Peer Tutoring

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re managing different course expectations and assignments. Connect with a peer tutor who understands and who can help you review course content and key concepts so you can complete assignments.

Find a tutor

When it comes to tutoring, you want to connect with someone who’s trained and knowledgeable about the subject. This is where the Undergrad Peer Tutoring Network can help. Through this service, you have access to affordable, high-quality tutoring that can help you take your learning to the next level.

About the Undergrad Peer Tutoring Network (UPTN)

The Undergrad Peer Tutoring Network makes it easy for you to find a tutor who can help with specific course content. Our peer tutors are McMaster undergraduate students who have completed and earned at least an A- or a 10 grade in the course(s) they are tutoring. Our academic skills team verifies each tutor’s grade before they can tutor that course. Tutors can become “McMaster certified” by completing our academic skills team’s training workshop.

Note: Tutors are self-employed and not employees of McMaster University. As such, we cannot guarantee the performance of your tutor. The service agreement is between yourself and the tutor. SSC staff have access to read messages between students and tutors on TutorOcean to ensure policies are met.

Your feedback on how we can enhance our program is always important to us. If you have specific comments/suggestions regarding your session, please contact Jenna Storey at jenna.storey@mcmaster.ca.

Cost

All tutors agree to charge an affordable fee of $15–$20 per hour.

Note:  If you need to cancel a session, you must give at least 24-hours notice. Otherwise, you’ll still be charged the full amount.

McMaster Engineering Society logo

Undergraduate Engineering students: You have access to a subsidy from the McMaster Engineering Society (MES). This includes seven sessions at half price. For more information, including subsidy amounts, visit the MES website.

How to find a tutor

  • Access the Undergrad Peer Tutoring Network on the TutorOcean platform.
  • Search for a tutor by course code (i.e. MATH 1A03).
  • Read the tutor profiles that appear in the results. Tip: Find tutors who are “McMaster certified,” which means that they’ve completed our academics training workshop.
  • Choose a tutor, and start a chat. If you feel comfortable that they can help you, set up an online or in-person tutoring session.

Why choose a McMaster-certified tutor?

Tutors who take the optional training course learn about:

  • Goals and responsibilities of tutoring
  • The learning model
  • How to set session goals with students
  • Planning tutoring sessions with learning objectives, modelling, guided practice, etc.
  • Ethics of running a session
  • Communicating effectively
  • Providing feedback

Tutors who have completed the training have a small badge beside their name on their profile page.

Getting course support through peer tutoring can help you improve your grades, develop your skills and work toward your academic goals. Here are some tips to help you make the most of peer tutoring.

  • When searching for a tutor, read through profile comments and check tutor ratings.
  • Be aware of a tutor’s limitations. Peer tutors aren’t instructors or teaching assistants, but they will do their best to provide you with guidance.
  • Before your session, think about your goals and expectations, and share them with your tutor. This will help both of you focus on your priorities during the session.
  • During the session, have your course materials available and ready to share.
  • After the session, make sure you reflect and determine if you need to make another appointment.
  • Rate your tutor and write a comment on their TutorOcean profile. Did they help you gain a better understanding of course content? Return the favour with a positive rating and an appreciative comment.

Have questions about the online learning platform?

Information collecting on TutorOcean

TutorOcean is a third-party website that requires users to share private information, such as your McMaster email address, in order to connect with tutors. It is your responsibility to make sure that you obtain any information which may be relevant to making a decision, and that you read the privacy and security policy on such third-party websites. McMaster University has no control over third-party websites and will not be liable for any loss or damage you suffer, whether directly or indirectly, as a result of your use of third-party websites. You agree that where you access third party websites you do so entirely at your own risk. McMaster University is not responsible for any fees/payments outstanding.

McMaster University Policy on the Collection of Personal Information

The information gathered by the Student Success Centre for the Undergrad Peer Tutoring Network is collected under the authority of The McMaster University Act1976. The information is used only for the purposes of administering the Student Success Centre’s academic skills service and, on occasion, for statistical purposes. Personal student information provided will not be used for any unrelated purpose without the consent of the student. This information is protected and is being collected pursuant to section 39(2) and section 42 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act of Ontario (RSO 1990). Questions regarding the collection or use of this personal information should be directed to the Student Success Centre (studentsuccess@mcmaster.ca). For complete details, review the McMaster University Policy on the Collection of Personal Information.

