As Western transitions to online learning for spring quarter in the midst of this period of uncertainty and anxiety, students, faculty and staff are challenged to engage in teaching and learning in new and different ways. Western Libraries personnel want to assure you that many of the traditional services and supports you have counted on in the past are still available, even if the way you have traditionally accessed them has changed. In particular, the Tutoring Center is now providing all of its tutoring support services online, and will continue to offer support to students for their math and science GURs.
During the Tutoring Center’s regular hours (Monday-Thursday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.), students can connect with a peer advisor by clicking on the “Chat with the TC'' link, found on the left side of the Tutoring Center’s main page. Tutoring Center peer advisors are available to answer general questions, match a student up with a tutor, connect students with additional online resources, or make referrals to other services.
Aside from the Tutoring Center director, coordinator, and office assistant personnel, all additional positions are staffed by Western students. Tutors receive at least 20 hours of training in specific subject material, as well as in the areas of effective communication, questioning techniques, and equity and inclusion. Often tutors have taken many of the math and science courses they are supporting, and are familiar with the instructors and departments. Additionally, tutors can help refer students to other relevant resources at Western, such as DAC, the Counseling Center, Veteran’s Services, SOS, Academic Advising, Career Services, and the Math Center.
“Our tutors have really stepped up to learn an entirely new method of delivering tutoring services in a period of just a few weeks,” said Katrina Buckman, director of the Tutoring Center, adding, “We’re really amazed and inspired at how well they’ve taken it on.”
Peer advisors have been working to ensure that all of the resources that the Tutoring Center offers are available online, that procedures for connecting students with tutors are recorded and understood, and that students’ questions regarding this new service model are answered. Peer advisors can also assist with answering study skills questions, and students who want more in-depth study skills support will have the option of joining a Zoom room where they can utilize video, audio, white board, or screenshare options.
Additionally, students can access a PDF drop-in card, which provides a full list of tutoring-supported courses, on the Tutoring Center drop-in page. Online study groups for specific courses are in the process of being scheduled, and more information about those groups can be found on the study group section of the Tutoring Center’s website, and will also be emailed directly to students enrolled in those particular courses.
The Tutoring Center is working hard to ensure students have access to the services they need, but they welcome feedback on how they can do even better. While acknowledging there will be some new challenges this quarter, they are committed to ensuring that the Tutoring Center will continue to be an invaluable resource to students throughout spring quarter and beyond, and they invite you to reach out to them with any questions or comments you may have. For more information about what the Tutoring Center offers, or to chat with a staff member, visit the Tutoring Center website.