Here are a few related studies:
Cooper (2010) studied students participating in the tutoring center of a large west coast university. He found that those students who visited the center for drop-in tutoring 10 or more times a semester had higher rates of persistence and were more likely to be in good standing with the university than those who did not visit the center or visited it fewer than 10 times a semester.
In 2011, Reinheimer and McKenzie explored the performance of tutored and nontutored undeclared students using logistical regression techniques. They tracked a cohort of 207 students longitudinally from their entrance into college in 2004 through 2008. They found that undeclared students who participated in tutoring were much more likely to be retained over time than undeclared students who did not receive tutoring.
Vick, Robles-Pina, Martirosyan, and Kite (2015) investigated the effects of tutoring on over 2,400 students enrolled in three consecutive semesters of developmental English courses on a community college campus. They compared the final grades of students who had experienced either drop-in or appointment-based tutoring with those who did not participate in tutoring. Pass rates for the tutored students exceeded those of the nontutored students each semester. Tutored students passed the developmental English course at rates ranging from 7% to 14% higher than nontutored students.
In 2015, Colver and Fry examined the performance of tutored and nontutored students who were required to repeat an undergraduate class. The researchers found that tutored
students outperformed nontutored students as measured by final course outcomes.
Copus and McKinney (2016) explored the impact of early tutoring intervention on completion rates in a beginning algebra course for students scoring in the bottom 40% on an algebra pretest. The intervention required students to attend at least two tutoring sessions a week for at least the first 4 weeks of class. Of the 179 students taking the course, the tutored students had a pass rate of 65.6% whereas the nontutored students had a pass rate of only 22.2%.
Walvoord and Pleitz used the “case-control” method to match 215 students based on high school grades and standardized test scores. All of the matched students then participated in a tutoring program for which tutors had completed CRLA training. The authors found a statistically significant higher GPA for students who had attended at least one tutoring session during the semester.
In 2019, Elbulok-Charcape, Grandoit, Berman, Fogel, Fink, and Rabin studied 180 students enrolled in an introductory psychological statistics course offered at a large urban university during a 15-week semester. Each student completing the course took three noncumulative examinations. Those who attended at least two tutoring sessions prior to the tests outscored those who did not attend tutoring by a statistically significant margin on all three tests.
More information can be found in a recent article written by Racchini, Boylan, and Sanchez in Research in Developmental Education (RIDE) published by Appalachian State University.
Debbie: What is this magical study of which you speak? 🦄 Please share to the listserv!
Ira: Could you use your own assessment data on student learning outcomes over time, if you have data on that, to make this point? For example, if you collect data to show the correlation between grade outcomes for students who attend different numbers of tutoring sessions (e.g. students who attend 1 session vs. 2-3 sessions vs. 4-6 sessions vs. 7+ sessions). If you are not currently doing this, I highly recommend that you do so!
On Sun, Mar 28, 2021 at 11:20 AM Debbie Malewicki <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
There is a study that I read several years ago, maybe six or seven, that came out of the California Community College system. It was research-based and demonstrated that the average number of tutoring session visits a student needed to make what they termed meaningful course progress was six with the first happening before mid term and the rest spaced out over the remainder of the semester. They defined meaningful course improvement as an average of one letter grade.
I picked up and ran with that information with many of the promotional pitches I did with both the students directly and with their parents during freshman orientation. I would even put spins on it with a smile explaining that the last five sessions weren’t going to do much if they all happened during finals week or the week leading up to it and that we are not miracle workers.
That example seems to give people a context for realistic expectations even if the same situation didn’t apply to them or their student. I would then emphasize the importance of being proactive and coming in on a weekly basis starting at the beginning of the semester for a class where you know you’re likely to struggle so that we can work with you on not falling behind.
I’m not sure if my response exactly answers your question or not, but hopefully it’s helpful.
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Ira Fabri <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, March 28, 2021 12:55:45 PM
To: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Tutors as "miracle" workers
More and more often, I receive requests to assign a tutor to a student with "severe" challenges, with the expectation that the students will as a result get straight As. We try to educate students and staff on what tutors can/can't do, through our website, flyers, emails, but it doesn't seem to make that much of a difference.
If you have any tips or ideas on how to communicate better that peer tutors can help but are not miracle workers, I will greatly appreciate it.
Pronouns: She, Her, Hers
Associate Director, Tutoring Services
Academic Success Center
Division of Undergraduate Academic Affairs (UAA)
Sherman Hall East, 342
1000 Hilltop Circle
Baltimore, MD 21250
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