Remote tutoring sessions offer valuable experience beyond just course content. Students appreciate connecting with a tutor they’ve developed a relationship with over many weeks of the semester.
“Seeing and hearing a trusted peer keeps the Denison culture alive in a time when distance presents unique challenges for the interpersonal experience at the center of ARC tutoring,” says Powell.
The conversations cover lots of territory. Jennifer Vestal, associate dean of students and director of Academic Resource Center says, “Today, two students were giving me updates on how week two is going. We talked about how one has converted to GoogleCalendar to better organize all her assignments and class times, so she won’t miss any assignments, virtual classes etc.”
“Another talked about keeping up her workout routine (she is training for a half-marathon) as providing the structure to stay academically focused. This afternoon my student appointment was discussing the pros/cons of dropping a class or exercising the S/U option for the semester. Every call/contact seems different but I appreciate remaining connected with students — and that’s what I love about my work,” she added.
“Seeing and hearing a trusted peer keeps the Denison culture alive in a time when distance presents unique challenges for the interpersonal experience at the center of ARC tutoring.”
When campus closed during the coronavirus pandemic, students, faculty, and staff had to pivot quickly to remote learning methods — not an inherent strength for a university that prides itself on small, interactive classes and close mentoring relationships.
The Academic Resource Center (ARC), where one-on-one tutoring happens on a regular basis, has jumped into the fray with some innovative new practices. Academic support is offered both by ARC staff and by student tutors who are hired to tutor classes by their professors. Here are some ways ARC is continuing to academically support students through remote learning at Denison.
Student tutors and tutees meet up on Google Hangout/Meet to discuss course content - Associate Director Torrance Powell sometimes “sits in” to troubleshoot issues and provide observation feedback to the tutor. Remote tutoring has shown great promise for supporting students and is still available at apps.denison.edu/requestatutor
The Productivity Circle (a group of students with ADHD, anxiety, or those just struggling with focus) continues to meet weekly via Zoom. They review some strategies and structures that will help this group with focus and accountability while working remotely. Separate check-ins are scheduled on an individual basis.
ARC staff connect with advisees through GoogleMeet and email.