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Key Skills for Implementing the Tutorial Method

Executive Summary

The key skills for implementing the tutorial method are:

  1. Questioning

  2. Pacing

  3. Transparency & reflection

  4. Differentiation & scaffolding

  5. Clear & concise verbal communication

  6. Adaptability & flexibility

  7. Models mistake-making and vulnerability

  8. Feedback

  9. Collaboration

See a visual overview here:

CTT Facilitation Tutorial Skills for Teachers
Download PDF • 109KB


Questioning guides the tutorial. Instructors must be able to ask questions that kick start the discussion, check for understanding, probe patterns and themes from task responses, address misconceptions, and connect the tutorial with prior learning. See this resource which includes sample questions that facilitators can ask themselves when designing a session.


Instructors should pace and target questions to ensure appropriate levels of contribution from each student, knowing when to probe further.

Transparency & Reflection

Being transparent about understanding is critical to the tutorial method. Instructors should be able to design and use reflection tasks that give learners the opportunity to reflect about how well they understood class content.

Differentiation & Scaffolding

Instructors can use independent work as scaffolding prior to a tutorial session. They can also modify their questions to differentiate and meet learners where they are.

Clear & Concise Verbal Communication

Instructors should be able to model “economy of language” to convey their points clearly and speak confidently without dominating the discussion, allowing others to listen and contribute.

Adaptability & Flexibility

Instructors must adjust in real time based on the discussion that emerges during the session. They must also flex content to align with the experiences that learners are having in the field. This requires adaptability and flexibility.

Models Mistake-Making and Vulnerability

Mistake-making and vulnerability are critical for student success in tutorial sessions. Therefore, instructors should model this during these sessions as well, by embracing and owning when they themselves make a mistake.


Instructors should deliver feedback that encourages accountability without being overly prescriptive in order to support learners in solving problems for themselves. See the CTT Principles of Giving Feedback.

CTT Principles of Giving Feedback
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Instructors should work with their learners’ evaluators and review their Craft trackers to bring what is happening in the field back into the classroom, and make connections between theory and practice in the field.

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