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- Using upper year students on campus for peer-to-peer tutoring can activate a home-grown resource, especially since student tutors will have a deep understanding of the campus culture and program requirements
At Nimbus, we are constantly checking in with universities to understand what they need in a solid tutoring program, and what adaptations we can provide to develop a customized program that meets the needs of their community. One thing we’re often hearing is that outsourcing tutoring to external companies can be a great solution to admins’ constant battle between providing next-level services for their students, without adding many more tasks to an already packed to-do list.
That is, as long as the company you’ve outsourced to actually has the tutors to keep up with demand.
Often post secondary institutes will come to us to say they’re receiving complaints that there aren’t enough tutors available when the students need them. This can create a stressful experience for the students and drop more work into the admin’s lap, especially frustrating when you’re specifically paying to take the work off your plate!
Instead of outsourcing to another company that has multiple campuses all pulling from the same tutoring set, your own upper-years students are an incredible resource who know the course experience inside and out because they just did it. Having an on campus tutoring program also allows you to plan ahead based on metrics from your own students, so you always have the right tutors to meet demand.
Use home-grown talent to provide support with a deep knowledge of campus culture and course requirements
No one understands the trials and tribulations of a difficult course on your campus like a student who has just persevered through it.
When looking for support for their students, many admin overlook students on their own campus because they believe that hiring “professional” tutors will be a better bet for their students. However, students who have excelled in the courses they are tutoring have unique insight into their own personal experiences with the homework/assignments/tests, knowledge gaps that exist between courses that need to be addressed, and may also know about other resources (for example, study guide on course homepages) that can support student success.
Peer-to-peer tutoring also has a proven track record of success. Take this case study from our white paper on student success:
Senior students at the University of Granada in Spain were given three training sessions and facilitated structured, individual weekly tutoring sessions to students in varying disciplines (Arco-Tirado, Fernández-Martín, & Hervás-Torres, 2019). Students who were a part of these resulting tutoring sessions demonstrated a statistically significant increase in GPA by the end of the semester (significance of change in GPA scores p < .001; significance of change in Performance Rate (credits passed divided by the number of credits registered) = p < .001; and significance of change in Success Rate (credits passed divided by the number of credits registered and completed) p < .017).
Concerned about the transition? The Nimbus Learning partner success team can help set up a tutoring program, including marketing, interviewing and hiring tutors, and training them to provide top-notch support. Click here to connect with us and find out more.
Customize your tutoring program so it’s exactly what your campus needs
Bringing the tutoring program in-house also gives your department control to understand where the demand is, and then cater specifically to these demands so you’re prepared for year after year.
For example, imagine that the analytics for your tutoring program show you that the majority of tutor requests are for first and second year math courses. That’s a great time to connect with the Mathematics Department head and kick off a recruitment drive. With an online portal like the Nimbus Learning app, the math tutors will be searchable by everyone on campus, so all students have access to these students.
Nimbus Learning also offers recruitment and training support for campus tutoring programs, so you don’t have to worry about managing these efforts if your focus needs to be elsewhere. Click here to connect with us and find out more.
Keeping up with the demand for your tutoring program can be difficult, especially when there are degrees of separation between you and the service. Bringing the program in house can ensure you are at the help of a flexible, customizable program that meets the needs of the student body as they develop.
Arco-Tirado, J., Fernández-Martín, F., & Hervás-Torres, M. (2019). Evidence-based peer-tutoring program to improve students’ performance at the university. Studies in Higher Education. https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2019.1597038