Tutoring and Workshops: A Success Story
When representatives from the Learning Center visit classrooms to talk about our services, we have a simple mantra: Be more successful in your classes. We usually write this on a white board on three lines. The first line reads, “Be More.” And we are confident that you will be more when you visit the Learning Center. You will be more informed, more prepared, more capable, more confident, and, of course, more successful in your classes.
Why do we think so?
We talk to our students and ask for their feedback, and they share inspiring stories of how a tutoring session helped them through a difficult assignment or how a single workshop helped them see their writing in a whole new way. In addition to these qualitative evaluations of our services, we ask students and tutors to evaluate their tutoring sessions, and we assess students in writing workshops and ask them to evaluate their workshops.
Tutoring in Writing, Math, and Other Subjects
We are very proud of our tutors. They have been highly recommended by professors on campus, and we have trained them to make sure they are able to help students who seek our services. We are also happy to have faculty tutors from the English and ESL divisions.
In the fall of 2012, we conducted a study with 3 sections of English 191 taught by Professor Lara Kartalian. Students in the first section did not attend tutoring sessions or any workshops, students in the second section attended 5 tutoring sessions, and students in the third section attended 5 workshops. In the first section, where students did not attend tutoring sessions or workshops, 66% of students passed. However, 91% of students who attended 5 tutoring sessions passed English 191. (We controlled for instructor bias by having other qualified instructors grade the final examinations for each section, and they were not told about the experiment.)
Here is what our students have to say about tutoring:
“Overall, my tutor, helped me out very well. I came in thinking I was going to drop the class before the deadline and before I came up with the decision, I figure get tutored first and then see how I feel about music. I made an appointment with him and when we had the session, I am more confident in continuing with the course. I would highly suggest him to another student in my class.”
“The session was really helpful and I received a lot of great advice. Thank you!”
“I just wanted to thank the Learning Center for having nice and well educated tutors. I just worked with my tutor & she helped me a lot. She was really nice and helpful. Thank you for having these great tutors and giving us the opportunity to get help from them.”
“I feel more confident going into my 1st exam now!”
At the end of each tutoring session, students complete a brief, anonymous survey in which they rate their tutoring sessions. We are very happy with the results from last semester.
Item 1 Overall, were your needs addressed in this tutoring session?
Item 2 Are you now able to recognize areas in need of improvement?
Item 3 Are you now able to solve errors for which you were referred?
Item 4 Will you now be able to complete future assignments independently?
Item 5 Can you apply successful student habits you learned in this session?
Item 6 Can you now better organize large assignments into manageable tasks?
Item 7 Has this session helped you develop your verbal or computational skills?
The table above shows average responses on a scale of 1 to 5.
1. No, not at all
2. No, not very well
4. Yes, adequately
5. Yes, very well
The Workshop Series
Every semester, the Learning Center offers 50 workshops on a variety of writing-related topics. Each 60-minute workshop provides instruction on a specific topic in an active learning environment.
Our writing workshops have also been very successful. In the same study cited above with Lara Kartalian’s English 191 classes, 90% of students who attended five workshops passed the class. In the first section, where students did not attend tutoring sessions or workshops, 66% of students passed. (Again, final exams were graded by other qualified instructors who were not told about the experiment in order to eliminate instructor bias.)
Here is what our students have to say about the Workshop Series:
“Actually fun! It went by very quickly :)”
“I didn’t think I could learn this much in one hour.”
“I didn’t realize how easily fragments could be fixed.”
“This workshop on logical fallacies RULED!”
We ask students to complete pre- and post-tests anonymously, so we can assess how much students have learned in our workshops. The chart below shows the average scores on both pre-tests and post-tests. As you can see, post-tests were over 51.6% higher!
We also solicit feedback from students after every workshop. Below, you will find a chart that shows just how well we are doing!
1. The presentation started and ended on time.
2. The presentation was clear and easy to understand.
3. The instructor used resources or technology effectively.
4. The presentation was creative and engaging.
5. I feel more confident about my understanding of this topic.
6. I learned something I consider valuable.
7. I feel this workshop will help me improve as a writer.
8. I would take another workshop taught this way on another topic.
9. I would recommend this or any workshop to a friend.
The table above shows average responses on a scale of 1 (Strongly Disagree) to 5 (Strongly Agree).
We look forward to helping you be more successful in your classes. Make an appointment for a tutoring session or sign up for a workshop today!