CCNY’s Science Online Tutoring Project
— The City Tutors & The Eisele Research Group—
A newly established educational project
providing additional support for CCNY’s students in their science classes
with their often challenging transition from high-school to college.
When did the project start? In the fall of 2017, the Eisele Research Group and The City Tutors started a Pilot Project to gain first experience and preliminary results for a newly established educational program; the Science Online Tutoring Project. As the Pilot Project was successful and well-received, it has been continued in the fall of 2018. This semester, the aim is to build upon the previous semester and to refine best practice for virtual tutoring for Prof. Eisele’s CHEM104 students. In 2017, the project started with one volunteering online tutor. Currently, four volunteering tutors are involved in this project.
What is the project’s goal? Initiated by The City Tutors, this project supports CCNY’s students in their science classes with their often challenging transition from high-school to college. Specifically, for Prof. Eisele’s CHEM104 class the Science Online Tutoring Project has been providing students with an additional tutoring opportunity to further enhance the support for this challenging science class.
What is the project about? In general, this project aims to support particularly students from minority and underrepresented groups and is therefore contributing to CCNY’s mission as one of America’s most diverse, minority-serving, public institutions with public purpose. Specifically, the online tutoring platform allows the students to discuss their questions, concerns, and ideas amongst each other even when they are not able to be physically together. The online tutors closely collaborate with Prof. Eisele’s CHEM104 recitation leader and with The City Tutor’s Educational Assistant Michael Chin, who is also part of the Eisele Group’s educational team. In addition, based on the student’s feedback for the online tutoring, The City Tutors integrated weekly study sessions into the course that are recorded and disseminated to the class through Google Hangouts on Air via a YouTube platform. These virtual sessions provide an additional opportunity for students to address their questions and the promotion of diverse avenues to learn from each other. The online tutors working with students in online study groups, they are moderating the blogs, help with the online homework solutions, providing assistance via email, and updating Prof. Eisele on the students overall progress and specific issues.
Who is running the project? The City Tutors and The Eisele Research Group unifies the desire to enhance CCNY’s high-quality undergraduate education beyond the class room:
- The City Tutors (http://www.thecitytutors.com/) is a community organization focused on training volunteer tutors who support talented students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The City Tutors are based at CCNY’s Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership. Partners of the City Tutorsare educational programs from all over New York. Currently, the City Tutors trains their tutors to support students from partner organizations from across four of the five boroughs of New York City. In general, with their organization, the City Tutors create a unique opportunity to support both the students and their volunteer tutors, the latter of which receive hands-on career development opportunities through the diverse tutoring programs.
- The Eisele Research Group (http://eiselegroup.com/) is based at the Division of Science and Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is located at the Center for Discovery and Innovation. The Eisele team consists of undergraduate researchers (including Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Engineering, Computer Science, and Communication majors), doctoral research assistants, and postdoctoral associates. Their research is focused on elucidating the fundamental light harvesting and energy transfer processes in nanomaterials for renewable energy. The group is passionate about educational outreach and the desire to promote science beyond academia. Amongst other courses, Prof. Eisele’s teaching portfolio includes Quantum Mechanics (CHEM 33200) and General Chemistry II (CHEM104). Funding for The City Tutor’s Educational Assistant Michael Chin is partially provided by the Eisele Group.