When I have to give a big lecture with a lot of exercise groups, I have to choose the tutors who are grading the student's homework and explaining the lecture to the students.

How can I find out if someone is suitable? What are good ideas to test if someone is a good tutor without embarrassing them?

Of course, when I know the tutor or know someone who knows him, it is clear for me. Also, if someone did perform very bad in the past overall, this is a clear case. But sometimes, there are students who were very good in the given lecture but perform very bad at the exercise group (One one hand by not being good teachers, but sometimes also they cannot even solve the exercises themselves).


2 Answers 2


The university I worked as a tutor at, involved an interview with a brief teaching situation. This was done for all students who applied to a job as a tutor at the math department, regardless of the intended course (e.g. linear algebra for engineers, analysis for physiscists, numerics for mathematicians).

You had to prepare a short presentation (5 -10 Minutes) of an excercise or a theorem. The audience consisted of one professor, one assisstant professor and on student who evaluated the abilities of the applicant together.


Here we don't have any structured selection process, it is up to each one how to select tutors. The students I've selected as tutors are mostly those I've seen asking questions (be it in class or out of it), and which I've seen interacting with other students successfully, often by explaining the material to them or in informal study groups. Decent grades in the class are a must, obviously. I also take a look at their grades in other courses, not just related ones. Students who do well overall are less likely to see themselves burdened by other obligations.

  • $\begingroup$ I think, this is a good selection. But what do you do with students completly unknown to you and your close colleagues? $\endgroup$ Mar 14, 2014 at 17:27
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @MarkusKlein, sometimes you just have to jump into the swimming pool and hope for the best... $\endgroup$
    – vonbrand
    Mar 14, 2014 at 18:58

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