Students seeking additional help with coursework outside the classroom can benefit from a new Online Peer-Assisted Learning Program offered by the Student Academic Resource Center.
The program, which includes online tutoring and supplemental instruction, began in the spring and is run through a web-conferencing software called Adobe Connect, which allows students to communicate with the instructor and each other via chat or microphone, review course content using an interactive whiteboard, and share notes and handouts electronically.
SARC director Rebecca Piety said the programs are geared towards those students who are unable to attend face-to-face sessions because of their class schedule or because they are not on campus. The center also provides online academic-success workshops to military-veteran students and their dependents.
So far the program offers 10 courses, including General Biology I, Organic Chemistry I, Principles of Microeconomics, and Statistical Methods, and 138 students have joined the online sessions. SARC will expand the number of courses linked with the peer-assisted learning program in the fall.
Piety hopes to expand these programs in the regional campuses. This spring, peer-assisted learning was offered to the Sanford-Lake Mary campus for Statistical Methods in Psychology, and SARC is working with the regional campuses to determine other courses to incorporate. The center is recording online sessions so that students may view them for reference at a later time; these recordings will soon be available on the SARC website.
The online programs were developed by SARC staff members in collaboration with the Office of Instructional Resources, Student Development and Enrollment Services Information Technology, Veterans Academic Resource Center, and Center for Distributive Learning.
SARC also recently added videotaping and conferencing equipment, netbooks, three interactive whiteboards and other equipment. The center is developing a new website to host additional online modules that will use interactive games and activities to help students understand concepts in various disciplines.
The Peer-Assisted Learning Program is available to students this summer. For more information on what SARC has to offer, visit http://sarc.sdes.ucf.edu.