Tutoring: Issues to Consider
We all need a bit of help sometimes. Seeking out support when experiencing difficulty is natural and knowing where and when to get support is a good academic skill. As a student, there are all kinds of supports available to you and it is your job to know what is an acceptable support and what is not. The University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) has guidelines on what is acceptable practice found within the Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters (Code). As a student at the University of Toronto, you are expected to have read and understood the Code.
This resource has been designed to help you determine which types of tutoring practices are acceptable and which ones are not.
Tutoring Practices That May Pose an Academic Offence Risk:
Collaborating with others, or sharing assessed answers, on social media platforms.
Posting your assignment online, or sending it directly to your tutor, to get assistance answering the questions.
Having someone help you complete all or part of your essay/homework/problem set, whether or not you are paying for the service. This includes someone making changes for you during the editing process.
Using a translation service, software, or asking another individual to translate your assessed essay/homework into English.
Attending supplementary classes or using tutoring businesses can be highly problematic if they use your instructor's notes, slides, handouts, or other course material but are offered by individuals and businesses not formally affiliated with the University. There is also concern throughout the UTM community about businesses that sell course-related tutoring services that write or edit students' assignments. While some learning support businesses are legitimate, others may lead you, even without intention, to violate UTM's academic integrity policies.
Click here for warnings regarding the risks of illegitimate tutoring services.
Acceptable Tutoring Practices, Services, and Supports:
- UTM offers many academic supports and services, such as:
- Studying with a classmate or in a group is an acceptable practice, as long as you are not working together to solve homework problems, writing assignments, or other work that is going to be assessed individually.
- Seeking the help of paid or volunteer tutors who are not affiliated with the University is acceptable - as long as they do not help you to complete your assessed work. Tutors should help you strengthen your knowledge of the subject area by clarifying concepts, and help you to improve your academic skills, such as time management.
- Getting tutoring support by someone who speaks your first language is acceptable - as long as this individual does not help you to complete your assessed work.
- If you have questions regarding any coursework, attend the office hours of your Teaching Assistant or Professor for extra help.
Click here for more information on legitimate tutoring and FAQ’s regarding UTM's academic resources.