I appreciate your questions. Sounds like you are going above and beyond with your outreach approaches.  It also sounds like you have a host of issues hitting you all at once.  I imagine many of us have similar issues.  Below are my responses, but some background info first:
I work in the University Learning Center (ULC) at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW)    

       What is your attendance? 

UNCW has a student population of about 17,000.  In a "normal" year about 30% of the student population utilizes our services.

       Have you changed platforms since going online?

No. We have offered online tutoring since about 2010s.  We started with Wimba, moved to WebEx, then finally started using Zoom about two years ago.  Despite many attempts over the years to promote online tutoring, most students want face-to-face tutoring.  In Mid-March we moved all tutoring to online Zoom appointments.  We also offered "Drop-In" study sessions where students don't need an appointment, but these sessions have not been well-attended.  Our SI model does not work well online, but our SI Coordinator did an excellent job in creating as close to the SI experience online as possible.

       Do you think your platform impacts attendance? 

Yes.  Like you, we are searching for answers as to why students are reluctant to utilize online tutoring.  We have not come up with a good answer.

       What outreach are you doing to students?

Emails to specific classes, emails to professors, connecting to academic advisors, info in newsletters.  During the Summer semesters, I attempted to "embed" tutors into certain classes (our SI program already does something similar).  I asked specific professors to add a tutor to their Canvas (Learning Management Software) page so that the tutor was up to date on class activities and could email the students enrolled in the class directly.  I'd estimate about 30% of professors did so.  When a professor did cooperate, in general there was more tutoring traffic.  I will try this embedded model again this coming Fall.

       What student success data do you have access to and how do you use it?

We have TutorTrac which allows us to run reports about student usage: number of students, numbers of visits, etc.


Mike Ruwe

Assistant Director | University Learning Center

Tutoring Services Coordinator

University of North Carolina Wilmington




Emails sent and received in the course of university business are subject to the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. 132-1 et seq.) and may be released to the public unless an exception applies.

From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Bennett, Victoria <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, July 16, 2020 11:13 AM
To: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Remote Attendance, Connecting with Students, and overall Success Recommendations



Since weve been remote our tutoring attendance has dropped significantly. Im getting a significant amount of pressure to increase numbers. Well be exclusively online for the foreseeable future. Im not really sure what else I can try. I dont know if the problem is technology, students not understanding how to connect, or something else.


Like everyone we had to make a fast transition and implement technology that was currently available. We started with GoToMeeting with open links on our website for group tutoring for the remainder of winter term. We moved to MS Teams for the summer semester which we felt was an improvement. We set it up so there was only one link and all the tutoring channels were accessible through that link. It also allowed us a better way to track attendance, which was manual with GoToMeeting. Were moving to Zoom for fall, but have yet to get the licenses to figure it out.


To add to the fun, the Learning Commons was created in May 2019. Tutoring was stolen from student services and put under the library on the academic side of campus. We consolidated four parts of departments to create the Learning Commons and developed entirely new models from positions to organizational structure to types of tutoring we provide. I had people across campus hoping Id fail because of what they lost. Ive been under significant pressure to put up big numbers to prove that this was the right move by administration. The new models began in Fall, but key staff werent in place until Dec/Jan. I just hit my 1 year anniversary as the Director and have 4 supervisors reporting to me who are all newer than me. When we left campus I had three lead tutors with less than 3 months in the job and at least 50% of their peer tutors were less than 2 months in their roles. We hadnt yet gotten to the point of being able to evaluate if the new ideas were working or not. I didnt inherit any tutor training processes or materials. Most of my role has been making it up as I go along and trying to put out the most immediate fires.


For outreach, weve:

       Called all students who attended tutoring in the center during the winter and fall.

       Emailed the entire student body.

       Emailed all advisors and counselors.

       Done social media posts (I dont think we have a large student following here).

       Provided faculty with flyers and announcements to put in their online courses.


We do not have a center management software for attendance that works online. On campus were using a home grown system that was client based. I do not currently have access to our student data so I cant pull lists of specific students.   


My questions are:

       What is your attendance?

       Have you changed platforms since going online?

       Do you think your platform impacts attendance?

       What outreach are you doing to students?

       What student success data do you have access to and how do you use it?


This is a lot, I know. But I appreciate anything youre willing to offer. At this point Im concerned that my budget will be cut to match our current attendance and well never recover the budget we had when we left campus.


Thank you!




Victoria J Bennett

Director, Learning Commons / Washtenaw Community College

734-677-5387 / [log in to unmask] / GM 206




The Learning Commons on-campus operations are currently suspended- but remote services are available. Please visit our website for information on accessing resources and services.



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