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Tammy,

I'm fairly new to learning centers, but writing center researchers from 
the Univ. of Wisconsin, Univ. of Maine, and Marquette Univ. are looking 
into the effects of tutoring on the tutor, I've heard Harvey Kail (from 
Maine) talk about the results, and they've been impressive -- tutoring 
experiences are vivid and useful as these graduates navigate through 
"real" life. Here's the link:

http://www.marquette.edu/writingcenter/PeerTutorAlumniPage.htm

The survey attempts to gather data and narratives on the long- and 
short-term effects of training and work as a peer tutor and to answer this 
question: What do peer tutors take with them after graduation? 

Our IT people are looking into Smarthinking as well -- I'd much prefer 
rather putting money into developing our online Writing Center (which is 
small) and other online initiatives.

Mary





Tammy Pratt <[log in to unmask]> 
Sent by: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals 
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11/13/2006 02:50 PM
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Re: Smarthinking at four-year flagship institutions






I have a more general question related to the rationale of outsourcing on-
line tutoring such as Smarthinking. I was just discussing this with 
colleague and am interested in other's thoughts on the matter.

When we consider outsourcing, are we doing our students a disservice by 
overlooking the current student staff resource available on larger 
institutional campuses? Many of the learning assistance programs use peer 
learning assistants which provide exceptional personal and professional 
development opportunities outside the classroom (leadership development). 

If we can provide peer to peer assistance on campus, what are the limiting 

factors of providing on-line synchronous or asynchronous academic 
assistance applying the same principles of training and development we do 
for our students who are trained as face to face tutors? 

Thanks for your feedback and discussion on this issue.

Tammy Pratt, Director
Assessment and Learning Center
650 Parrington Oval
Norman, OK 73019
Ph: 405-325-4336
Fax: 405-325-1870
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