McMaster Student Success Centre relies on TutorOcean to connect students and peer tutors to improve grades and help them understand difficult concepts.
A Successful And Highly In Demand System
The McMaster Student Success Centre runs an Undergrad Peer Tutoring Network (UPTN) that provides accessible, affordable, and quality tutoring to its students. The UPTN is highly in demand and very effective because it subsidizes tutoring fees and provides highly qualified, trained, and vetted tutors. To meet demand, the UPTN needed to replace its work intensive system for administering and delivering the tutoring service. In the old system, the administrative staff of UPTN spent a significant portion of their time matching students to tutors, vetting and approving tutors, tracking payments, and applying subsidies where appropriate. This meant that the UPTN could not scale cost effectively despite the demand for its services.
Post-Secondary Peer-to-Peer Tutoring
- Administratively intensive system for scheduling tutoring sessions
- High workload in vetting and approving tutors
- Tracking subsidies, payment status and history per tutor
- Need to understand usage levels
- Cost effective solution to enable non-linear growth
“Students are able to connect to affordable and accessible course content support. This was made easier with TutorOcean.” – Jenna Storey, Academic Skills Program Coordinator, Student Success Centre, McMaster University
- Easy-to-use scheduling and tutor search system
- Tutor (and student) self-registration and profiles with integrated vetting workflow to minimize administrative load
- Payment management system that supports subsidies/discounts and tracks per tutor/student
- Powerful analytics and reporting to understand usage levels
- Scalable system for peak demand management and future growth with online virtual classrooms and support for pre-approved locations for in-person tutoring
A Better Platform For Scheduling And Reporting/Analytics
TutorOcean’s platform addressed UPTN challenges by enabling a highly streamlined work flow. The platform allows students and tutors to connect directly to self-arrange tutoring sessions as required. At the same time, the platform also provides UPTN staff with an overview, analytics, reports and administrative access to manage/approve and intervene when necessary.
Self Served: Registration, Search & Scheduling
For instance, both students and tutors can self-register (create their profile) on the system without any staff intervention saving substantial time and effort. To reduce staff workload demands even more, tutors have to submit proof of qualifications (e.g. transcript and tutor training certificates) in their profiles to allow staff to easily vet and quickly certify their request to be a tutor. Once registered, students can search for tutors and view the tutor’s availability and schedule a session without any UPTN staff intervention.
Flexible Payment And Subsidy Management
One of the main complaints UPTN often got from tutors was non-payment of their fees. In addition, UPTN staff had to administer and track subsidy payments to the tutors. TutorOcean’s payment system eliminated these challenges as students are now required to have a valid payment method on file before they can book a session; plus, it tracks and manages all payments/subsidies.
Easy Administration, Convenient, Safe, & Unlimited Growth
TutorOcean’s solution reports on the usage patterns and provides the results through an administration dashboard. This enables UPTN staff to decide and plan on subsidy budgets, and manage tutor training/workshops to meet demand. With online virtual classrooms, UPTN expects that there will be even higher uptake from the students as it is more convenient and safer for all parties involved. Furthermore, as the platform is built on the latest cloud-based technologies, there is no limit to the number of online virtual classroom sessions. This allows the UPTN unlimited growth capacity subject only to demand and supply of students and tutors.
“Having the ability to meet in person and especially through TutorOcean’s online classroom means that students can be supported 24/7.” – Jenna Storey, Academic Skills Program Coordinator, Student Success Centre, McMaster University
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