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					Tutoring Science:
a Professional Training Module
         Johanna Dvorak, Ph.D.
   University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
   Prepared for the Association for the
           Tutoring Profession
              October 2008
Assisting in this Module:
 Arie Brenner
 Nadine Barabas
     Supplemental Instruction leaders for chemistry
      and biology
     Student program assistants
     Helped locate online web resources for tutoring
      in the sciences
     Developed study techniques for tutoring
      science
Overview
 The Role of a College Tutoring Center is to
  help students achieve academic success. In
  order to accomplish this task, tutoring
  professionals should not be isolated, but
  working closely across with departments
  across campus to help students succeed.To
  this end, we need to master ways to support
  students in various disciplines.
Purpose
 The purpose of this module is to help tutor
  trainers and science tutors provide
  exemplary science tutoring services to help
  students succeed in their college science
  courses
Organizing Science Tutoring
Services: Considerations for
Tutoring Coordinators/Directors
 What type of tutoring service should you
  offer?
 Where will you tutor?
 How can you grow your program?
     Supplemental Instruction
 Partnering with other Schools/Colleges
Tutoring Science:
Types and Location of Services

   Supplemental Instruction
   Tutoring in Labs
   Weekly Tutoring: group and individual
   Walk-in Tutoring
   Residence Hall Tutoring
   Online Tutoring Service
Supplemental Instruction at UWM
 In Fall 2001 a collaboration was made
  between the Tutoring Center and the
  Nursing Department based on the concern
  that many pre-nursing majors were not
  passing the prerequisites to enter the school
  in their junior year.
 Courses were Chemistry, Anatomy and
  Physiology, and Physics
Supplemental Instruction
 Supplemental Instruction (SI), a national
  program started at University of Missouri-
  Kansas City (UMKC), has shown to make a
  difference in retention
 At-risk courses are selected where the
  withdrawal, D and F rates are 30% or more
 Tutors, called SI leaders, attend lecture
  courses, hold 3-4 review sessions per week
 SI leaders work closely with the professors
Supplemental Instruction
 The SI Nursing collaboration varied from the
  model in the following ways:
    SI sessions were held only for the pre-nursing
     students
    SI sessions were held in the nursing building’s
     Academic Enrichment Center to help make
     freshmen feel part of the school
    An academic coordinator in Nursing had her
     office in the center and used a reflector to
     promote the program
Supplemental Instruction
 The Tutoring and Academic Resource
  Center
     Recruited, hired, paid, trained, monitored and
      evaluated the SI leaders
     Worked closely with the Nursing Dean,
      Associate Dean, and academic coordinator to
      follow the progress of the sessions
     Worked together to evaluate students’ success
Growth of the SI Program
 Fall 2001: one course A & P 202
 Spring 2002: three courses: A &P 202,
  A&P 203, and Chemistry 103
 Fall 2002: four courses: A & P 202, A &P
  203, Chemistry 101, and Physics 110
 Nursing supplemented the wages of the SI
  leaders
Growth of
Supplemental Instruction
 Due to the success of SI for pre-nursing
  courses, we were able to obtain a grant to
  expand SI courses
 We now provide SI for all chemistry
  courses, physics, geology, atmospheric
  science, and astronomy
Online Services and Resources
 Internet learning assistance services
  emerging in College Learning Centers
     Maintaining a web site
     Online tutoring
     Online delivery of learning and study skills
      modules
     Virtual learning skills specialists
     Developing online courses with instructors
     Supporting external online students
Online Tutoring Services
 Use of course information system:
  Blackboard, Desire to Learn(D2L), WebCT
 Net Tutor Whiteboard:
     Links-Systems, International
     Enhanced features such as Audio and Video
 Commercial online tutoring service:
     Smarthinking
     Ask Online
Using Campus Resources
and our Tutors
 Tutoring Center received funding from
  UWM’s student technology fee
 We hire and provide online tutors
 Tutoring Center worked with faculty
  Learning Technology Center (LTC)
     We use the Desire to Learn platform to provide
      tutoring in 15 subject areas.
UWM Online Tutoring

 Use NetTutor: Links Systems International
  http://www.link-systems.com
 Provide 10 web boards: we selected 10-15
  courses/subject areas
 Worked closely with Links-Systems for
  technical support and training
Net-Tutor
 Http://www.link-systems.com/
 You can check out the demo on their
  website and see how you can pull in
  documents and pictures to discuss with
  tutees synchronously
Including Podcasts
in Online Tutoring Sites
 We received a grant from our Educational
  Technology Fee to develop podcasts of
  “Key Concepts” and “Study Tips” to put
  into our D2L sites for students to review.
 C:\Documents and Settings\jdvorak\My
  Documents\ATP\Anatomy_of_a_Long_Bon
  e.wmv
UWM Online Tutoring

