Susan Pliner, director of Center for Teaching and Learning, recently announced the addition of TutorTrac — a computer software program that should improve communications and learning skills — to the center's many programs already in place to help students succeed academically.
TutorTrac allows students to have more flexibility and greater control over their learning; it posts the schedules of study tables, writing colleagues, and teaching fellows on the HWS website, and gives CTL staff a way to respond to students more regularly and easily.
“We really want to work to build the skills of our student staff, expand on programs that we have, and reassess programs that aren’t really working,” Pliner explains.
Students can use the new program to see an updated list of available study resources and will be able to make, cancel and reschedule appointments with CTL staff members. Students can also receive e-mail reminders if they miss appointments. These changes came from suggestions received from students last year about missed appointments and improving access to CTL’s resources.
“The ultimate goal of TutorTrac is to increase visibility between students and tutors, and to facilitate productive interactions that wouldn’t necessarily happen otherwise,” Pliner says. This student-to-student communication enhances and enriches students’ experiences with multiple models of learning, designed for every type of student. By facilitating communication between CTL staff and the students who request their services, information exchange and better time management will be encouraged. Learning will become a true collaborative, community experience, one that draws on students learning from other students.
Pliner credits Sam Vann, coordinator of student services, with the success of bringing TutorTrac to CTL.
“Sam really spearheaded this project and made it all happen,” she says. Vann, who worked extensively with IT Services, is excited about the possibilities that TutorTrac can bring to each student’s experience.
“This is a very positive, seamless system, which integrates what is going on in the classroom with what goes on at the Center for Teaching and Learning,” he says.