Mokena/Tinley Park’s campus made a decision Sept. 1 to feature its group tutoring sessions via Adobe Connect for those students that live far, can’t make it to a session or take classes online. Keeping up with new technology is important for schools, faculty and students to show they are able to go above and beyond in services and skills they offer; it’s also a perk that helps online students.
“We started offering live virtual meetings with an algebra class and learned we received much better attendance and students were much more interested in participating if they could still meet the obligations in their lives,” said Julie Lawrence, Mokena/Tinley Park academic dean.
“I think this is a great idea because students can still attend our sessions even if they can’t make it to campus or the drive is too far for them,” said Rachel Haaga, a tutor at Mokena/Tinley Park campus. “To really absorb the help we’re offering students need to engage. We’re hoping [Adobe Connect] will help with that.”
The campus wants those students who aren’t able to make it to campus to know they are still part of its community. Adobe Connect allows students to view each other on video and share screens. It also helps students meet their peers, and collaborate and converse with each other. All of these factors can make the online tutoring more like traditional, face-to-face sessions.
During these study groups, Adobe Connect will help give off-campus students the support they’re looking for. Lawrence likes that the students can problem solve together and how Adobe Connect gets the students more actively involved in their learning.
“Also, we chose Adobe Connect because it’s a platform that is known well through other industries,” Lawrence said. “As deans we all try to think outside the box as often as possible. We stop and think how we can pull online students into the campus feel without pulling them onto campus.”
There are many perks for the tutors, too.
The campus currently has four tutors who are open to learning new things and have a variety of knowledge on subjects in the areas the campus concentrates on. Using Adobe Connect during study sessions allows tutors to work on their leadership skills, learn a new technology and learn how to facilitate meetings on campus and virtually.
“It also allows them to be accepting of diversity, and builds their confidence in all areas in digital competency,” Lawrence said.
Lawrence and the tutors are still ramping up the virtual study sessions since the campus started offering it in the middle of the fall quarter; however, they plan to continue it in future quarters.
“As long as we continue to roll it out and stick with it, we’ll see more and more students join,” Lawrence said. “Plus, it comes down to the tutors promoting their sessions and ensuring people know this is an option. I think it will grow into something really successful.”