New Academic tools from BW’s Learning Center

Elizabeth Sweeney, Contributing Writer

Baldwin Wallace University’s Learning Center has numerous programs for students to utilize. Tutors are always available to help students with academics or to simply improve their study habits. There are programs that fit every student’s hectic schedule, and all of them are factored into the student tuition.
Alsace Toure, Director of the Learning Center, has information on five options to help students excel. The most utilized program is drop-in tutoring for math, business, chemistry, physics and writing.
“Peer or full-time tutors are available within the buildings where their subjects of expertise are taught,” Toure said. “This makes it easy for students to go right from class to a tutor if they have any quick questions.”
Many students also schedule individual tutoring appointments using the BW Smart tab on Blackboard. There is a full-time math tutor in high demand offering individual tutoring in any undergraduate mathematics course.
“She is a wizard,” Toure said. “Many students have greatly improved their grades with her help.”
Another program that is gaining more student interest is academic coaching. Students take a Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI) test, a 20 minute online assessment that breaks down ten areas related to study skills and determines which one is the most challenging for a student.
“Most students have difficulty with time management,” Toure said. “Especially freshmen,  overwhelmed with being on their own for the first time juggling heavy workloads.”
Coaches break down big assignments into smaller pieces to relieve stress for the student. For instance, if a paper is due in a month, week one is spent researching, week two is spent drafting an outline and week three is spent writing.
“We have had sixty-five people seek Academic Coaching so far this year,” Toure said. “Students can come in whenever they wish to improve on note-taking, time management or any other study skills.”
Supplemental instruction is relatively new, but is proving to be successful. A student who has already taken a course will attend classes for the course again so that the material is fresh in their mind.
They will sit in the back and take note of which areas the students struggle with the most. Outside of class, the student will offer study sessions a few times a week.
Toure cited a psychology class as an example, “The instructor noticed that students who received extra help from the supplemental instructor did much better on their exams than students who did not.”
For students with tight schedules, online tutoring is a great option. Simply clicking on the link in the BW Smart Tab will direct students to a tutor who can assist them in their area of interest. Online tutoring is available 24 hours a day.
One program that is not widely used are free seminars. These are 45-50 minute classes that educate students on sources and strategies that help with studying, time management, note-taking, presentation skills and various learning styles. Some sources even include free phone apps that provide help at a student’s finger tips.
For more information, visit the BW Smart Tab on Blackboard or The Learning Center on the second floor of Ritter Library.