Online Tutoring for the Center of Psychological Inquiry

Project Title: Online Tutoring for the Center of Psychological Inquiry

Project Lead’s Name: Christina Fitzpatrick


Phone: (801) 997-9137

Please Choose the Primary Affiliation: CAS

Faculty/Staff Sponsor (required for student-submitted proposals): Peter Wessels

Sponsor Email Address:

Are There Other Project Team Members?: Yes

Other Project Team Member: Paige Lloyd

Other Team Member Email Address:

Other Project Team Member: Steven Almaraz

Other Team Member Email Address:

Brief description of project: To improve outcomes of all students, the psychology department is taking steps to increase interest, engagement and efficacy within the field of psychology. To improve outcomes, the department is taking steps to strengthen and extend student support and tutoring that students receive from the Center for Psychological Inquiry. One of these steps is increasing the availability of online tutoring. It is our goal that increasing the availability of online tutoring will not only increase the number of students seeking support but will also increase accessibility for students from underrepresented backgrounds that may not have the time or ability to visit the Center for Psychological Inquiry in person. In sum, we are taking steps to improve the ability for all students at Miami University to succeed, including those who do not have the time or ability to seek in-person tutoring.

Does this project focus on graduate student education or graduate student life?: No

Describe the problem you are attempting to solve and your approach for solving that problem.: The problem: We are trying to increase availability of tutoring by extending tutoring services to an online interface. The solution: To solve this problem, we need technological equipment that allows our tutors to effectively interact with students online by using up-to-date computers, screen sharing software, online whiteboards, and tablets that allow for ease when writing equations or drawing figures.

The criteria state that technology fee projects should benefit students in innovative and/or significant ways. How would you describe the innovation and/or significance of your project?: Online tutoring benefits students in both innovative and significant ways. Although use online meeting software has significantly increased in recent years, many universities still rely solely on in-person tutoring. Although the importance and benefits of in-person tutoring should not be underestimated, universities should pursue multiple routes for support students. Therefore, using online tutoring at the Center of Psychological Inquiry is innovative because online tutoring is relatively underused, especially by department support programs. In addition to being innovative, online tutoring is also significant. To support the universities goals of increasing inclusion and diversity, the university must take steps to accommodate students from all walks of life, including those who have limited time or ability to seek in-person tutoring such as those who commute, work, or have limited childcare accommodations.

How will you assess the project?: To assess this program we will have students complete questionnaires that include measure such through routine use such as satisfaction ratings of the tutoring session. However, we will also measure attitudes and behaviors that are important to academic outcomes such as perceptions of efficacy and academic engagement. We predict that compared to students who did not receive online tutoring, students who utilize online tutoring will report increased efficacy and academic engagement.

Have you applied for and/or received Tech Fee awards in past years?: No

What happens to the project in year two and beyond? Will there be any ongoing costs such as software or hardware maintenance, supplies, staffing, etc.? How will these be funded?: To continue online tutoring at the Center for Psychological Inquiry we will need to utilize contract/subscription-based services such as the online whiteboard and screen sharing software in addition to the one-time start up costs such as buying laptops for tutor use. However, these subscriptions are relatively inexpensive and if we are unable to secure funding for these costs, the department may be able to providing funding to continue this program.

Budget: Hardware, Contractual Services/Installation/Shipping/Maintenance

Hardware Title(s) & Vendor(s): (Quantity: 2) Dell XPS 13 #1 Laptop Computer from MU Bookstore = $3,018; (Quantity: 2) WACOM INTUOS Draw Board = $159.90

Hardware Costs: $3,018.00

Contractual Services/Installation/Shipping/Maintenance: Realtime Board (Online Whiteboard application) $40/month = $600/year; Screenleap (screensharing software) $374.40/year with 20% discount for annual license

Contractual Services, etc. Costs: $974.40

What is the total budget amount requested?: $3,992.40