What a Difference Acculite Makes
Rockhurst University is a small Jesuit school located in Kansas City, Missouri serving approximately 3000 undergraduate and graduate students in a variety of disciplines.
Our Learning Center serves as a central tutoring center where students can come for free tutoring in all disciplines, provided by paid peer tutors. We also offer writing assistance in our center for both undergraduate and graduate students. Our Learning Center recorded around 400 tutoring visits total in 2006 and this fall alone we recorded over 4000 visits with tutors in our center! This amazing growth has been wonderful, but has also come with challenges. One of those challenges was in data keeping. Tracking who was coming to our center, when they were coming, why they were coming, and who they were visiting with was cumbersome and time consuming with the paper-based method we were using before Acculite. We spent hours entering data from hand-written forms into our database each day and it would take hours to extract meaningful reports from that data. We wasted paper and student time by making them fill out a new form with their information every time they visited. We just had no other way to get that information from them. It was time for a change and we were so thankful to find Acculite. With a limited budget, we were struggling to find a system that could manage our sign-in and data keeping process that was within our price range. Acculite fit the bill perfectly and it has changed our center for the better after just a few months of using it.
We now use Acculite to check students in for their tutoring appointments and to keep track of who is coming to our center for tutoring, why they are coming, and when they are coming. Students sign in using a swipe card each time they visit, saving them time (no more forms to fill out) and saving us hours and hours of time (no more data entry from those forms). They indicate which class they are here to be tutored in and who the professor for that class is when they check in, which allows us to keep close track of which classes are proving to be the most challenging on campus.
A photo of our check in station…visitors swipe their cards and our front desk assistant enters in their information for them.
We keep our tutors’ schedule on paper, which works fine for us since we are a small center.
We were able to easily customize Acculite to collect the data we need from our students. The data recorded into Acculite is used internally for tracking how many visits we have each semester, which helps us with staffing decisions and also helps us to make our case when we are asking for more funding. We also use Acculite to send reports to professors who require tutoring visits. Previously we would have to keep separate spreadsheets for each professor who wanted to know who was coming in for tutoring, meaning we were entering in data twice or sometimes three separate times onto separate attendance sheets. Now, with Acculite, all of that data is recorded in one place and is easily accessible when we need to provide reports to professors or other constituents. What used to take me 3 hours each week now takes 5 minutes at the most. I simply select an “instructors report” for the timeframe requested and hit print! Amazing! I have been very pleased at the variety of reports that are available at our fingertips from Acculite, and the ease at which we can find the data that we are interested in now.
We have received quite a lot of positive feedback about the change to our system. Students are very happy that they no longer have to fill out paper forms every time they visit. Our sign-in process is faster, meaning that each student gets more time with the tutors when they come to the center. Our desk staff is also very happy that they no longer have to enter stacks and stacks of data into our primitive database. Professors have been happy that we are able to provide data more quickly and also more specific data about the students in their classes who are visiting our tutoring center. Our administration has been pleased with the amount of data we can now provide about who is visiting. But the number one benefit for us has been the vast amounts of time that we as a staff now have to spend on the most important parts of running a Learning Center instead of spending that time entering and analyzing data. I can spend my days working with tutors, planning training sessions, meeting with students, and developing new programs. My productivity has shot up and I couldn’t be happier!
For our center, Acculite has really made a huge positive impact in a short amount of time. Everyone who works in the center or utilizes its services has noticed the difference. We are able to serve the students more quickly, to gather data about those students easily, and to extract reports from that data with the click of a button. Our data is more accurate and more relevant than ever.
I would highly encourage any center that may not have the budget for AccuTrack to look into Acculite. While I would love to someday be able to utilize AccuTrack for its added benefits, it’s just not in our budget at this time. Having Acculite as an affordable alternative has been wonderful for us and we couldn’t be more thrilled with the results!
Sara Keenan, Learning Strategies Coordinator
Gervais Learning Center
Kansas City, MO 64110