Comprehensive Assessment Tracking System

Why do I HAVE to go to tutoring?: Engagement with tutors is statistically significant

Rating: 
5
Average: 5 (5 votes)
Tuesday, January 19, 2016 to Friday, December 8, 2017
Abstract: 

I have required my introductory statistics students to meet with tutors in the student success center as part of course requirements for the past three academic years.  However, without accountability, very few attend.  To this end, I designed a passport for students that needed to be signed by the tutor with time logged as well as weekly comments that reflected their experience with course content.  Students were required to spend at least 6 hours in tutoring during the semester with at least two hours completed during each third of the semester to avoid students using the 6 hours of required tutoring during the last week of the semester. In addition to a significant increase in the number of hours spent in tutoring, more importantly, there was a significant increase in final exam scores by more than half a letter grade from Spring ’16 (M=79.5%, SD=16.1) to Fall ’16 (M=86.2%, SD=16.5) t(100)=2.10, p<.05, d=.42.  Even more impressive, students were able to accomplish this even though the final exam in the fall included 20% more content than the final exam in the spring.  Passport example and template are attached. 

Completed Full Cycle: 
Yes
Course Number: 
PSY230
PSY231
Assessment of the Month: 
June, 2017

Comments

CAT2041552's picture
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This is a great idea Norma!  I love the passport idea.  Your student positive learning outcomes prove this works! 

OLGYZ58951's picture
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Norma, This is a powerful assessment that if we make students accoutable, they will do so much better! I like your passport idea. It is a reusable learning object across the disciplines. Thank you for sharing! Smiles, Olga

PETAA00009's picture
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I love that you have devised a system (aka Passport) to ensure your students go get tutoring. I would be curious to see if students were more inclined to get tutored in the future, or if they just viewed this as another assignment to be fulfilled. That said, well done.

NOR2157229's picture
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Good question, Pete.  At the start of the semester, I asked students to indicate whether they had gone to tutoring before my statistics class and to rate their experience.  Over 80% of students indicated that they had not gone to tutoring.  More than 3/4 of those 20% that indicated that they had gone to tutoring reported positive experiences.  When I inquired why they hadn't gone to tutoring, they stated that they weren't required to go and that they didn't have time to go.  I also asked whether they thought it would have been helpful to go.  They were unsure.  When I've asked anecdotally during the semeter how many would go to tutoring in the future, most indicate that they would go but more likely to go if it's required and/or if they need it. Some state that they would only go if they had the same tutors as we've had for this class. I'm still trying to make sense of this because, obviously, I want them to go when they need tutoring and not just because they are required to go.  What is unclear for me is what courses my students have left to complete that have tutors available most of the time rather than having to make an appointment 24 hours ahead of time. I think this is key for some courses.  When I first started teaching at EMCC, my introductory statistics students needed to make an appiontment 24 hours ahead of time for the tutor.  Students didn't utilize the tutor and there was a disconnect between how the tutor had been taught the material and what I required.  It was a very frustrating experience for students and the tutor.  I lobbied for set office hours for tutors which took some time for full implementation.  Given that this is a 200-level course, for some students this is their penultimate or last semester here.  I think your question is an interesting one and one that I could try to track over time, but unsure of the need.  I'll follow up with the Student Success Center to see if it's possible to track students checking into tutoring past their experience in my class.

REBZS76641's picture
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This is fantastic!  One of my math faculty submitted a CATS on this for her dev ed classes and saw similiar results.  If more folks do this, submit their data, then we may be able to get more funds for the tutoring center to support tutors.  We also may get more faculty to require this in their courses as well.  Thank you for sharing your passport with us, as well.  

NOR2157229's picture
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I have a tutor for my Psy290 Research Methods course, too, but she doesn't see as much traffic as the statistics tutors.  So, there's an interaction effect here with classes and amount needed for tutoring.  I would imagine that the math, science and writing classes would require the most hours, but I'm not sure.  I'd be curious to see the descriptive stats from the tutoring center by discipline, classes and student level demographics as well as inferential stats on these variables and their effect on final grades to see if tutoring makes a difference and what kind of difference it makes.

RENLW35701's picture
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Excellent findings!   Often students will complain about these requirements because of the extra time invested. I think sharing this type of data with the students may help them realize the substantial value of tutoring and time on task.

TER2062747's picture
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I like the student feedback option of the passport.  The math developmental faculty require the students to complete a tutor log for the semester and I am interested in seeing if anyone else would consider adding a comments section to our log.

PATEP35711's picture
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Norma,  Thank you for posting this information.  I require my students to use the Writing Center for all papers.  I beleive it is important to make it a requirement so that students are aware of all resources.  Thank you.

AMYAB01431's picture
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I love this idea!!  I am wondering if you have thought about gathering a reflective piece after they complete the project?  I noticed weekly you gathered information on what they were working on in turoring but maybe a quick summary of how they feel about tutoring now post assignment.