Online student learning support proves convenient, swift and successful

Online student learning support proves convenient, swift and successful

In response to meeting the students’ learning needs amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Learning Center at Georgia College reacted quickly. The Supplemental Instruction support program was fully functioning March 30. The Learning Center’s Math Lab and drop-in tutoring opened April 2. 

Accessing the sessions has proved simple and successful, according to Jeanne Haslam, director of the Learning Center. 

GC senior Emily Howe tutors GC students from home.
GC senior Emily Howe tutors GC students from home.

“We are seeing some students pop in and out of the platform numerous times a day and for different content,” said Jeanne Haslam, director of the Learning Center. “The beauty of this is that once a student downloads those apps, they can access the platform in perpetuity for assistance.” 

Haslam has a team of around 60 student workers, two staff members, the programs manager and two grad assistants. They’ve been assisting students academically online. Each online shift has seven to eight tutors working to help students, who request tutoring for the different disciplines. 

With the onset of the pandemic, Haslam and her team anticipated some probable changes and began researching their online platform options. 

“We are committed to continue services throughout finals to best support GC students through the final stretch.”
– Jeanne Haslam

“We actually started this research the week before spring break with the idea that we would have accomplished a good bit of groundwork if we needed to fully launch and deliver our services online,” she said. “Then, we amped it up during spring break week and were ready and training our academic student support staff the following week.” 

GC junior Sidney Parker tutors GC students from home.
GC junior Sidney Parker tutors GC students from home.

Some students reported that online learning support was accessible and just as helpful as in-person support. Other students described the convenience it offered and how more students are attending the sessions.

While COVID-19 has caused a disruption of learning in a classroom, Haslam and her team are surveying students, staff and faculty to assess the center’s online services and experiences for future application. 

“We recognize that some of the online services might be a good addition to the Learning Center’s offerings, addressing the convenience this might provide,” said Haslam.

During finals week, supplemental Instruction leaders have been working hard to accommodate students’ busy schedules. 

“We are committed to continue services throughout finals to best support GC students through the final stretch,” said Haslam.