Graesser Tutoring Corpus


Art Graesser
Department of Psychology
University of Memphis

Participants: 30
Type of Study: task
Location: USA
Media type: video
DOI: doi:10.21415/T53S4F

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In accordance with TalkBank rules, any use of data from this corpus must be accompanied by at least one of the above references.

Project Description

The transcripts were collected so that we could perform an in-depth analysis of human-to-human discourse. The tutoring protocols collected from upper-division college students who were enrolled in a course on research methods in psychology. This particular sample was chosen for a number of reasons. First, these sessions focused on topics in which tutoring is known to be comparatively effective. That is, according to available studies (Cohen et al., 1982; Fitz-Gibbon, 1977), topics which involve quantitative skills (e.g., mathematics) lead to more positive outcomes than topics which focus on nonquantitative skills (e.g., creative writing). Second, this corpus is representative of the tutors and students in normal tutoring environments. Tutors are normally older students, paraprofessionals, and adult volunteers who have not been extensively trained in tutoring techniques (Cohen et al., 1982; Fitz-Gibbon, 1977). Third, this corpus is representative of college-level students at all levels of achievement rather than being restricted to students who are having difficulty in the course.

The tutoring protocols were collected from 27 undergraduate students enrolled in a psychology research methodology course at the University of Memphis. The tutors were three psychology graduate students who had each performed well in undergraduate-level and graduate-level research methodology courses. The course instructor selected six topics that are normally troublesome for students in the course. Each topic had related subtopics that were to be covered in the tutoring session. Topics included variables, graphs, statistics, hypothesis to design, factorial designs, and interactions. The tutoring sessions spanned an eight-week period. Only one topic was covered per week. The room used for the tutoring sessions was equipped with a video camera, a television set, a marker board, colored markers, and the Cozby textbook. The television screen was covered during the entire session. The camera was positioned so that the student and the entire marker board were in the picture. Therefore, the transcripts of the tutoring sessions included both spoken utterances and messages on the marker board.