Good morning David

We also have some drop in tutoring.  I am new to the position and have very limited information about what has been done in the past.  Some of this was run by academic departments last year and just folded in with us this year.  All drop in hours currently offered are at the request of academic departments.

For your questions:

1.  Our Academic Resource Center recently moved into a new space which includes a tutoring room - it is our space so no justification needed.  We also hold additional hours in the STEM Hub - at their request.  My understanding is that it is a fairly new space and meant for tutoring, study groups, etc.  Part of their goal was to, hopefully, increase student awareness of that space while accessing ARC tutoring.  I have it structured around departments rather than courses.  Chemistry hours could potentially be anything chemistry but mostly gen chem and organic.  I don't think the math hours have been used for anything other than calculus.
2. "Managing student flow" is the opposite of our problem.  Many of the drop in hours are unattended.  With the mid-term grade report process well underway we have been speaking to individual students about drop in tutoring and starting to see some increase.  Our most popular drop in hours are for chemistry.  So far this semester tutors have reported 41 hours of drop ins and seen 47 (duplicated) students.  Early in the semester they were seeing 0-1 students per drop in session.  The last couple of weeks they have been averaging 1-2 students most sessions.  There were two nights that saw 7 and 10 - I suspect that was just before an exam.  I do not have students signing in but tutors report out on names and total headcount.
3.  There was some conversation early on about drop in vs 1:1 although with the understanding that it's new and evolving and to keep in touch.  Tutors are instructed to direct students to 1:1 requests if they clearly need that higher level of attention.  As ARC staff meet with students with academic difficulties we often present drop in tutoring as supported study - bring your stuff, do your work, know that someone is there if you have questions.  

I imagine that all of this will see revision but I'm not there yet - too many other things that need addressed now!


On Tue, Nov 2, 2021 at 7:57 AM Mason, Lexi <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Hi David,


Last academic year, we started to offer drop-in tutoring for two high volume course sequences, after not offering drop in tutoring since multiple years before my time here. To answer your questions below…


1. For General Chemistry drop-ins, we are using an event space that on the same floor/same building as our usual in-person tutoring appointments. We did not need to ask for permission to use that room because we “own” the scheduling for it. For Elementary Physics drop-ins, the Physics faculty offered the room in our Science building that they usually hold office hours in. (We hold drop-in tutoring on weekends when there are no office hours happening.  I am not sure if they had to get permission for us to use that room.)


2. Students sign in by filling out a Google Form that captures their information for reporting purposes—this allows me to look at all attendance data in a Google Sheet of responses. In terms of handling flow, the tutors try to group folks with similar questions together when possible. Sometimes there is a bit of a wait to get help, but from what the tutors tell me, the students usually work on other problems/work while they are waiting. In general, the set-up is rather similar to office hours.


3. This is a great question, and something I believe we could probably improve on! As I said above, we just started holding these drop-in hours in the last year. For the most part, many of the tutors covering these hours had been Learning Assistants in the past, so they had personal experience dealing with multiple students at one time. The tutors with this experience gave tips to the tutors who had not been an LA/held office hours in the past. I am definitely thinking about making a short training session about drop-in tutoring and how to handle the flow of it, I just didn’t have the bandwidth to do it for this year.


Your first question also asks about “justifications” for using space for drop-in tutoring. I found that it was somewhat easy to get support for drop-in tutoring once I reminded the administration of the cost effectiveness of drop-in tutoring versus 1 on 1 tutoring.


If you, or anyone else, has other questions about our drop-in tutoring, feel free to reach out to me at [log in to unmask]!


Best Regards,



Lexi Mason, M.Ed.

She  | Her  | Hers

Assistant Director for Tutoring Services

Boston University | Educational Resource Center
100 Bay State Road | Boston, MA | 02215
617-353-7077 |




From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of David Paulik
Sent: Tuesday, November 2, 2021 9:58 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Drop - in Tutoring Pilot


Dear Colleagues,


I am in the process of exploring a drop-in tutoring pilot for some of our highly targeted courses that receive a large number of tutoring requests. 


I am curious if anybody has gone through the process of starting a drop-in service and, if so, what lessons you might be able to share. 


Specifically, I am interested in the following, but other points are welcome:

1. How did you select campus areas for space? What justifications did you need to provide for administrators to secure protected space?

2. How do you manage student flow at the drop-in locations? 

3. How do you prep your tutors about general expectations on the differences between drop-in tutoring and hour-long scheduled sessions?


As always, I appreciate the wisdom of this group!


Kind regards,


David Paulik, M.A.

Assistant Director of Academic Resources

Student Advancement | Student Success

Case Western Reserve University

10900 Euclid Avenue Cleveland, Ohio 44106-7057

Sears 340  | 216-368-3451 [log in to unmask]

Certified Learning Center Professional - NCLCA Level 2

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Assistant Director, Academic Resource Center

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