eTutoring, an Ohio-wide initiative to provide accessible online tutoring to college students, has been picked up as a trial program at YSU.
There are currently 42 higher education institutions, including the University of Akron, Cleveland State and Kent State universities, participating in the Ohio eTutoring Collaborative under the Ohio Board of Regents.
As part of YSU’s pilot program, about 800 students in three YSU courses – biology, chemistry and math – have access to the online eTutoring website 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week. Students can see the tutor and can interact through voice and/or instant messaging. The online tutor can communicate using audio and video, a whiteboard, and Adobe Connect document-sharing.
In return for the tutoring services, participating institutions provide and pay trained individuals – adjunct faculty, retired faculty, graduate or undergraduate students – to participate as tutors in the statewide program. YSU is providing three tutors, supervised by a master tutor.
“This collaborative effort between Ohio’s colleges and universities serves students wherever they may be, providing academic support (and) utilizing technology with the special touch of well-trained tutors,” according to a video on the eTutoring website.
“We have been working for a long time to be accessible to students in one way, shape or form, but we weren’t sure how to go about it,” said Jonelle Beatrice, associate executive director of Student Life and director of the Center for Student Progress.
Beatrice and Robin Sakonyi White, assistant director of the YSU Center for Student Progress, Student Tutorial Services, will monitor the usage of eTutoring to determine whether to expand the program to more students and courses.
“We indentified these initial courses because they have a large cross-section of students,” said White. “They are gateway classes and we see a lot of requests for face-to face tutoring in those courses.”
Story by Harry Evans