E-Tutoring Pilot Program Begins at Roll Hill Academy
Miami University and Roll Hill Academy have come together to pilot an innovative e-tutoring program that allows Miami students to tutor Roll Hill students without leaving campus.
Enrolled in Miami University’s Service Learning Program, the college students volunteer to log on to computers and guide a group of Roll Hill’s fifth-graders through a curriculum designed to enhance language-arts skills.
The first e-tutoring session, held September 18, 2013, paired the Miami tutors with Roll Hill’s students using Google Apps for Education. The students use Roll Hill’s computer lab to interact with the tutors under the supervision of Tiffini Gray, librarian and technology teacher at Roll Hill Academy, part of Cincinnati Public Schools and located in the North Fairmount neighborhood.
“Students love the program,” Gray said. “After working out some technical issues, we are getting faster at logging in and utilizing the time more effectively for learning. The experience has increased each student’s interest in reading and in being tutored.”
Students are greeted by their tutors as they login.
The e-tutoring sessions are held once a week. Both students and tutors log in to Google Apps, where documents and lessons can be shared. The tutors watch the fifth-graders work on an assignment, then make assessments or give instructions in real time. The documents are saved for future references as study tools.
Paula Saine, interim co-chair and an assistant professor in MU’s College of Education, helped establish the pilot.
“The Miami e-tutors are really enjoying working in this virtual environment with the fifth-graders,” Saine said. “You should see the excitement on their faces when the kids appear in this space. Each session begins with a greeting. They spend a few minutes chatting, then they begin instruction.”
Miami University tutor guides her mentee through a reading exercize.
The program’s goal is to help Roll Hill’s students strengthen academic and technology skills while building positive relationships with college students. The Miami University students are learning how to teach via technology and to mentor younger students.
“The only ‘problem’ on our end is that more students would like to be part of the program than we have resources at this time — it is a good problem to have,” Gray said.
“What an awesome instructional and learning tool,” Gray said. “Thank-you, Miami University!”