NC State’s Academic Success Center is offering its tutoring services online this semester. Students can either go to virtual drop-in sessions or schedule one-on-one appointments with tutors.
Barbie Windom, director of the Academic Success Center, said they have moved their services online to follow the University’s guidelines, however, most of their services remained unchanged.
Tutoring services currently offered in the Academic Success Center include one-on-one tutoring, drop-in sessions, writing workshops and group mentoring, all via Zoom.
Students can schedule one-on-one appointments for available courses and writing workshops. Group sessions work similarly, with a tutor facilitating a session with a group of students over Zoom. Drop-in tutoring has seen the most changes in the new online environment, according to Windon.
Sara Mirek, a fourth-year studying chemical engineering and food science and a tutor at the Academic Success Center, describes how drop-in tutoring is done.
“We have a breakout room for every class that is offered,” Mirek said. “They’ll go to that breakout room. Then they can press a button that says they need help. At which point the tutors who work in the subject will join them in the breakout room.”
Mirek said the tutor will typically ask the student to share their screen with them during the session.
According to Windom, the Academic Success Center provided workshops to help tutors transition into the online environment. These trainings include how to use Zoom, challenges tutors through online instruction, resources for tutors and effective teaching strategies to use in a virtual setting.
Windom also said tutors who worked at the Academic Success Center in past semesters have had a difficult time adjusting to the virtual tutoring setting.
Eli Howell, a fourth-year studying material science and engineering and a tutor at the Academic Success Center, described some of the problems he faced.
“The biggest difficulty was getting used to working with students without being able to see, physically, what they’re writing down…” Howell said. “It’s a lot more discussing what their thought process is and how to drive that based on what they are saying and what they are writing.
Windom and other tutors at the tutorial center said they have not seen their hours cut back. Windom and Mirek also said the tutorial center has not reduced the operational hours.
Despite the shift to online, both Howell and Mirek enjoy their jobs as tutors. Both have said they still enjoy working with students and seeing them comprehend their course material.
Students who request tutoring can go to the Academic Success Center website, where they can receive further instructions on how to set an appointment and receive tutoring.