eTutoring used at KSU expands across state
DetailsCreated on Thursday, 12 April 2012 23:46 Hits: 1162
eTutoring fast facts
Total students with access:
Total activated accounts:
eQuestions submitted (submitted and answered later — not live):
eChats (live chats with eTutors):
Writing samples submitted for review:
36 eTutors provided 4,600 hours of tutoring to 2,400 students in Fall 2011
Comparing Kent State’s usage to other local schools: Numbers are for the fall semester as of 12/16/2011
Writing samples submitted:
University of Akron:Access:
University of Toledo:Access:
The Ohio Board of Regents’ eTutoring collaborative program, which has been in place at Kent State since 2010, is now available for free at every university in the state.
“We’ve actually come up with the money through some grants for this year, and it’s going to be part of the budget in the future,” said John Charlton, the board’s deputy director of communications. “ ... We will pay for all the universities to have this access. So it now becomes a free service to the universities and to the students.”
Randy Ruchotzke, a math specialist at Kent State’s Academic Success Center and the main person in charge of the university’s eTutoring access, said all students at Kent State are automatically registered for the program and can log into the eTutoring website on their own computers using their kent.edu email addresses and birthdates.
Once there, students can choose a tutor in subjects such as mathematics, chemistry, statistics, biology or accounting and can use a program called Adobe Connect Room to get in touch with a tutor. Connect Room allows for video chatting, instant messaging, document sharing and audio interaction.
“It’s really a very nice platform,” Ruchotzke said. “It’s almost like being there.”
Students can also post a question in a message-board-style program and wait for a tutor to respond later. There is also an online writing lab available for students, but Ruchotzke said the ASC does not advertise that as much because the Writing Center in the university library offers very similar services.
Tutors are generally available at different and longer hours than a center on campus, Charlton said.
“There’s tutors available at times that may not be available at your physical tutoring center,” Charlton said. “Also, it allows you to access a tutor from home. You don’t have to come to campus if you’re not a residential student.”
Charlton said all schools involved in the program provide at least one tutor (Kent State’s lone tutor is in chemistry), and schools share tutors frequently.
“If I’m a student at Kent State, and I need help in, say, anatomy, and Kent State does not have an online tutor that does anatomy,” Charlton said, “I’m going to go to this eTutoring website, and the tutor that I’m working with may be ... not necessarily [from] your own institution. It can be at any of the institutions that participate in the eTutoring collaborative.”
Ruchotzke said the eTutoring hours are not necessarily more extensive than those available at Kent State’s main campus, but the program is especially popular on the regional campuses, which also have access to this program.
“For other campuses, I’m sure these hours are expanded compared to what they have in their learning centers,” he said.
Also, the eTutoring is popular with students already taking online courses, he said.
“I find that probably a little more than half of the students who use it are taking online courses,” Ruchotzke said. “So it’s handy for those people taking online courses; now they can get online help as well.”
Ruchotzke said students generally like the service, rating it about a three out of four on the online questionnaire available to those who use the service. He said sometimes technical problems can be a deterrent, but said there is a help desk phone number on the university’s eTutoring home page.
The eTutoring does not compare to in-person tutoring, Ruchotzke said. But for students who cannot or do not want to take advantage of in-person tutoring, he said eTutoring is a worthy substitute.
“To me it’s not as good as one-on-one, but it fills in the gaps where students can’t get to the learning centers,” he said.
Charlton agreed about the program’s usefulness.
“We think this really just offers a great opportunity for students with the academic resources that are available,” Charlton said. “The eTutoring website can be very helpful to the students and help them succeed on campus.”