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My biggest fear and concern with moving from appointment-based tutoring 
to a drop-in format, was the loss of a tutorial plan, consistency, 
session expectations, etc.  Admittedly, some of that was lost.  Much has 
come back informally as the students tend to come in at the same time 
and work with the same tutors and they do work with them on realistic 
goals and expectations, but much less formally and only with some students.

We have also been struggling with out of class assessment in our 
center.  Dorothy Williams ([log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>) 
has developed a metacognition-based rubric tutors can use to help 
students set tutoring session goals. At the end of the session, the 
tutor can assess how well the student achieved each goal set. She has 
been gathering statistics on the rubric since 2006. It is based on my 
dissertation /(Sheets, R. A., (1994). _The effects of training and 
experience on adult peer tutors in community colleges 
<http://www.pvc.maricopa.edu/%7Esheets/dissertation>_. 
<http://www.pvc.maricopa.edu/%7Esheets/dissertation> Doctoral 
Dissertation, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.) /and a presentation 
about research Nelson Dubois was doing in using a metacognitive approach 
to study strategies where students identify the areas of concern in 
terms of motivation, acquisition, retention, and performance.  
Strategies in terms of motivation, acquisition, retention, and 
performance make more sense to the student and effectiveness is more 
easily evaluated.  Dorothy Williams will be presenting a pre-conference 
institute at CRLA in Richmond on October 28.

At PVCC this fall, we are looking to adapt the model Dorothy is using 
for our Math Lab.  Math Lab tutors will work with their first tutor 
contact to complete the tutor session assessment plan and then before 
they leave, students will self-assess their progress towards meeting 
that goal .  We will have some preliminary results to share with Dorothy 
as well, before the Fall CRLA conference.

Thanks.
Rick

Rick Sheets wrote:
> A few years ago, because of budget constraints and the tutoring 
> volume, we went from an all appointment-based system for math tutoring 
> to drop-in. At first I was very concerned and apprehensive about what 
> we would be giving up.  I was very surprised at what happened.  The 
> students coming in for tutoring became less dependent on the tutors 
> because their time with the tutor was more valuable and there was less 
> of it.  Another twist, students began to come in and work with other 
> students while waiting for the tutors to get to them.  We were helping 
> students create informal study groups so that they were becoming more 
> independent of the tutors and more interdependent in seeking help from 
> other students.
>
> We have continued to encourage this over the years. Students will 
> often spend hours in the center working on their homework, socializing 
> with friends and tutors and another phenomena is happening.  Some of 
> our instructors are also stopping by to see what their students are 
> doing (volunteering time before and/or after class).  The center 
> bustles with positive learning energy at almost any time of the day.  
> We may have 35 students working in our math center with only 3-5 
> tutors supporting them because most of them are working on their own 
> or with other students or passing by instructors.  When they need help 
> they simply raise their hands.  The tutors do not simply answer their 
> question, but take the opportunity to help them at that exciting 
> teaching moment.  We have white boards lining the wall of the math 
> center and it is not uncommon for a question to spur a student to the 
> white board and a whole discussion led by the student and others 
> pitching in their thoughts as to the solution with the tutor there as 
> support as they work through the question raised.
>
> We also have some small rooms that students and instructors can 
> reserve for study groups or review sessions and we find those being 
> used more now too.
>
> As students enter we let them know that generally people sit from the 
> lower level math to the higher level math in our open math center.  We 
> also have a separate room just for the developmental math we call our 
> Math Lab.  Students taking Arithmetic Review and Beginning Algebra are 
> in there.  Those in Intermediate Algebra have a choice whether to work 
> in the math center or the math lab (most stay in the Math Lab) and 
> those in College Algebra and above, have no choice--they need to be 
> out in the math center.  The math lab has a higher tutor-to-student 
> ratio, manipulatives, less noise, less distractions, more personalized 
> attention.
>
> Our Writing Center in the LSC is the only thing we still have for 
> appointments--which works well for it.  Everything else is now 
> drop-in. I don't know if this will work in your situation John. I know 
> you said walk-in, rather than drop-in, and you mentioned signs in the 
> tutorial rooms which sounded different than a central area, so it may 
> be very different than what I was describing. I just wanted to share 
> how I was pleasantly surprised at how a change we dreaded but made, 
> evolved into something great. We used to strive for it to be a quiet 
> space, but now we enjoy the buzz of conversations and shared 
> enthusiasm of students and tutors.
>
> Thanks.
> Rick Sheets
> http://www.pvc.maricopa.edu/lsc/
>
> Cleveland, Prof. John P. wrote:
>> Hi all,
>>
>> I run a walk-in tutoring center, but I have been concerned about 
>> students who come for extended periods of time for tutoring help.  I 
>> am also concerned about a problem student who stays for hours.  While 
>> I do not currently have a time-limit policy, I do have posters in the 
>> tutorial rooms that say that the average tutoring session time is one 
>> hour, hoping that students will get the hint.  Do any of you who have 
>> walk-in tutoring centers limit tutoring time?  If so, how do you 
>> enforce the limit?
>>
>> Thanks,
>>
>> John Cleveland
>>
>> John P. Cleveland, M.T.S., M.A.
>> Director, Tutoring Center
>> Center for Academic Excellence
>> & Adjunct Instructor of Philosophy
>> Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies
>> Pace University
>> 41 Park Row, Room 204
>> New York, NY  10038
>> 212-346-1407
>> 212-346-1520 (fax)
>> [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
>> www.pace.edu/tutoring<http://www.pace.edu/tutoring>
>>
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