eCampusAlberta sponsors real-time math tutoring

Wed, 02/01/2017 - 14:31 -- egripping
June 26, 2015
eTutor Alberta, sponsored by eCampusAlberta, has been providing fast and efficient writing support services to students at participating institutions for over a year. Beginning this fall, synchronous (real-time online) math tutoring will also be available.
 
"To date, eCampusAlberta has funded all of eTutor Alberta’s central administrative costs, facilitating involvement from institutions across the province,” said  Elizabeth Gripping, eTutor Alberta Program Coordinator. “eCampusAlberta is extending the funding coverage to the end of December 2015, and invites all Alberta’s 26 post-secondary institutions to join."
 
eCampusAlberta has been instrumental in driving this service forward.
 
“eTutor Alberta is possible precisely because of eCampusAlberta’s vision for collaboration and student success across Alberta’s post-secondary institutions,” said Elizabeth Gripping, Program Coordinator, eTutor Alberta. “eTutor Alberta uses a collaborative model where all institutions contribute tutoring hours, and this model is one of the main reasons for eTutor Alberta’s great success.”
 
How does it work? 
 
eTutor Alberta currently provides asynchronous writing support: students submit their work online, and tutors review and return it within 48 hours. The math support will be synchronous—in real time, but online. The service is free for all students at participating institutions.   
 
“Students can meet with a professional tutor in real time by logging in to an online classroom, where they can interact with the tutor using the virtual whiteboard, text chat, audio, video, or screen share,” said Gripping.  “For example, the student can use the whiteboard to show the tutor a math question and his or her work. The tutor can talk the student through the question and share examples using the screen-share function.”   
 
In Fall 2015, eTutor Alberta will offer at least 10 hours of coverage for synchronous math tutoring each week, in the evenings and other times when students need online help the most. Students can drop-in to a virtual classroom—no appointment needed. 
 
What type of math support will be available? 
 
“Our partner institutions are very excited about this project. Math skills are essential for so many programs and professions, from trades and health sciences to business and engineering,” said Gripping. “For Fall 2015, eTutor Alberta plans to provide service in developmental math (i.e., trades math, college and university prep) and calculus. If demand and resources are sufficient, eTutor Alberta may offer some coverage in statistics. Further subject areas may follow in the future, as we monitor the needs and resources of the institutions we serve.”
 
Who can access it? 
 
eTutor Alberta’s partner institutions can choose which services they would like to offer, so they can offer just asynchronous writing tutoring, or they can add  synchronous math tutoring, as well. To date, six institutions—Bow Valley CollegeConcordia University of EdmontonNAIT, NorQuest CollegeOlds College, and SAIT—have given firm commitments to synchronous math, and eTutor Alberta anticipates more commitments by the end of June. 
 
“eTutor Alberta always welcomes new partner institutions, and summer is an ideal time to join,” said Gripping. “In Fall 2014 and Winter 2015, our tutors reviewed more than 1500 student papers and nearly 100 questions about writing—and 90 per cent of survey respondents identified eTutor Alberta’s asynchronous writing service as helpful or very helpful. We are proud to offer quality support to Alberta’s post-secondary community, making tutoring services available to students with diverse needs and schedules, whether they study onsite or online, during the work week or on evenings and weekends. With this development into synchronous math tutoring, we look forward to serving more students in more ways.” 
 
For more information
 
To find out more about partnership in eTutor Alberta, contact Elizabeth Gripping, eTutor Alberta Program Coordinator, at info@etutoralberta.ca.