I’m chiming in a bit late here, but…
As much as we try, I don’t think we’ll ever reach 100% compliance with the request that students bring their textbooks with them. My perspective may be slightly skewed because we’re a commuter campus and most of our students use public transportation, but I think campuses of all types increasingly struggle with this issue. That’s a problem, because to me, having the textbook for use during the session is not just helpful, but essential for helping students develop as independent learners. If the tutor asks the student to look up a critical piece of info in the book and it becomes clear that the student doesn’t know how to navigate their textbook, that becomes part of the conversation.
Books cost a fortune, but most of the time you can either get the course faculty to request extra copies on your behalf of write to the publisher’s rep directly and request a desk copy or two.
Michele Costabile Doney, M.S.Ed.
Director, Student Academic Consulting Center & Immersion Programs
Secretary, Association for the Tutoring Profession
NCLCA Learning Center Leadership Certification Level Three
Baruch College, CUNY
55 Lexington Avenue, Box B2-116
New York, NY 10010
I am seeking some suggestions of signage anyone might be using to inform students that they are expected to come prepared to tutoring. Our tutoring center serves just over 13K student visits each year with over 100 tutors. About 90% of our work is on a drop-in basis. Appointments are primarily for writing (though we will allow drop-in there as well) and special accommodation for students registered with OSD (Office for students with Disabilities). Core values of the college include sustainability and innovation which has led to more student work online including OER (Open Education Resource) textbooks.
1) We are noticing a significant upswing in the number of students who do not bring (or even own) a textbook. Our library does keep multiple copies of most textbooks on reserve which can be checked out for 2-hour intervals yet students still consistently ask our tutors to provide one.
2) Students are coming in with online homework assignments (which allow 3-4 attempts) and asking for help with problem #1 of their first attempt. Basically they have tried nothing on their own and their expectations are for our tutors to walk them through each problem.
3) Students have arrived with their laptop to work on their online homework yet when the tutor suggests that they look up a formula in their OER textbook they do not even go to the trouble of opening a new browser tab and consulting the textbook posted on our college website, but instead expect the tutor to provide the formula.
I would appreciate any thoughts anyone has on this issue especially if you have specific language you use or signage you can point to in order to reinforce the message that students should come prepared with some effort applied. Thanks for listening,
Student Academic Success
Math Center, Room L132
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