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What We Learned at the  ACTP Conference: Innovations and Inspirations in Tutoring and Coaching
ClassIn Official
2024/04/03· 1 min read

The ClassIn US team recently visited Charlotte, NC, to engage with coaching and tutoring professionals from around the country at the annual conference held by the Association for the Coaching and Tutoring Profession (ACTP). We had the opportunity to gain insights from a dynamic community of educators- student success coaches, college professors, tutoring center coordinators, and technology innovators. These discussions helped us better understand the current challenges that coaching and tutoring programs in higher education are facing, but also reinforced our commitment to leveraging technology for enhancing student success.


Key Insights from the ACTP Conference


Student Success is an Evolving Discipline

The field of Student Success has been undergoing significant transformation, evolving into an integral part of each student’s college experience. This evolution has been characterized by dynamic collaboration between tutors, coaches, mentors, and advisors, who blend their roles into a unified support system for students to achieve their academic and personal goals.


The dynamic nature of student support reflects the sector’s responsiveness to the changing demands of education and student populations. As the landscape of higher education shifts—impacted by technological advancements, changing demographic profiles, and evolving academic expectations—so too does the approach to student success.


We noticed that institutions are embracing innovative delivery methods to enhance the support offered to students. These novel approaches are tailored to meet the diverse needs and preferences of today’s learners. Some of the notable approaches include peer-to-peer tutoring, hybrid workshops, and virtual academic coaching.


  • Peer-to-peer tutoring makes great use of the available student resources to connect students with their peers for guidance and support. This approach not only facilitates academic help but also a sense of belonging within the student body. 


  • Hybrid workshops recognize the benefits of both in-person and online learning environments, providing flexibility of remote access with personal interactions of face-to-face sessions. 


  • Virtual platforms enable one-on-one coaching sessions, group discussions, and access to online resources. Virtual academic coaching sessions leverage these platforms to provide students with easy access to assistance who may be unable to attend traditional, on-campus sessions due to geographical, financial, or time constraints. 


Overcoming Hurdles in Enhancing Student Success Services

Despite the growing importance of Student Success Services, driven by the surge in demand from students who feel under-prepared in the post-pandemic educational landscape, our discussions with conference attendees revealed three prominent challenges:


  • One pressing issue is the unwillingness of some college students to participate in “tutoring classes” or seek academic assistance. This reluctance can stem from a variety of factors, including concerns about stigma or the misconception that seeking help is a sign of weakness. This perception can be particularly strong among first-year students or those who have traditionally excelled academically without extra support. The challenge lies in changing the narrative around tutoring and academic assistance to portray these services as tools for empowerment and growth, rather than as remedies for failure.


  • Another challenge that tutoring centers and student success centers face is reaching and assisting a larger group of students. Despite their efforts to advertise services and make resources available, many students remain unaware of the help at their disposal or how to access it. Limited resources and staffing can also strain these centers, making it difficult to offer personalized attention to each student who seeks help. Additionally, the rapid shift to online or hybrid learning models in many institutions has introduced new complexities in delivering support services effectively and maintaining the same level of engagement and accessibility.


  • Many student success coaches or tutoring service providers face the challenge of maintaining consistent and effective communication channels outside live sessions. Managing the flow of information across various platforms has become a daunting task for both educators and students. Tutors and coaches often find it difficult to reach out to students precisely when support is needed, whereas students often struggle to access the most relevant information they need. This confusion risks diminishing student engagement outside live sessions, dissipating the essential support framework. Thus, creating a more streamlined and intuitive access to resources and communication is thus essential to ensure students can easily access the support they need when they need it.


Tutoring Centers are Implementing Some Very Cool Technology 


We had the opportunity to attend a number of sessions presented by educators that highlighted some very cool and new technology that’s being used on campus. 


Gionni Carr and Belinda Lee from Tennessee State University presented an in-depth demonstration of how they’re using virtual reality in their tutoring centers. Essentially, when students come in for a session, they’re outfitted with a VR headset and both the tutor and the student conduct the session from there. Seeing Gionni’s demonstration was like watching Mrs. Frizzle’s Magic School Bus – imagine being tutored in biology from within the human brain! They also showed how students can access an AI learning buddy from within the virtual reality set up, export notes that are taken, and easily access other learning supports.  Most notably, Gionni pointed out that one of the main issues with today’s students is solved by this tutoring method: students can’t be looking at their phones or other devices if they have the VR goggles on! 


Another session we attended was presented by Raye Mahlberg and Rosie Rey from Nightingale College. They walked through their 100% online nursing program and showed the ecosystem they’d built for students to access – a one stop shop for everything from course materials to requesting assistance and more. It was a great example of how to build an online “campus” for students who access materials totally online. Plus, they showed some interesting simulators for how students can learn and demonstrate understanding of nursing practices. 


ClassIn Helps You Build Thriving Learning Communities


If the challenges discussed resonate with you, ClassIn presents innovative solutions that effectively bridge the gap between students’ needs and the support services offered by learning and support centers.


  • Sustained Interactive Learning: ClassIn enhances the learning experience with its infinitely scrollable blackboard, which accommodates typing, writing, and the presentation of various multimedia resources. All of the content can be saved for later review to facilitate continuous learning. Enhanced with video conferencing capabilities and over 20 engagement tools, ClassIn fosters a dynamic, supportive, and collaborative environment for both teachers and students.


  • Accommodated Learning Modalities: Compatible with PCs, tablets, mobile devices, and interactive flat panels, ClassIn supports a range of learning scenarios, including in-person sessions, peer-to-peer tutoring, or hybrid workshops. Our solution guarantees flexible learning opportunities that cater to various student preferences and schedules. 


  • Streamlined Communication: Addressing the communication challenges outside live sessions, ClassIn integrates built-in features like ClassIn Chat and ClassIn Drive to facilitate both synchronous and asynchronous interactions. These tools simplify how educators connect with students and how students find necessary information and resources. Functions such as setting up temporary office hours and making announcements to different classes or groups is straightforward with just a click of a button.


  • Enhanced Engagement and Accessibility: ClassIn’s web-streaming capabilities for large webinars significantly extend the reach of resources while maintaining high engagement and accessibility levels. Supporting up to 2000 participants in a single session, it empowers tutoring and student success centers to expand their influence, making sure more students have access to and can participate in the support services they need.


Looking Ahead with ClassIn and the Coaching & Tutoring Community

As we reflect on our experiences and look to the future, we invite educators, tutors, and technologists to join us in our mission to enhance student success through technological innovation. Together, we can tackle the challenges of today’s educational environment and create a brighter future for learners everywhere.


To learn more about how ClassIn can support your educational goals and to stay updated on our latest developments, feel free to contact us here. Let’s make a meaningful impact on education together!