The Hillsborough Literacy Council has changed its training format, and we are seeing some good progress so far. As many of you know, the old training format was a 5-hour session that took place about four times a year, and we would average about twenty people per session. That meant that in between sessions, there was nothing to get people going, and we were possibly losing new tutors before we got them trained. Now, we have a hybrid format that gets people going much more quickly. It is half online, and half in-person.
We have developed an online training module using an online course software made by Google. It’s not a perfect solution, but we are tweaking as we go along. Now, whenever ten people or so have filled out the application to become a tutor, we enroll them in the online class. Then, they can work through the class at their pace. When they are finished, they can choose a time and location for the face to face training, which is no longer five hours…it’s only two!
There are other benefits to this format as well. First, all new tutors have online access to training materials that they can review at their leisure. Also, tutors can meet one another through the software and share their thoughts and responses to the online assignments. Furthermore, instead of only meeting four times a year, we offer in-person training at least once a month, but usually twice. This helps us get people trained and tutoring a student much faster.
The in-person training also serves a different function now. Whereas in the past the in-person training covered everything a tutor needed to know about working with the HLC, we now use our face to face time to work directly with the tutoring materials and help new tutors feel more comfortable with tutoring. All other information is covered in the online portion of the training, such as how to request materials, where to report hours, etc. All of this has shown a potential to increase our overall tutor intake, despite having smaller groups per in-person session.
So, now might be a good time for anyone interested in volunteering to go ahead and send in that application! We can get you trained and tutoring on a schedule that may be more amenable to your needs. And if you are already tutoring, tell anyone you meet that it’s easier and quicker than ever to become a tutor for the Hillsborough Literacy Council!