

Therefore, if you are a student and the teacher/tutor only asks you to read something, you will likely remember only a tenth of it. If the teacher/tutor is telling you how to do something, you will likely remember only a fifth of it. If the teacher/tutor is showing you how to do something, you will likely only remember half of it.

Why are collaborative groups, such as the small group tutorials, important?

  • No one knows everything.
  • Teachers expect analysis, synthesis and evaluation of subject matte.
  • Students will move faster and remember more when working together.
  • It teaches them how to work with others which they will likely have to do in college, such as in study groups, and in their career fields in the future.

Why are the students' written questions important?

The skill of asking questions is fundamentally different from the skill of answering them because waiting to answer a question is a passive process. Asking a question is an active process and changes a student's relationship or connection to the material.

AVID bases the design of these student written questions on Costa's Levels of Questions, which show the different levels of questions and the cognitive processes related to each level. Level 2 and 3 questions create a much deeper connection to the material than level 1.

Costa's Levels of Questions

Level 1 questions - These questions can be answered by facts contained in the document or text or by information accessible in other resources; generally short answers.

Level 2 questions - These questions have answers that are implied by the text; requiring analysis and interpretation of specific parts of the document or text being examined.

Level 3 questions - These questions are much more open-ended and go beyond the document or text being examined.They are intended to provide a discussion of an abstract idea or issue.

Here are some possible terms that students can use to develop different levels of questions.

Level 1Level 2Level 3