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Subject:

Re: Online Tutoring provided by your center

From:

Sara Weertz <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 5 Oct 2011 18:16:50 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (86 lines)

I wouldn't called our system a home-grown effort but we are using web-conferencing software to provide online support. This Fall, Angelo State University (ASU) is piloting online tutoring with 4 support units: ASU Tutor Center, Writing Center, Math Lab, and Supplemental Instruction (SI). ASU's umbrella of academic support is called SMART (Students Mapping A Right Track) and we call our online support, SMART Online. 

We went live on the first day of classes and have been very busy training tutors and advertising to students. Each tutoring unit offers online support in three modalities:

*	Synchronous - Live (real time) conference with a tutor or SI Leader
*	Asynchronous - Ask A Tutor/Ask an SI Leader (post a question to the discussion board or forum and receive a response within 24 hours--creates FAQs)
*	Resources - File source for tools, references, online links, supplemental reading, worksheets, exercises, etc. 

With the help of Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) funds, the SMART group purchased Elluminate. (As I understand it, Elluminate recently purchased Wimba, then Blackboard Collaborate purchased Elluminate.) We basically have one big web-conferencing software tool that works within Blackboard (Bb).*  Bb acts as the portal and platform to SMART Online. Choosing Bb compatible software was appealing to us for two reasons:

1) Every ASU Student has access to Bb and therefore authenticates each time they login to SMART Online
2) A majority of ASU students are familiar with Bb, so the thought of having to train students to use a new and different program was moot

The ability to pull Bb online tutoring usage reports and the fact that we have trained Bb staff are two additional selling points. 

Since the start of the term, the ASU Tutor Center and SI have been offering regular online sessions. With the use of a whiteboard, audio, video, chat room, and multiple applications (file transfer, web tour, desktop sharing, etc.) as well as all the usual web-conferencing tools, we're able to offer extremely interactive online sessions. 

Additionally, we've been building our discussion board by creating forums (anatomy, physiology, history, government, physics, etc.) that allow students to post questions and get help. Tutors, too, can use the discussion board to post frequently asked questions as well as start thought-provoking threads regarding specific topics. We do, however, have to continually remind ourselves to give mini overviews at the start of every live session. Most students need a quick lesson in regard to the necessary equipment as well as an introduction to the white board and tools--believe it or not, most students have never attended a web conference, let alone seen a whiteboard.

Tutors also generate posts that lead students to the Resources area to find additional study materials, worksheets, exercise/activities, references, and links (e.g., Khan Academy, You Tube EDU, Google Code University, Engineerguy.com). Much of what is posted in Resources is designed and developed by tutors and SI Leaders. What's interesting about the discussion board is that students can subscribe to a specific forum, say, anatomy, and every time there is a post to the anatomy forum, the subscribers get an email indicating someone has posted about anatomy. 

The premise for the asynchronous discussion board and Resources area is to provide 24/7 assistance and promote independent study. No matter what time of day students login to SMART Online, they can get help. If a tutor is unavailable to host a live session, students can at least post a question, scan the discussion board for similar questions, or review the Resources area. A surprise benefit of the Resources is that it serves as a central location for the tutors. Tutors/SI Leaders use this site to share their material with other peer tutors and SI Leaders. 

We also have the ability to record our online tutoring and online SI sessions, and we're currently learning how to edit and create short video clips to post to Resources. (You Tube, I'm sure, will be the natural progression.) The next step is to offer professional development to the tutors/SI leaders, training them to produce their own video clips for storage online.  

All very cool, if you ask me. :)
sal
* I'm not getting any kickbacks for dropping names. I just figure most people would want to know the name of the software. 



Sara Weertz
Executive Director, First Year Experience Program 
Angelo State University
Member, Texas Tech University System
ASU Station #11004
San Angelo, TX  76909
(325) 942-2595  X-387
[log in to unmask]




-----Original Message-----
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of David Reedy
Sent: Tuesday, October 04, 2011 6:59 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Online Tutoring provided by your center

** Proprietary **

Hello all!
As we continue to move into technological support ever more often, I would like to hear from those of you that have a system that works well for you (meaning students actually use it) to provide tutoring at a distance. We've investigated and sometimes used several of the commercial sites but I want to learn more about the home grown efforts. Do any of you use 2nd life successfully? Webex or other "live chat" with display? We are a large community college and have a tremendous growth in our online division much like many of you. 
I also believe there are institutions that have a virtual tutoring center and was directed to find out more about those. 
I will respond to the entire list in early November with my report, so no need to ask!
And finally, I do get the digest version so will be replying directly to individual responses tomorrow.
Thanks so much in advance for letting me know. 
This list is a fantastic resource.
Sincerely, 
David Reedy, Ph.D.
Columbus State Community College
Columbus OH
Past President, NCLCA
 
 
David Reedy, Ph. D.
(614) 287-2232
Program Coordinator, Title III
Columbus State Community College
Columbus Ohio 43215
Past-President NCLCA
Certified Master Tutor Trainer

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