I don’t know about “expertise”, but certainly some experience. :-)

 

There is a lot to break down here, so let’s start at the top. The first major branch point is whether to use your own tutors through some whiteboard platform, or to rely on outsiders (either professionals provided by the service, or other students facilitated by the service).

 

Outsiders:

We have used SmartThinking and NetTutor (both professional providers). We considered using Tutor Matching Service (sort of an Uber for tutoring), but university counsel didn’t like it.

 

Neither of the two professional services saw a lot of use. SmartThinking in particular was not popular, and we were not impressed with the quality of the sessions that we reviewed. This was probably 3-4 years ago, so I cannot speak to their current services. Around Fall 2014 we switched to NetTutor, and it still gets a slow but steady trickle of use. They also are tied into Canvas, to which our campus is switching soon, so perhaps utilization will increase.

 

In-House:

About two years ago we also started using WorldWideWhiteboard (the same platform used by NetTutor) with our own tutors. It has been surprisingly difficult to get students (and tutors) to try it out. Even (local-ish) online students preferred to come in for face-to-face tutoring. Access was a little bit clunky, but overall it’s a good product; it’s not clear exactly what the hangup was. Unfortunately, it’s also quite expensive, which is not a good combination.

 

Right now we are participating in a pilot program with GoBoard (the platform from Tutor Matching Service). At the same time, we are starting a massive push of new online degree programs, with classes beginning in January. This will bring some resources to our efforts, particularly from the marketing & communication standpoint, which may increase usage as well.

 

Another thing to watch is that, in my experience, tutors tend to “back-slide” when using an online platform. It is more difficult to do guided questioning, active listening, etc. online, and so they have a tendency to be more “direct instruction”-y than they would in face-to-face.

 

For now, our main metric for success is growth in utilization. However, we will also be assessing performance, using the same rubric we do for face-to-face tutoring.

 

I hope this covers most of what you were after!

 

Jered Wasburn-Moses

Associate Director for Tutoring Programs

Learning PLUS

Northern Kentucky University

University Center 170F

(859) 572-5779

 

From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Jennifer Salmon
Sent: Friday, July 28, 2017 9:52 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: online tutoring

 

[log in to unmask]">

Hi friends,

 

I wanted to reach out to see if anyone had some expertise in online tutoring. Our deans are looking for information including how successful online tutoring is, how long did it take to become successful, what platform are you using, what is the format for tutoring, are you using a company, what are your measures for success? Any information is greatly appreciated.



Jenny Salmon

Director, Student Academic Success Programs

Center for Student Success

North Central College

630-637-5111

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