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Remote tutoring can help you finish your semester strong
Peer writing tutor Courtney Glass conducts her tutoring session virtually.

Remote tutoring can help you finish your semester strong

April 1, 2020 at 3:15pm

If you’re used to studying in groups at the library or checking in with a tutor as you review for an exam, you’re in luck.

Tutoring services regularly offered on campus have transitioned to remote learning with the rest of the university.

The Center for Academic Success (CfAS), for example, is still offering its signature services, including individual tutoring, study hall sessions and learning strategy workshops all through Zoom sessions.

Vicenta Shepard, the CfAS director, says access to tutoring is more important now than ever.

“I think our generation of students is very comfortable with the social media aspect of online, but when it comes to learning remotely, it’s a different kind of discipline and focus,” Shepard says. “If you’re usually on campus and meet with a group of your classmates to talk about class, how can you still do that and have community?”

Tutoring is one lifeline to that community – and to helping you stay on top of your studies. The tutors, many of whom are peer tutors, have all excelled in their coursework and participate in tutor trainings each year. Part of their job is to establish good communication with students, so they can explore the course content together.

“Being able to transfer that [tutoring relationship] to a remote learning environment is going to help students,” Shepard says. “This reinforces what they are still learning, it’s just in a different set-up.”

Through Zoom, tutors can speak while looking at each other’s faces, share screens and can use handy tools like the “Whiteboard” to write out formulas and text. They can even hook up their iPads and use that to help them draw graphs or physics problems.

FIU’s Center for Excellence in Writing (CEW) is also providing tutoring sessions online. For years, the center has regularly offered both face-to-face and online appointments for students. Now, it's offering online only appointments, and with great success.

Since the center’s transition to completely online tutoring on March 12, the CEW has had nearly 500 appointments with more than 250 students. And, surveys show that students are as happy with the quality of the tutoring they are receiving now as they were a few weeks ago before the transition.

“Writing is a process of revision,” says Glenn Hutchinson, Jr., the CEW director. “Most of us benefit from talking about our writing with someone else. Students are trying to complete the semester. Even though it’s a difficult semester, they want to finish it, and they want to learn.”

Thanks to the center’s virtual tutoring system, students can easily share their screens with peer tutors and the two can talk to each other through video and microphone or chat.

“Our sessions are in real time,” Hutchinson says. “You can have an actual conversation with a tutor, you can talk about things. Sometimes, students are brainstorming, organizing their ideas or revising their drafts. Like an in-person session, the online tutoring can help with a variety of stages in the writing process. We’re glad to give this support.”

Services Available

CfAS

Individual tutoring is available for a range of subjects from chemistry courses to statistics and computer science.

Study hall sessions. These are a lot like study groups. Students sign up to participate in a session where the tutor helps review key course concepts with a group of students taking the same course regardless of individual classes and professors. For example, one study hall could be dedicated to students taking organic chemistry.

The learning strategy “TLC” workshops. Commonly referred to as TLC (short for The Learning Center), these are unique sets of workshops tailored to specific courses. These sessions help equip students with skills necessary to succeed in their courses, from how to navigate scientific lingo in text readings to strategies on breaking down a question to effectively come up with the solution.  

This program is a collaboration between the tutor and the course professor. The two work closely together, as the tutor creates mini lesson plans that will be help students in the professor’s course. TLCs are offered for general biology I and II, biology lab, general chemistry I and II, organic chemistry I and physics I. Faculty members offer students extra credit for participating in TLC workshops. How much extra credit varies by professor, so check about extra credit with your professor if you plan to attend a TLC workshop.

To make an appointment for any of these tutoring programs, email cfas@fiu.edu with your tutoring request. Once scheduling is complete, you’ll receive a Zoom link to your session.

CEW

One-on-one tutoring sessions to discuss any part of the writing process from brainstorming and revising to final editing are available. 

To make an appointment, visit the CEW’s website. For more information on making an appointment or if you have any questions, contact Hutchinson at gchutchi@fiu.edu.

You can attend other CEW events remotely as well:

Creative Writing Group on Mondays at 1 p.m.

Mindfulness Writing Group on Thursdays at 2 p.m.

English Conversation Circle on Wednesdays at 2 p.m.

Mandarin Conversation Circle on Wednesdays at 11 a.m.

To learn more or if you have any questions about CEW events, contact Hutchinson at gchutchi@fiu.edu.

Other resources

If you are a student in Student Support Services (TRIO) program, you can also access tutoring on a virtual platform. For more information, visit the program's website

 

 

 

 

 

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CfAS staff meeting with tutors on Zoom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


See this video for more info on making an online appointment at the CEW.