Harvey Mudd College Homework Hotline
October Newsletter
Homework Hotline

How does your tutoring program help when it's over the phone?    


During our opening month, many students, family members and educators asked us, "How does tutoring over the phone work?"

Tutoring over the phone follows these guidelines: 
  1. Determine what the student caller knows about the homework question (prior knowledge).
  2. Create a goal for the tutoring session.
  3. Assist student caller with one or two homework questions by using Socratic questions (such as conceptual clarification and probing rationale questions) to guide student caller to the solution.
  4. Encourage the student caller to be an active learner by answering questions; by referring to textbook and/or class notes; by taking notes; and by using subject-specific vocabulary.
  5. Upon student caller obtaining an answer to a homework question, student is encouraged to try other problems on his/her own using the currently solved problem and notes as a guide.
  6. Students are invited to call back if they have other homework questions.

As the leaders of Homework Hotline, our tutors provided the following responses to the question, "How does tutoring over the phone work?"


"We have most of the math and science textbooks that local schools use. If students are working out of a textbook, it's surprisingly easy to guide the student through examples, concepts and problems. If a student is not using a textbook, we find that a student can communicate the homework problems they are working on, and we can figure out what the student is having trouble with and fix it."


-Carola, HMC senior, HWHL tutor since spring 2010 


"When a student calls in and asks a question about a specific problem, tutors explain the problem to the student and work through enough examples so that the student can finish the rest of the assignment independently. The tutors usually have the textbook that the student is working out of, and they can reference pages that the student may need to understand before attempting the assignment." 


-Lennart, HMC first-year student, HWHL tutor since fall 2012 

September Statistics      


605 successful calls


83% of calls were for mathematics tutoring. Of all math calls received, most were for Algebra 2 tutoring (21.1%), and Algebra 1 (20.7%).


12% of calls were for science tutoring. Chemistry made up 59.2% of all science calls. 


55.4% of our student callers were working out of a textbook.


57.1% of our student callers had called the Homework Hotline before.


Monday and Thursday evenings had the highest call volume.


Most callers were from Claremont High School, El Roble Intermediate School and Ramona Middle School.

Student-Caller Feedback


"Tonight's tutoring was really good. Wish the hours were longer."

(Returning caller, 12th grader)


The student's mother came on the phone after the call and was very complimentary of the program. She said that her daughter has been calling for the past two years (since 5th grade) and that we have been "life savers." She appreciated that we not only helped her daughter through each problem, but also that we made sure she had a thorough understanding of it by the time the call was over.
(Summary notes of tutor who worked with a 7th grade caller for math tutoring)


Homework Hotline

Important Dates for Homework Hotline    


HWHL will be closed for Thanksgiving week, from Sunday, Nov. 18 to Saturday, Nov. 24.


HWHL will reopen on Sunday, Nov. 25 at 6 p.m. 


For more information, please email a program administrator or call 909.607.4015.

www.AskHMC.org                                      877.8ASK.HMC  |  877.827.5462


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This e-newsletter is produced by the Harvey Mudd College Homework Hotline.
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