Utilizing the tutoring center without leaving your room

Emily Dvareckas, Photo Editor

Most students are accustomed to walking up the library stairs to the second floor and heading right for the tutoring center. This semester, the tutoring center remains a free resource for students to use but tutoring will be done through online format. zoom

After logging into Bridges, there is a new site that has been added to each student’s account labeled “RWU Online Tutoring FA 20.” From there, students are able to select which subject they would like tutoring in and there are links to the tutors. Clicking on a tutor’s name during their designated time block will allow students to work one on one with someone.

On the Bridges site, there are tabs for math, science and foreign language tutors. Tutors in these sections have been given document cameras that give the ability for students to experience the same form of tutoring that was once offered in the library.

“The experience is exactly the same as in-person tutoring without the inconvenience of having to travel to the Math Center,” said Rick Fullerton, math center coordinator. “I would advise students not to delay visiting the virtual Math Center. The sooner students get the help they need, the better off they will be in the long run.”

For the science center, the changes seen are similar to those of the math center. Students remain able to get the tutoring assistance they need from their dorms or even their homes. New aspects of the science tutoring center include the ability to offer online group study sessions for CHEM 191 and BIO 103, also known as ChemX and BioX. Students are able to go on Zoom and work with their fellow classmates without being in the same room. This resource is a great way for students in these classes to remain up to date in the course and receive assistance in concepts they may have trouble grasping.

The writing center remains a tool for students but is found in a different spot than services for the other centers. Students are able to access help from writing tutors by going to https://rwu.edu/go/email-writinghelp. This site allows students to send in their papers to be reviewed by a writing tutor in an email form.

Junior writing tutor Katherine Haskell said the switchover has been a positive one.

“This is also a much lower stress environment for tutors. There were a lot of times that, when I was tutoring during the summer, I had to think about a sentence,” Haskell said. “You know, how should this student be organizing this paper? What advice do I want to give them?”

“If I was in the tutoring center, I would have to go off my first instinct. When I’m tutoring online, I can walk away from my laptop to think. I can let it incubate while I make a coffee. I want to make sure I’m giving the best piece of advice I can,” Haskell said.

Karen Bilotti, director of the tutoring center and writing center, is excited for this semester.

“Since classes have just started assigning work (papers, homework, maybe some quizzes), we are just starting to get some student usage of the tutoring services. But the set-up of the remote sites and the tutor training and preparation has been going really well,” Bilotti said.

Haskell also remains positive with online tutoring and what it has to offer to students, and she hopes more students utilize it.

“The tutoring center still seems to be a service a lot of people don’t take advantage of,” Haskell said. “I’ve heard from some students that they just don’t want to feel like they’re obligating us as tutors to read their papers, but that’s our job. I love my job. I want to help you.”