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Tutoring Center Guidelines: Home

Brainfuse Guidelines

Brainfuse offers all IRSC students online tutoring and academic support services for most subjects 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Each student is allocated 10 hours (600 minutes) each semester.

Brainfuse is integrated into each student’s course in Blackboard. Click on "Online Tutoring" in the top navigation bar, on the left-hand navigation panel, or from the Tools.

Additional minutes may be granted after a review of previous Brainfuse usage by a Learning Resources representative to ensure that use is within College guidelines. For more information, email Jason Mastros at or Amanda Vertiz Be sure to include your name and Student ID number in the email.

Tutoring Guidelines

Tutoring is a support service intended to help students become effective, independent learners. The tutor’s ultimate goal is to help the student succeed in their coursework and assignments without the tutor’s assistance. During tutoring sessions, IRSC students should expect the following:


  • Students should attend tutoring sessions only after having reviewed readings, assignments, and other related coursework that they wish to discuss with the tutor.
  • They should bring relevant books, notes, digital resources, and course materials to the tutoring sessions.
  • Students should not expect that tutors will explain course assignments, materials, and concepts that the student has not yet made a good faith attempt to study beforehand. Primary instruction is not the tutor’s job.


  • Discuss confusing course concepts or assignments with the tutor at reasonable intervals (that is, often enough to get assistance with new challenges, but not so often as to create a burden for the tutor and other students needing assistance).
  • Ask for clarification on a few sample concepts or exercises they have already completed.
  • Work through sample problems with tutors to get a better understanding of challenging concepts.
  • Work independently to practice the challenging concepts when the tutor steps away to assist other students (this is a fundamental expectation of the tutoring session that is required to foster independent learning skills in the student).
  • Expect that the tutoring session will allow a reasonable amount of time for discussing a few significant concepts and working through a few sample problems, not to exceed 30 minutes without the tutor’s express permission. If student traffic is particularly heavy, the tutor retains the right to limit the session to as little as ten minutes.
  • Visit the tutor again at reasonable future intervals to discuss additional questions.


  • Expect the tutor to explain (or review and explain) coursework that the student has not previously reviewed.
  • Expect the tutor to work through more than a few sample problems/concepts each visit.
  • Work through entire or significant portions of assignments with students.
  • Expect the tutor to complete problems, provide ideas, or provide wording that the student can use in graded assignments.
  • Expect the tutor to work on all sample problems discussed. Ideally, tutors should only work through one problem per concept, then coach the student through a few additional samples.
  • Expect that the tutor will only help them while other students need help. Tutors must divide their time fairly between all students who need assistance.
  • Request forbidden forms of assistance from tutors, including asking the tutor to do work on graded assignments, provide words or phrases that the student can copy into their assignments. All graded content must be generated entirely by the student.
  • Demand that the tutor assists them in any way that undermines the opportunity for independent learning.
  • Ask for additional time beyond what the tutor has indicated is available.
  • Attempt to contact the tutor while they are not on duty.
  • Take action that disrupts the tutoring learning environment for other students.
  • Make repeated, inappropriate requests for assistance from tutors in such a way that they feel harassed or unable to discharge their duties.
  • Seek help from tutors with the intent of turning in work to their instructors that is not their own, and is not properly cited as the work of someone else.
  • Fail to treat tutors and other students in the learning environment with respect.
  • Ignore professional boundaries that the tutor establishes during a session.
  • Repeated or significant failures in regard to any of the above student obligations or prohibitions regarding tutoring sessions may result in disciplinary action against the student on the part of IRSC administration.