Online tutors interact with students on and off campus

Written by: 
Hailey Gardiner~Multimedia Journalist

Students employed by the Online Department at BYU-Hawaii interact as tutors with on-campus and distance-learning students via Skype.

According to Jared Marcom, director of Online Learning, the Online Department consists of a team of 38 student employees covering the offered 53 courses. Students taking the online courses range from those physically on campus to EIL students planning on coming to attend BYUH in the future.

Lance Foust, a sophomore majoring in ICS from Montana, works as a tutor for the EIL course offered online, which consists mostly of speaking and listening assignments.
“I mainly Skype with students from other countries such as Mongolia, China, and Korea,” said Foust. “We meet for 30 minutes every week on Skype, and I grade the assignments they submit through video.”

Despite not being in a typical classroom setting, online courses offered at BYUH implement the use of video responses to make the experience more personal. The use of video and online discussions helps enhance the students’ experiences by giving them the opportunity to interact and share ideas online.

“We mainly use Skype for our EIL courses, for live tutoring sessions,” said Marcom. “However, many of our students submit videos as part of discussions.”

Foust has met some of his students taking the EIL class who are here at BYUH. “I do have a few students that are living in TVA whose spouses are going to school here, and then some current students that plan on coming here this summer,” explained Foust.

For Jordan Lenhart, a junior majoring in social work from Utah, her job as a tutor for the Music Department gives her the opportunity to interact with students online in her class and with her co-workers.

“I love the atmosphere of the Online Department because it’s fun to be able to go work with your friends,” she said.

Lenhart enjoys her job and has gained skills in tutoring despite the fact the class she assists with is not related to her major. “We do all we can to help students with any questions they might have and make sure the class is running correctly,” she said.

Foust said the highlight of his job was “working with people and teaching.” For Foust, his job as a tutor relates to his post-graduation plans and has given him practice in what he eventually wants to do. “I have my TESOL certificate and would like to go teach abroad for a year after I graduate,” he said. “The skills I’m learning now could be useful in the future.”