CSE continues to offer tutoring sessions through online format


With face-to-face classes being suspended until the end of the semester, the Center for Student Excellence Tutoring Center has made changes to how they conduct tutoring sessions. 

Where tutors and students would originally meet at a location on campus, they are now meeting online using Google Hangout Meets. 

Marie Bernard, learning assistance coordinator, shared what the CSE Tutoring Center’s initial reactions were to the sudden changes.

“We just had a feeling it was coming, you know,“ said Bernard. “I kept telling my students not ‘if’ but ‘when.’ I’m under Lorett Swank, who is the director for CSE, and we started immediately being like, ‘Okay guys, let’s just have a what-if we have to go online – what are we going to do, what will be our tool, our platform.’ It was just a matter of time, and that’s how we approached it.” 

As a result, the Tutoring Center formulated a plan to use Google Meet before the official closure of the university. When the order came for workers to no longer report to campus, most of the technology bugs had already been worked out. 

Bernard explained the process behind the new system’s creation. 

“We compiled a list of tutors that were able to stay on or near campus. Our GA’s then created a new work schedule and a Google Meet calendar,” said Bernard. “The tutors began practicing using Google Meet and downloading Microsoft Whiteboard.” 

Bernard shared what the biggest problem with online tutoring has been thus far. 

“The biggest problem we’ve had is getting the word out,” said Bernard. “My tutors are basically just waiting in front of the computer and waiting for a client to come in.” 

The Tutoring Center uses a variety of outlets for social media marketing, such as Instagram and Facebook, and they have been working to spread the news of their new system. Two tutors have created a video demonstrating how to access online tutoring sessions from the university’s homepage. 

Bernard shared that communication has played a key factor in ensuring that operations run smoothly. 

“I am extremely fortunate to have a very supportive staff in my GA’s and tutors,” said Bernard. “They have been so resilient in the many changes that we have encountered in such a short time.”

The Tutoring Center is also working in partnership with the College of Science & Technology to provide Supplemental Instruction for chemistry, physics and computer science classes. Three SI Leaders conduct on-line SI sessions through Google Classroom. To set up a tutoring session, students can visit the CSE Tutoring Center’s website, select ‘Tutoring Sessions’ on the homepage and pick a time that works best for them. If any issues arise, please email [email protected].