The Online Tutor as
Cross-Curricular Double Agent

The Ideal and Its Other

The best scenario may run this way: highly able students are hired by the institution and trained well by faculty to provide additional instruction to less able, but "properly" motivated, students for a common goal--maximizing student learning. Unfortunately, the scene sometimes goes this way: above average students are hired as tutors (but not trained) to provide remediation to less able (and differently motivated) students whose goal (passing) may not include learning.

Our belief in the possibilities for peer tutoring, while tempered by firsthand knowledge of occasionally grim reality, is nonetheless bolstered by witnessing equally real successes. We believe that "best practice" does change writers, not just texts, and well trained tutors can help not only "properly" motivated clients, but can even teach their differently motivated clients better ways of approaching learning in general and writing in particular.