Articles on: Volunteering

What are the volunteer hour tracking guidelines for session prep?

Overall Limit

45 minutes is the overall limit for session prep time. For example, if you create both a slide deck (taking 30 mins) and an assessment (taking 30 mins), you may track a maximum of 45 minutes, not 60. This is because it’s important for the majority of your community service hours to be spent directly helping learners in your sessions. We want to encourage tutors to focus more on actual tutoring and personalizing sessions to focus on learners' needs as opposed building lecture-style sessions. In addition, the session prep limit is also intended to help tutors build sustainable session prep practices & time management skills. If you find yourself spending more time than the guidelines suggest, please reach out to other tutors in subworlds for advice on how to complete volunteer activities in a more time-efficient manner, see if other tutors potentially have materials they'd be willing to share with you, and even check to see if your subworld moderators have pre-built curriculum that you can leverage for your sessions.


When submitting volunteer hours for session prep in the Volunteer Hours Tracker, you must report the breakdown of your time across the various activities you did to prepare. Here are guidelines on these categories:

Reviewing and annotating practice tests you plan to cover in your session — max of 15 mins
Reviewing and annotating practice tests you plan to cover in your session
Learning material is not a volunteer activity, however, reviewing material that you are about to cover in a session can be tracked

Creating a slide deck — max of 30 mins
You must include a link/picture of your work
If you are tracking time for a co-hosted series, please include the names of all your co-hosts.
We generally encourage you to keep slides simple, and spend your time focusing on finding the right examples, visuals and problems to include in your slides
While you are welcome to do more to make your slides aesthetically pleasing, this cannot be tracked towards volunteer hours

Creating an assessment — max of 30 mins
Link to the assessment (this could be a Schoolhouse assessment, Kahoot!, or something else)

Editing previous session materials — max of 15 mins
Must include a link to the slides/quiz/etc.
Must include a list of major changes (which slides, what you added/removed, etc.)
Must include dates/session links you’ve previously tracked on the material (i.e. what session date did you use the non-edited material on?)

Series Prep — max of 15 mins
Must include a link to/picture of your planning.
Must include a link to your series.


Not detailed enough:
"Spent 20 minutes making slides for a Functions series on domain and range."

Detailed enough:
"Spent 25 minutes creating practice problems and examples on domain and range, which I added to a powerpoint for my Functions series. I spent 10 mins looking up problems online, 10 mins creating my own, and 5 mins adding them to my powerpoint."
"Reviewed the SAT practice test taken by the learners in the last session (5 mins), looked over the Khan Academy page on Reading/Writing questions that were common on the test to find correlations between the results and commonly missed questions (10 mins), and then created a PowerPoint summarizing the most common kinds of questions and how to approach them (15 mins)."

Key parts:
Full breakdown of process/activities
Time breakdown
Mention of specific resources used
Publicly accessible links provided to all resources mentioned [for the 2nd good example, the tutor would link (1) the practice test (2) the Khan Academy page (3) the powerpoint]


You may not track time for reviewing a topic as session prep.

"I reviewed the Khan Academy lesson on functions to prep for my session" is not a valid session prep entry.

An exception to this rule is taking the practice test you're going to have your learners take and marking up problems/adding notes and things to talk about. In this case, please make sure to upload an image of your annotations to Google Drive or imgur and include that link.

Additionally, if your prep is editing an existing powerpoint, please include a list of changes that you made.

Be Reasonable

Don't put 30 minutes for creating an intro slide and two screenshots of some problems. Strive to be honest and as accurate as possible in your tracking.

If no learners show up to your session, you won't receive tutoring minutes, but you can submit up to 15 minutes of prep time — as long as you had learners registered. You may NOT track time for sessions with no learner signups

Updated on: 17/07/2024

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