Alyssa Jordan, a sophomore studying exercise science at The University of Toledo, is relieved she can still access what’s called Supplemental Instruction, a campus service she has come to count on.
“I rely on the sessions to help keep me up with the chemistry work load,” Jordan said from her home in Arlington, Ohio, located about an hour south of Toledo. “We go through a lot of information in an hour during class, but the SI program leaders do an awesome job of slowing it down and explaining every step. It’s such a blessing to be able to continue these sessions remotely because it has been tough to switch to online classes.”
During the COVID-19 public health emergency, UToledo transitioned student services online when classes were moved to remote learning.
The Counseling Center, the Online Learning Support program, success coaches, tutoring and many other services remain available for students. A new website, utoledo.edu/success, was created to help consolidate all of these remote resources.
In fact, the Supplemental Instruction program, the Learning Enhancement Center, and the Writing Center have expanded, adding more than 100 tutors to the roster, with more undergoing training for virtual coaching sessions with students.
“We are excited to see our students are making this transition to online learning and utilizing the free online resources we are providing to support them through e-tutoring,” Dr. Denise Bartell, associate vice provost for student success, said. “Students who were utilizing our face-to-face tutoring services on campus before the transition are now taking full advantage of the online tutoring services we are offering. We are also seeing an increase in students utilizing tutoring services for the first time.”
In the first week, 554 students attended live online Supplemental Instruction sessions, and more than 100 students received live online tutoring through the Learning Enhancement Center, with the majority of e-tutoring for math and chemistry.
“The Office of Academic Support Services stands ready and willing to adapt and support the emerging needs of UToledo students,” said Tia Tucker, director of academic support services. “Our team has been working tirelessly to ensure a seamless transition to providing online academic support.”
Rudha Lakkuru, a sophomore majoring in biochemistry pre-med and taking classes online from her home in Pittsburgh, attends the virtual SI chemistry sessions that are open to everyone in her Organic Chemistry 1 class.
“Transitioning to online is hard,” Lakkuru said. “My family’s Wifi is holding up well with my 13-year-old sister taking classes online, too, and my dad is working from home. But overall, it’s harder for me to understand the chemistry concepts that I’m learning during class lectures when I’m not sitting in the physical classroom. The supplemental instruction sessions give me more practice to review the problems and reactions without losing the interaction with the SI leader and my peers.”
“I’m incredibly proud and impressed by how our student support staff have gone above and beyond to provide excellent resources and help for our students,” said Dr. Karen Bjorkman, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “We’re all in this together. All of us remain focused on helping our students continue to learn and progress in their academic programs even in this very challenging time.
“We recognize how stressful and challenging this situation is for our students, staff and faculty, and we continue to work on ways to help provide some approaches to address concerns as we are able. I encourage all students to reach out for the assistance they need, and to take advantage of all the resources we are trying to provide for them.”