Become a tutor

Put your academic skills into practice and help your peers achieve their university goals by becoming a tutor with the Undergrad Peer Tutoring Network (UPTN). You’ll also get to develop professional skills through one-on-one mentorship.

Are you searching for an effective way to gain experience and develop skills?

Consider becoming a peer tutor with the Undergrad Peer Tutoring Network if you:

  • Want to gain professional experience through paid work
  • Want to take advantage of a flexible, remote work opportunity while you complete your undergraduate degree
  • Want to develop your communication, mentorship and problem-solving skills
  • Want to improve your digital competency in an online learning environment
  • Want to put your academic skills and knowledge into practice
  • Want to support your peers’ learning and academic goals

Still unsure if becoming a peer tutor is right for you?

Eligibility

To be able to provide tutoring services through the Undergrad Peer Tutoring Network, you must:

  • Be a McMaster undergraduate student
  • Have completed and earned at least an A- or a 10 grade in the course(s) you want to tutor

How it works

  • Access the Undergrad Peer Tutoring Network on the TutorOcean platform.
  • Create a profile that includes codes for the courses you will be tutoring.
  • Click to give our academic skills team access to your grades. We just need to verify that you received at least an A- or a 10 grade in the course you want to tutor.
  • Get familiar with the TutorOcean platform and wait to be contacted by students for a tutoring session. Once you’ve connected with a student, you’ll be able to set up an online session that works for both of you.
  • All tutors associated with the Undergrad Peer Tutoring Network agree to charge $15–$20 per hour. Every two weeks, TutorOcean will deposit the money you’ve earned to your credit card, PayPal or Stripe account. Please note that TutorOcean receives a 10% session fee.

Note:  SSC staff have access to read messages between students and tutors on TutorOcean to ensure policies are met. Your feedback on how we can enhance our program is always important to us. If you have specific comments/suggestions regarding your session, please contact Jenna Storey at jenna.storey@mcmaster.ca.

Undergrad Peer Tutoring Network FAQ

How much does a tutoring session cost?

All tutors agree to charge an affordable fee of $15–$20 per hour.

Note:  If you need to cancel a session, you must give at least 24 hours notice. Otherwise, you’ll still be charged the full amount.

How do I pay my tutor?

You pay your tutor online through TutorOcean’s payment system (PayPal, credit card or Stripe).

Are the tutors trained?

Tutors have the option to become “McMaster certified” by completing our academic skills team’s training workshop. This training enhances tutors’ skills to make them more effective tutors and communicators. Tutors who complete the training requirements are identified as “McMaster certified” on their tutoring profile.

I can’t find a tutor in the course I need. Does this mean tutoring isn’t available for this course?

No, not necessarily. If you can’t find a tutor for a specific course, email us (skills@mcmaster.ca). We may be able to connect you with a tutor.

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What should I expect during a tutoring session?

Your tutor will ask you about your goals and what content you need help with. This will help them organize the session to suit your needs.

Together, you will work through course content so you can gain a better understanding of the core concepts. Your tutor will offer guidance and provide you with ways to practice your understanding.

As a tutor, how do I get paid?

TutorOcean pays tutors directly every two weeks. Your money will be directly deposit to your credit card, PayPal or Stripe account. Please note that TutorOcean receives a 10% session fee.

I’m becoming a peer tutor. Why should I become “McMaster certified”?

Our academic skills training workshop is an easy way to invest in your skills to become a better tutor. Through the workshop, you’ll learn about:

  • Tutor/student roles and responsibilities
  • Planning a successful session
  • Developing communication skills
  • Providing effective and meaningful academic support

If you complete the training, this certification will be added to your tutor profile. Most students want to meet with a trained tutor, so you may get more work as a “McMaster certified” tutor.

Should I claim the money I make through tutoring on my tax return?

Yes. The money you earn from tutoring is taxable, so it should be reported on your tax return under self-employed income. If you need help completing your tax return, visit Mac’s Money Centre’s website for tax services and resources.

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