March 30, 2008

Tutors’ Reflections: Hey, Stories with Pictures Can Be Fun

(Article length 773 words)

By Erica Jones, 1st-year Anatomy and Physiology Tutor, Selkirk College, Castlegar, BC, Canada
Edited by Andrea Kösling, MA, Learning Specialist, Selkirk College, Castlegar, BC, Canada
       
Everyone has a different learning style. How many times have you heard that? Even though it is true, when I tell that to a tutee, he or she may just go, "Uh huh, that’s great; how does that help me?" So instead of telling a tutee that, I try to use as many different sensory cues as possible; that way, no matter what the tutee’s learning style, I’m covering all the bases. One of the most useful techniques I’ve discovered is to describe a sequence of events as if I were telling a story and then illustrate it as I go. So when I am trying to describe, oh let’s say, how an event on the outside of the cell would signal an action within the cell, I could use the growth hormone and tell it as story:

One day a bone decides, "Hey I need to do some growing here." So the bone calls up the anterior pituitary gland and says, "Hey, I need to do some growing." As a result, the anterior pituitary gland says to the growth hormone, "Hey, head on out to see that bone and tell it to go ahead and grow." So the growth hormone heads out through the blood stream, taking a bunch of twists and turns, and finally makes it to the bone. The growth hormone circles the location for a while until it finds the doorbell (the receptor). The growth hormone rings the doorbell (binds to the active site of the receptor), and the second messenger answers (the protein receptor changes shape, and the second messenger that is bound to it is released). "Hey what do you want?" the second messenger asks. The growth hormone says, "Go and tell the nucleus that it needs to start doing some mitosis so that we can get some growth happening."
 

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Filed under: Home Schooling,Pedagogy,Peer-Tutoring,Small Private Practices

March 27, 2008

Online Degrees Gaining Esteem in Increasingly Digital Age

(Article length 661 words)

By Ahnalese Rushmann

ian Maitland, a 63-year-old Carlson School of Management professor, said he’s been teaching for 25 years.

He teaches courses in business ethics and said the link between moral rights and wrongs and legal ones have always intrigued him.

"I had thought about law school every now and then," Maitland said. "But my family and professional circumstances ruled it out."

But he came across a less-traditional route to a juris doctorate. Maitland earned his law degree about four years ago from Concord Law School, an online law school, part of the Internet-based Kaplan University.

Online schools and courses are increasingly more present today.

Nearly 20 percent of all U.S. higher education students were taking at least one online course in fall 2006, according to the Sloan Consortium, a group that studies and works to improve online education.
 

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Filed under: Coaching,Pedagogy,Peer-Tutoring,Technology

March 24, 2008

At Breakfast Club, Students Come for Food and Stay for Tutoring

(Article length 718 words)

By MIKE SHERRY
The Kansas City Star

Nathan Mooney, a teacher at William Chrisman High School in Independence, tutors Chris Evans (middle) and Mary Beth Jones in chemistry while enjoying a breakfast of biscuits and gravy before the start of classes. A group of William Chrisman teachers is donating time, food and equipment for breakfasts that lure students to school for tutoring.

Nathan Mooney, a teacher at William Chrisman High School in Independence, tutors Chris Evans (middle) and Mary Beth Jones in chemistry while enjoying a breakfast of biscuits and gravy before the start of classes. A group of William Chrisman teachers is donating time, food and equipment for breakfasts that lure students to school for tutoring.

Sophomores Devin Hoke, Kevin Fry and Spencer Gentry enjoy biscuits and gravy prior to the start of their day at William Chrisman High School in Independence.
 

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Filed under: Coaching,Government,Test Prep,Tutoring Practices

March 21, 2008

How Tutoring Fares Against NCLB – Studies Reveal That Tutoring Can Help

(Article length 899 words)

By Carla Thomas McClure
March 2008

Under the No Child Left Behind act, districts receiving Title I funds are required to offer free tutoring and other supplemental educational services to students from low-income families who attend a Title I school that has not achieved Adequate Yearly Progress for at least three years. District personnel may be asked to help parents select a provider from a state-approved list. They may also be asked what the research says about tutoring as an intervention strategy. Although high-quality research on this topic is limited, available studies provide useful insights and caveats.
Tutoring under NCLB

In the summer of 2007, RAND released the first federally funded evaluation of school choice and supplemental educational services under NCLB. After examining data from nine large urban districts, RAND researchers concluded that tutoring had "a positive influence on reading and math scores in five of the seven districts where there were enough students to examine effects." Although academic gains were small during the first year, they increased after students received a second year of tutoring, indicating a positive cumulative effect. Comparisons of commercial tutoring services versus district-operated tutoring programs fielded mixed results as to which was better at producing academic gains. Meanwhile, students who elected transfer to better performing schools over tutoring showed no significant improvement in test scores, although researchers cautioned that these findings should not be viewed as nationally representative.
Researchers and analysts caution against adopting a one-size-fits-all approach.
 

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Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,Assessment,NCLB,Peer-Tutoring,Research,Small Private Practices

March 19, 2008

The Best Marketing for Commercial Learning Centers is Great Service

(Article length 697 words)

By Jarod’s Blog

Many education center owners have learned the hard way that large marketing and advertising campaigns can have very limited results. For example, our company once spent $16,000 on radio ads over a three month period. We received a total of 17 calls as a direct result of this campaign; almost $1,000 per lead. That’s not quite a formula for profitability, nor the results we were looking for. And this was not the only advertising campaign that failed to produce results.

bigstockphoto_green_field_with_blue_sky_817073.jpgOver the years, we have consistently seen poor results from direct advertising. In addition to our experiences, I have also heard from other center owners of similar dismal returns on advertising investments. Steve Shapiro of Pinnacle Learning Centers in Boston quoted a one in one thousand reply rate on his direct mail postcard campaigns. One in one thousand! 10,000 pieces of mail to generate 10 calls? Not very exciting results.
Two questions come to mind. Why such poor results from direct advertising. What alternatives exist?
 

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Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,Admin/Management,Business Practices

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