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We've faced the issue of the accuracy of our counts as well. Currently  
we are using a card swipe system to capture both sign in and sign out-- 
an ipod with a card reader. We worked hard to make this quick and easy  
to increase the number of students who actually do it. But, I fear  
that after a dozen visits, late in the term, students will simply tire  
of doing this. Prior to this, to get accurate data, we reverted to  
paper/pencil sign in. Our feeling was that this was very accurate--it  
was monitored by an admin person. Tricky question: how do you how many  
people aren't doing something?

As to qualitative data, I really don't  value "satisfaction" measures.  
I also am not very interested in individual tutor evaluations by  
students. There are
a number of reasons not to ask these questions. Instead, I want to  
know what the students learned and learned how to do. How likely they  
are to apply what they learned independently, and if
they think what they learned will make a difference to their learning  
and problem solving in the future. These reflect our objectives which  
students can not
adequately account for in their assessments of their satisfaction.

Best,
Nic
On Oct 11, 2011, at 3:01 PM, Christine Flax wrote:

> Dear Colleagues,
>  This is an interesting as well as eternal question to be answered  
> by learning / tutoring centers' staff.  I do agree that student  
> satisfaction holds a high place in the answer.
>
> Nevertheless, our center uses AccuTrack, which has great  
> capabilities; however, the stats reported indicate the number of  
> appointments scheduled and then the number of sign-ins for an actual  
> appointment.  The data does not provide for the students who forget  
> to sign in but do receive tutoring nor for the no-shows for  
> scheduled appointments.
>
> My question is how do you accurately "count" the number of students  
> actually using your services?  Are you using the number of  
> appointments scheduled (which can be misleading) or those  
> appointments actually kept to get the percentage of total student  
> population usage?
>
> Unfortunately, this data analysis is not a perfect science, but we  
> want to get as close to the "real" percentage as possible.
>
> Thanks for your responses,
> Christine
>
>
> Christine T. Flax
>
> Director, The Academic Link Tutoring Center and PASS Mentoring
>
> Assistant Professor, Developmental Studies
>
>
>
> Stevenson University
>
> 100 Campus Circle, CAVES 249
>
> Owings Mills, MD 21117-7803
>
> 443-394-9308
>
> [log in to unmask]
>
>
> ________________________________________
> From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals [[log in to unmask] 
> ] On Behalf Of Laurie Hazard [[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 2:22 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: What's a "good" number?
>
> Unfortunately, the results are not published, yet...I say yet  
> because we really do intend on getting them published; however, in  
> many ways, the fact that the results are not published feeds the  
> many narratives of our profession:
>
> "The work [research]  has been carried out by leaders of the field  
> or by individuals at research universities who have particular  
> experiences and particular points of view, not to mention  
> appointments that afford them the luxury of thinking and writing  
> about theory.  But it is not clear whether the conversations  
> regarding the theory adequately represents the experiences,  
> perspectives, and needs of  those "in the trenches," the front-line  
> practitioners working in the classroom, learning center, advising,  
> or counseling office" (Chung & Higbee, 2005, p. 4-5).
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals [mailto:[log in to unmask] 
> ] On Behalf Of Benjamin Smith
> Sent: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 2:03 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: What's a "good" number?
>
> First, a big thank you to Laurie for posting the results of your  
> study!  Are
> your results published somewhere that we might cite them for our
> administrators?
>
> Chris;
>
> Numbers can be dangerous and misleading if not given a proper  
> context.  Our
> tutoring center focuses primarily on introductory courses, or what  
> we refer
> to as Gateway Courses, which are primarily populated by freshman and
> sophomore students.   Instead of looking at the proportion of the  
> entire
> population we are open to, we prefer to report on the percentage of  
> incoming
> freshmen that we serve, which is consistently around 67% (2/3's.)
>
> Many departments at my institution question the sense in offering
> supplemental academic support to upperclassmen with the belief that  
> Juniors
> and Seniors ought to be standing on their own by their later  
> academic years.
> Personal opinion notwithstanding, if that is the response we receive  
> from
> the academic departments, to report on our success in reaching their
> students would be in poor taste for interdepartmental relations, as  
> well as
> disingenuous to the success or efficacy of our program.
>
> Another point to consider, as was discussed in a session at the  
> recent NCLCA
> conference in Indianapolis:
> Instead of focusing on pure attendance, look instead at  
> satisfaction, or
> other qualitative measures, of students who utilize your service.    
> If your
> administrators are like most, they will insist on "hard" numbers,  
> but adding
> in a qualitative component can often emphasize what it is that you  
> are doing
> well.
>
> Hope this helps!
>
> Best,
> Ben Smith
> Tutoring Services Coordinator
> Student Support Services
> Binghamton University
> Office: 607-777-6881
> Cell: 360-304-9568
>
>
>
> On Tue, Oct 11, 2011 at 1:32 PM, Cleveland, Prof. John P. <
> [log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>> Hi Chris,
>>
>> Here at the NYC campus of Pace University, the Tutoring Center  
>> serves on
>> average 15% of the undergraduate population.  That percentage has  
>> relatively
>> consistent for a number of years.
>>
>> Best,
>>
>> John Cleveland
>>
>> John P. Cleveland, M.T.S., M.A.
>> Director, Tutoring Center
>> Center for Academic Excellence
>> & Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy and Religious
>> Studies
>> Pace University
>> 41 Park Row, Room 204
>> New York, NY  10038
>> (212)346-1407 (phone)
>> (212)346-1520 (fax)
>> [log in to unmask]
>> www.pace.edu/tutoring
>>
>>
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals [mailto:
>> [log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Chris Glover
>> Sent: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 1:16 PM
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: What's a "good" number?
>>
>> Hi all:
>>
>>
>>
>> I'm curious - what do you consider to be a "good" number in terms  
>> of the
>> percentage of students your tutoring program serves during a regular
>> semester/quarter?  Do any of you set goals as far as a certain  
>> number you're
>> trying to reach?
>>
>> Christopher S. Glover
>> Tutorial Program Coordinator (LAR)
>> Adjunct Faculty (Reading)
>> Long Beach City College
>> Phone: 562.938.4669
>> Office: LAC L-203
>> Email: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
>>
>>
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__________________________________
Dominic (Nic) J. Voge
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(609)258-6921
http://www.princeton.edu/mcgraw/us/

Associate Director
McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning
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