 Use NetTutor: Links Systems International
  http://www.link-systems.com
 Provide 10 web boards: we selected 10-15
  courses/subject areas
 Worked closely with Links-Systems for
  technical support and training
Commercially Based Platforms
 A company provides the service to students
 Services an be purchased through a
  college/university
 Students can go directly to the company for
  services
 Examples:
     Smarthinking.com
     Askonline.net
Benefits of Online Tutoring
 Increases access for students
     Commuter campuses
     Non-traditional students
 Keeps up with educational technology
  trends
     Students are becoming more comfortable
      using technology
     Web-based technology is easier to use
Incorporate Online tutoring into
Residence Hall evening Tutoring
 Four evenings a week; 7-9:30 p.m.
 Two tutors are staffed for Math & Science
 Other tutors can schedule tutoring in the
  room during the same time
 Students can walk in for individual help or
  meet in groups with a tutor
 Tutors have access to NetTutor for online
  tutoring when not working with students
Keys to Success
 Networking on campus between learning
  center professionals, faculty and
  administration for start-up initiatives
 Look for funding to support initiatives
 Hire enough staff; student staff can help
  facilitate initiatives at lower costs
 Heavy promotion is needed to heighten
  awareness; allow enough time for success
Tutoring in the Sciences: Resources
 Problem Solving Links:
  This site is used for an approach to math,
  often a big part of science courses.
 General Study Tools and Biology Tools
 Notetaking in Science
 These are based on research and practices in
  tutoring chemistry and biology contributed
  by Arie Brenner and Nadine Barabas.
Problem Solving Links
 http://www.math.wichita.edu/history/men/p
  olya.html

 http://www.math.utah.edu/~pa/math/polya.h
 tml
www.noodletools.com
Writing a Scientific Lab Report
www.writing2.richmond.edu/training/project/biology/biology.html
Biological Sciences Study Tools

          Arie Brenner,
        UWM Biology Tutor
Transcription/Translation Animation
www.johnkyrk.com/DNAtranscription.html
Topics in Biology and Chemistry
www.science.nhmccd.edu/biol/bio1int.htm
www.biology.arizona.edu/
www.biologymad.com
Skeletal System
www.bio.psu.edu/people/faculty/strauss/anatomy/skel/skeletal.htm
Anatomy and Physiology
msjensen.cehd.umn.edu/webanatomy/default.htm
Note Taking in Science Lectures

          Nadine J. Barabas
     Biology and Chemistry Tutor
Power Point Lectures

•   Purpose for using power point:
    •    Professors hope that students will have time to listen
        instead of copying everything that is said.
 Positives
   They limit the amount of writing for the student
   Allow more time for students to listen.
 Negatives
   Students “zone out” or don’t come to lecture
Effects of Power Points
 High school notes and college notes are two
  very different things. In high school, teachers
  tell students what to write down. Thus,
  students do not come to college with note
  taking experience.
 Classes with power points encourage this
  negative behavior. Then when students enter a
  situation where they themselves must take
  notes, the students can become confused.
Nadine’s “safety –net” solution

 I encourage students to practice taking notes
  without the power point.

 The power points posted online become a
  safety-net for anything the student may
  have missed.
 Benefits
 Students learn that they must prepare for lecture.
    They read the book
    Review lecture notes from previous lectures

   *They may even read over the power point for that day to
     help prepare

 Students are becoming active note takers
      They are not able to “zone out” because they must listen to
       take notes
      They learn how to pick up on important points
      Learn how to self-assess their note taking skills
        • If missing a lot, they know they need to improve
 Benefits
 Notes are taken in their own words
      Students can instantly see what they are confused about because
       they are not able to put concepts into their own words in lecture
        • Thus, students will ask professors to stop and clarify

 Power Points hinder the students that are body-kinesthetic
  learners
      Writing things down helps you remember

 Outline formats help organize material into a “brain-
  friendly” format
      In Power Points, material is individualized onto one slide.
      Outlines help group concepts for better understanding
 Benefit #1
 Students are learning how to take notes!
     They have a safety net for while they are learning

     They can self-evaluate their note taking skills
       • And improve without missing information


     Students are reviewing their notes after class.
 Example
Power Point Format                            Outline Format
(Detail omitted for presentation)
                                    Chapter 2: Cells and Organelles

                                    I. Plasma membrane
                                                - 98% lipids
                                                - Phospholipid Bilayer
                                                - Cholesterol = fluidity
                                                - Glycolipids = coating surface

                                    II. Inside cell
                                          - Cytoplasm – fluid with a cell??
                                          - Organelles --Held in place by microtubules

                                                Nucleus –largest (5um)
                                                            - Nuclear envelope and Nucleoplasm
                                                            - “cell brain”
                                                Endoplasmic Reticulum
                                                            - Smooth = no ribosomes
                                                            - Rough = ribosomes
                                                Mitochondrion = “Power house”
                                                            - folds of cristae makes matrix
Another Notetaking Format
 Inspiration.com
 This system allow an easy way to take notes
  in an outline format, adding points which
  might be missed.
 Students then can click the toggle key to
  change their outline into a map, allowing
  for more visual learning
Other Programs and Resources
 University of Michigan Science Learning
  Center
 www.lsa.umich.edu/slc
 http://www.umich.edu/~slc/conf/2008/home
  slc.htm
 Theses websites have information from
  their Science Learning Center Conference
Presenter Contact Information
   Dr. Johanna Dvorak
   TARC/Bolton 659
   University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
   P.O. Box 413
   Milwaukee, WI 53201
   414-229-5672
   jdvorak@uwm.edu

				
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