Please Note: This blog will be inactive until it meets 508 compliance. This means that most links to documents on this site will not work. Other tutor training sites are listed below. 9/5/18

For a comprehensive, free online tutor training workshop, we suggest that you try Adult Literacy Volunteer Training from the Illinois State Library.


ProLiteracy has also updated its tutor training. Find information about it at this blog post: A New and Improved Tutor Training

1. Welcome to our online tutor training!

Objectives: In this unit you will
  1. Learn about navigating this blog
  2. Obtain contact information for your online mentor
  3. Study the online course objectives and compare them to your expectations of this course
  4. Consider your responsibilities as a volunteer tutor
    Estimated time for completing this section: 1 hour

    Before you continue, do you have the information you need to get started?

    If you are reading this text, you are committed to learning how to tutor an adult. Before you go any further, have you completed a volunteer orientation or information session with your volunteer organization? If not, we recommend that you do so now.

    You may:

    1) Call your organization and sign up for the next onsite tutor training session.

    2) If another session isn't scheduled for several months, ask if you can take this training instead. Make sure that the program director and executive director of the program know about this online course. You will need help and guidance at times, which this course will direct you to do.

    3) Out of state participants will not receive a certificate after completing this workshop. You will need to make arrangements with your local program to get certified after completing this course. Virginia residents may call the Resource Center at 804-828-6521 and ask for the literacy specialist in charge of Tutor Training for a certificate if your local program does not provide one.

    Click here to download a checklist that will help you keep track of your progress throughout this workshop. The 2-page document will show up in your download folder (look for it in the bottom of your screen. See image.) Double click on the document and print it out.

    2. How to navigate this blog

    If you have not taken a self-guided online course before, we suggest that you take the Is Online Learning For You?  questionnaire before you begin. Click on the bold, green words. If you are satisfied that online learning is for you, please continue. If you think that taking an online course will be too difficult, please contact your local literacy organization and sign up for an onsite training.

    As you progress through this course, you will find that you can navigate this course either by clicking links on the sidebar or scrolling to the bottom of the page to find directional links. The home icon in the sidebar (see below) will take you to the home page, where you can start over.

    Here are some quick tips for navigating this course
    • Colored bold words are live links and lead to other websites and pages. Once you click on the link, return to the home page by clicking your back arrow at the top left of the screen.

    • You can either scroll down from page to page using your mouse or the scroll bar to the right (place your cursor on the bar - see circle), or click in the archived links under "Units" in the side bar.

    Scroll bar

    • You can also toggle between pages by using the arrows in your tool bar. These arrows will help you navigate between pages. See the illustration below, where the arrows are encircled.
    Navigational arrows

    • Clicking on the blog header at the top of the page will take you to the home page. 
    • Live links that do not have "Optional" written in front of them are required. Sometimes a link will say, look here for an example. Such a link is required and you will be expected to click on it. (Note: the above link leads to a YouTube video in which an adult learner discusses his struggles.)
    • Optional links describe a topic further. Although they are not required, they are still worth visiting.
    • Click on "comments" at the lower left corner of a post to write your own comments for discussion, or to read others' comments. This is the only way your trainer or mentor will know if you've completed a section. You will be able to see the number of comments that sit in a page.
    If you are unable to proceed, please contact your trainer or mentor at your local program, or (if you are a Virginia program) call

    The Virginia Adult Learning Resource Center
    Ask for Victoire Sanborn, the Literacy Support Director.
    Email her at

    We'll gladly guide you through the process!

    3. The time it takes to complete this course

    How quickly you go through this course is up to you. Including this introductory session, it should take about fourteen hours, the standard for certified literacy programs in the United States.
    You may take this complete 14-hour tutor training straight through, working alone or with other online learners in your organization and completing the tasks assigned for each unit as a group. You can also use this course to review a single workshop section. In addition, you may find that after you begin tutoring, you may want or need to know more about given topics. In that case, we've provided you with several options.

    Optional Work and Extension Activities

  1. Optional links are embedded throughout the text of this course, inviting you to delve deeper into a topic. You are not required to navigate through these optional pages. It is up to you to click on them or not. As with required links, the words are in green and bold.

  2. Additional activities can be found under Extension Activities links located on the right side of your screen. These activities offer additional insights, or lesson plans and information that relate directly to the topic you are studying. You are invited to use these extension activities any time, even after you have completed this online training.
  3. 4. Required Activity

    Now, look at the four units in this online course. You can do this by clicking on the links below. Remember to toggle back and forth using your back arrow.

    Unit One: The Adult Learner

    Unit Two: Teaching Reading to Adults

    Unit Three: Teaching Writing to Adults

    Unit Four: Tools for Tutoring Adults

    In which unit do you expect your key questions to be addressed? Which areas in each unit do you know nothing about? In which areas will you feel confident as a volunteer tutor?
    • Compare the sequence of the workshop to the key questions that you’ve jotted down. Where in the workshop will they be covered? Write down any topics that are missing or concerns you have in the comment section.

    • Next, please focus on the estimated time it will take to complete this workshop – 14 hours. Do you think realistically that you will be able to complete this course? List some obstacles you think you might encounter, and use this list for your next assignment.

    Required Assignment

    Figure out how you might overcome your obstacles to your completing this online training. List what you think you will need in order to keep up your motivation to continue, no matter how hectic your personal life might become. Click on "comments" and post your thoughts. Then read what others have to say.

    Optional viewing: Watch this 6 minute video about Illiteracy in America, a portion of which was filmed by ABC News.

    5. Summary

    Congratulations! You have just completed the introduction to this online training! Navigating through this section has made you familiar with using Blogger. If you found navigation easy, then you will have no problems taking the rest of this course. If you encountered many difficulties, please contact your technical mentor for help.
    Now that you have considered this training and considered some of the obstacles of taking this online course, let’s get started! The next unit will help you to understand your student as a learner and your strengths as a tutor.

    NOTE: Before you begin

    If you wish to receive a tutor training certificate, you MUST register with a local literacy program and inform them that you are taking this online workshop. Your local trainer or program manager is the only person who can judge if you have learned the tutoring concepts well enough to be certified. Virginia tutors please ask your local trainer or program manager to contact the Resource Center for a certificate. The contact information and email sit on the sidebar.

    If you are not continuing this training, please fill out our short survey. This will help us with future planning!