In the current midst of midterms and with finals not too far away, students are buckling down to study and attempting to get their heads around challenging concepts. If a full-time student has a job or a busy schedule, fitting in office hours or making a trip down to the Tutoring Center may be difficult. Luckily, for those students and others who want a refresher on their subjects of choice there are an abundance of free, educational resources available online.
The Tutoring Center, located in Wilson Library, is a host to many resources, offered both in person and online. Aside from drop-in tutoring, the Tutoring Center’s website offers students printable handouts that summarize concepts and rules such as basic introductory math and science classes. Students can also find organizational tools such as weekly calendars and tips on how to study on the website under “Online Resources.”
“We feel that these are really good, supplementary materials for coming in for drop-in tutoring or study groups or working with your professor during office hours,” Tutoring Center Coordinator Michelle Wallace said.
Wallace said that the Tutoring Center’s online resources mostly pertain to math and science because those are areas in which students typically need additional help in outside of class.
“I think where these resources can really help is in bridging that gap between lecture from math and science classes to how you can actually apply in when you’re working through getting ready for a test or working through an assignment,” Wallace said.
There are many online resources aside from those offered through Western that can aid students in their studies. Some of these resources, such as khanacademy.org, Apple’s “ITunes U,” and coursera.org offer such a wide variety of educational context ranging from intro level courses to complicated, upper division classes that they are considered to be a form of “online university.”
Associate Professor of Journalism Peggy Watt said that while the courses available through online universities are free, Western has no system in which students can receive credit for completing them.
“They strike me as an excellent way to brush up on a subject, perhaps in advance of enrolling in a class for credit,” Watt said.
Junior Mike Register said that he has used khanacademy.org in the past to prepare from exams and touch up on particularly complicated ideas and concepts learned in class.
“Khan Academy’s videos are concise and very helpful,” Register said. “For classes like math and science, I find it easier to learn from their videos than by going over notes I took in class or re-reading the book.”
Online educational resources often allow students to interact with their course material in new ways, be it auditory or visually, Wallace said. While the face-to-face component of instructor led classes or in-person tutoring provides the solid backbone of a learning experience, these secondary online resources provide great supplements to students hoping to master their course material come test day.
“It’s really good to know where all those resources are and to be able to draw on them to supplement what you have learned in class,” Wallace said. “I feel strongly that when students are trying to use those multiple avenues, they all work together toward a cohesive whole.”