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One significant difference between on-campus tutorials and on-line tutorials offered by text publishers is the support provided to tutors and learning specialists by individual faculty members.   Many of our peer tutors have the classroom or distance learning experience with our faculty members who recruit from their classes or approve all of our tutors.  The tutor's relationship with the faculty members is ongoing and specific regarding the instructional material and assignments.

With these partnerships, faculty members encourage their students to make good use of our tutors and labs and will include the learning center information in their syllabi.

Zola Gordy, Coordinator
Academic Achievement Center
Maple Woods Community College
Kansas City, MO

>>> [log in to unmask] 05/05/04 11:56AM >>>
I suppose my anxiety or fear over the publishers offering the same service I offer is the challenge I face in making my service known to the students.  The publishers have expensive, attractive inserts that come with every textbook.  My budget allows me a few posters around campus and a little bit of space on a bookmark.  Do the students know there are two sources of help available?  Or do think what I'm advertising is the same thing in the textbook.  Would the students be more likely to use my service, knowing the tutors are their peers rather than someone in another part of the country?  Are they willing to keep track of which service is available when?  Does having two options help or confuse?

It is wonderful that an off campus service can offer help when our lab can't.
I personally know many people at Smarthinking and NetTutor, and they are wonderful people.  My concern is not a turf issue.  It is focused on how it affects the students.  Online tutoring seems to have so many inherent obstacles to student use, that I wonder if the availability of two services helps or hinders.

One other thought.  If our campus decided that an off campus service was of terrible quality -- superficial, trivial, and destructive, but they liked the textbook it came with, can the school get books without the accompianing marketing materials for the online service???

Kathy

>>> [log in to unmask] 05/05/04 10:25AM >>>
I think much of the online math help is of terrible quality.  It is
superficial, trivial, and destructive.  It leads the student to believe that
a math skill can be learned in isolation and within five minutes will be
mastered.  Such online tutoring should be evaluated accordingly and not
recommended to students.

Nevertheless, these messages questioning online tutoring offered by text
publishers are puzzling to me.  In fact, they make me angry.

I can't understand the fear that seems to be caused by the mere existence of
something that could compete with the help offered by a Learning Center
tutor program (face-to-face or online).  Aren't we committed to students
rather than our own turf?  If help is available, judge it on its qualities
for student learning.  If it is junk then discard it.  If it is helpful then
don't let other concerns keep you from using it.

Bob


.

> From: Kathryn VanWagoner <[log in to unmask]>
> Reply-To: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals
> <[log in to unmask]>
> Date: Wed, 5 May 2004 07:04:12 -0600
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: online tutoring offered by text publishers
>
> I am aware of two sources of online tutoring offered with math texts.  Some
> publishers are contracted with Smarthinking and others are contracted with
> NetTutor.  Both use the NetTutor platform.
>
> I am curious as to whether those tutoring providers can tell me how many of my
> campuses students are using their service.  Our school offers online tutoring,
> and I feel a need to compete with the services offered by the text.  Maybe I
> shouldn't feel that way?
>
>
> Kathy
>
> Kathryn Van Wagoner
> Director, Math Advantage Programs
> Utah Valley State College
> 801-863-8411
>
> ad-van-tage   n.  A factor conducive to success.
>
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