Newman University has always offered tutoring for its students, even at a distance, but newly discovered video telecommunicating technology allows the university to take that one step further. Virtual Tutoring began in a pilot phase last year, and staff were so impressed with the success that they are making it official and offering it along with many other services for the students beginning this fall.
Director of Academic Resource Center Case Bell was happy to learn that the university had already downloaded telecommunicating software in 2015 when he was contacted about a student in Oklahoma that needed some help. Bell said, “She needed a personal touch so I suggested we find some kind of teleconferencing software, but then was told we already have it.”
The student went through two sessions with two different tutors and it worked out perfectly. The student gave rave reviews and both tutors had a great experience as well.
The software allows the tutor and student to share screens, scan in documents and open them as PDF files, and even comes with a whiteboard application for typing and note taking.
Bell said, “We have people all over that will benefit from this.” He added, “I was recently in Colorado Springs where we have our MSW program and they were excited to hear about this opportunity as well.”
Students will be able to sign up for virtual tutoring through Student Support Services. Like in-person tutoring, virtual tutoring will be offered at no charge to Newman students.
Bell was excited about the other possibilities the software offers. “We always have issues with study groups due to our high commuter population and Kansas weather conditions,” said Bell. “This software will be great for study groups and a convenient way for them to get the same benefits as meeting on campus.”
There is yet another benefit to students learning this type of teleconferencing method. Bell liked the fact that “students who are out there applying for jobs could really use this knowledge to participate in online job interviews. I’m sure we’ll continue to discover more and more innovative ways to use this technology as we go along.”