In the Tutoring Center at Woodland Community College, for years, tutors submitted weekly paper schedules. A cover sheet indicated the courses each tutor could tutor. This process was adequate for a few semesters when the number of appointments was low. However, as the number of students requesting tutorial assistance and the number of tutors increased, this process became much more difficult.
An appointment binder was kept where each tutor would place a schedule for two weeks (so updating weekly). When making an appointment, we would refer to a list for the specific subject then look at the schedule for each of these tutors to determine which time worked for the tutee. If needing to cancel or reschedule an appointment, this same process was followed. Unfortunately, many times tutees did not remember their tutor’s name or their session time; so it would require looking through each tutor’s schedule to try to find the tutee’s name and make the change or cancellation.
Old way of scheduling appointments
Appointments could only be made for the current week and the following week unlike AccuTrack where appointments can be made days or weeks in advance or for the whole term. Rescheduling or cancelling appointments in AccuTrack is also easily done by pulling up the tutee’s name. Or AccuTrack enables sorting appointments by tutor name, course, or even date. Obviously, AccuTrack provides a much more time-saving and efficient process than searching through numerous paper weekly schedules for the tutee’s name.
The new way of scheduling appointments
In addition, the need for data for various departments and programs has increased. The ability to pull the amount of hours for each tutee in a program would not be possible with the paper scheduling method. Or at least, it would be an extremely time-consuming task. It is great to be able to develop different reports at different times in AccuTrack depending upon the need for each department or program. One department/program needs No Show information on a weekly basis; another needs number of visits by each tutee in their program at the end of the term; another needs more detailed information as to the hours each tutee spent in the Center for tutoring or self-study over the semester. In other instances, information may need to be pulled up from previous terms. In addition, with our small computer lab, we are also better able to track the usage it gets. Furthermore, the data generated from AccuTrack helps provide supporting documentation for other reports, including our program reviews and accreditation reports.
With AccuTrack we have automated signing-in and out by using our school’s library cards. Our students can sign in and out by simply scanning their library cards so this provides a quick process. Surveys have been created through AccuTrack to evaluate each tutor and to evaluate the services provided by our Tutoring Center. The results of these surveys are helpful in assessing the Student Learning Outcomes for the Tutoring Center.
Since AccuTrack has many features, new ones continue to be implemented. Last year, we began using the Media Stock and Check out feature since we have several items used by our tutors and tutees. These items include textbooks, CDs, headsets, skeletons, calculators, etc. This feature has enabled us to generate a report in response to the biology department’s query on the usage of the skeletons. Recently, the Advanced Scheduler under the Tutor Setup was incorporated. Now the times and tutors who provide drop-in tutorial assistance can be seen without accidentally scheduling appointments during these drop-in hours. Another feature recently utilized is the Messaging Center where messages can be sent between the Tutoring Center staff, tutors, and tutees. Once the email feature is implemented, these messages can be sent to the recipient’s email, through AccuTrack, or both. Other features of AccuTrack are used but not mentioned here and there are some features that we have not yet implemented. For example, we are setting up an email account for the Center and plan to use the Appointment Reminder and Missed Appointment (No Show) email feature. Utilizing this email feature is hoped to reduce the number of missed appointments.
Overall, using our previous paper method, there is no way we could accomplish the scheduling/rescheduling/cancelling of appointments, the tracking of student usage of the center (for tutorial assistance, self-study use, or computer use), or the data collection for various reporting needs. AccuTrack has provided a time-saving and definitely a more accurate way of tracking in addition to providing other features that help eliminate the wasteful paper trail.
Woodland Community College