Shippensburg University’s writing studio in Mowrey Hall is using online tutoring to extend a helping hand to graduate students and some undergraduates in need of writing assistance.
Beginning more than a year ago, undergraduate and graduate students who telecommute received the option of online tutoring using Zoom, a video chat application, according to writing studio graduate assistant Michelle Coughlin.
Coughlin explained that many graduate students are preoccupied with jobs or families and struggle to make time for face-to-face tutoring.
“Using Zoom gives students the flexibility of being with their families at home and still getting help,” Coughlin said. “If you feel uncomfortable but still want tutoring services, it’s a great option.”
Tutors can still assist graduate students with writing processes like brainstorming, creating a thesis, organization, grammar, spelling and several other topics while communicating via video chat.
The program is also convenient for tutors who can work from home and even while they travel, according to Coughlin.
Deah Atherton, graduate assistant and online tutoring consultant, explained that about 35 percent of graduate tutoring sessions were held online.
“Technology will continue to influence higher education, and it’s important for students to keep up with these trends,” Atherton said. “For example, entire classes and individual class meetings increasingly take place remotely. For students who prefer face-to-face, on-location classes, online tutoring can be an effective way for them to practice and become more comfortable in online classrooms.”
Students who are seeking online tutoring are required to email drafts to their tutor at least one hour before the online session. This allows the tutor to examine the draft and streamlines the entire process, Atherton said.