In 2009, Ohio University Lancaster Campus (OUL) set out on a mission. The faculty identified the need to provide tutoring to OUL’s 2,000+ students, but struggled to figure out how to staff such a center. Many of OUL’s students transfer to Ohio University’s main campus after two years, so the students who could potentially be tutors were transferring by the time they reached the appropriate level. So with the challenges addressed, OUL set out on its mission of finding an accessible, easy-to-use, and effective tutoring solution.
What developed from there is OUL’s successful Tutor Tracks program. Designed by one of their own, Dr. Giorgi Shonia, Assistant Professor, Mathematics, Tutor Tracks is a three pronged web-based solution. Included in the program is a database of faculty resources, the ability to connect to a live tutor working out of the OUL’s Learning Center and lastly, access to Tutor.com. Adding an outside resource to the plan was crucial to provide the 24/7 support OUL hoped for. Chosen for its special features, reporting and data evaluation, and competitive pricing, Tutor.com fit in perfectly with the two other legs of the program.
While the program is still in its early years, it’s clear that the students receiving help are already calling it a success. 100% of student users are glad that OUL is offering Tutor.com and report that it is helping them to improve their grades. And its popularity is growing, not just for students. According to Debora Smith, Assistant Professor, Health Technology, when the program first launched in the 2010-11 academic year online education wasn’t as widespread –or respected –as it is now. But just two years in and professors who were hesitant at first have become the programs greatest supporters. Deborah added, “Online tutoring isn’t just effective, it’s essential. This is a tool that can teach people how to learn. Online tutoring increases confidence in students’ ability to learn.”