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Great questions, Tammy.  At LSU, we are not planning to replace our
existing walk-in tutorial centers.  We will augment them with Smarthinking.
Currently we are able to offer only walk in tutoring in biology, chemistry,
physics, mathematics, some engineering courses, and Spanish.  Adding
Smarthinking will allow us to add courses such as Economics, Statistics,
Accounting, and others.  Additionally, our walk in centers are only open
during the day, and the Smarthinking services will allow us to provide 27/7
access to tutoring.

I agree that our college and university tutorial offerings provide an
invaluable experience for our students who serve as tutors.  They have an
advantage when applying to graduate and professional school, as well as
when applying for a job.  And of course, in addition to leadership skills,
the benefit to their own learning is considerable.

We would never consider replacing our peer tutoring; we just want to expand
the services.

Have a great Tuesday!
Saundra

Saundra McGuire, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Academic Success
Adj. Professor, Department of Chemistry
B31 Coates Hall
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
225.578.6749 phone
225.578.2696 fax
www.cas.lsu.edu
http://appl003.lsu.edu/slas/cas.nsf/$Content/Saundra


                                                                           
             Tammy Pratt                                                   
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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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