Thursday, August 14, 2008

NW eTutoring Consortium

Today, I am joining an info session on the Northwest eTutoring Consortium. Here is a brief description of it by Connie Broughton from WAOL:
$3500 plus 5 hours of tutor time per week gets 24 x 7 tutoring for all your enrolled students for the first year. The $3500 first year cost includes $1000 to brand your own space. Second year users will pay $2500 plus tutor hours. It’s going well.

This sounds like a good deal to me, so I thought I would learn a bit more about it and share out the information. Also on the call is Eastern Washington University.

Student discomfort with eTutoring: eTutoring is a supplement to traditional tutoring, not a replacement. When centers are not open or when no one is available face to face. Great for working students. Not getting any feedback from students that they find it uncomfortable. Participation at schools is increasing, so no indication of discomfort.

Training and consistency: eTutoring University info, particularly for the writing lab. 4 - 5 hour training and at the end each potential tutor reviews a paper and critiques it; senior tutor reviews critiques. Senior tutor then continues to observe tutor comments to students for quality control. Everything that happens in the eTutoring platform is recorded for later review. Rubrics and instructions are available and continue to be developed. Results in a great deal of consistency.

Will student know who they are working with? Is there a schedule so that students can work with same tutor? Yes, there is a schedule that the students can see. It has the name, but does not have the school. Thus far, folks are sending their very best tutors to the consortia

Meetings: Meetings with tutors, tutor coordinators 3 times a year (though anyone can come). Group very active in developing materials, solving problems and glitches. Have been face to face, but may move to Elluminate for some meetings. Joining consortia means one commits to sending a rep to the 1 day meeting

Blackboard participation - go in once a week to revew things that might be brought up - about 1/2 an hour.

Time Commitment: At very beginning there is time spent learning platform, learning how system works. However, given things that tutor coordinator regularly does, this saves them a ton of time with their own scheduling, training, etc.

We're about to go into a demo, which I will try to record on Camtasia. Let's see how that works. . .


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