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Report on the Spring 1998 Student Survey of Tutoring Services

This survey was conducted at the request of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and the University of Colorado Student Union in order to find out about tutoring services on campus. The coordinator of this project was Judy Poynter, Assistant to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.

Highlights

Only 15% of the sampled students responded to the survey, so caution must be used in interpreting the results.

The majority of students don't know where to go for tutoring services and are unaware of the tutoring services offered by various departments and programs.
  • Only 19-35% are aware of services offered by such places as College of Engineering, ROTC, sororities/fraternities, Minority Arts and Sciences Program (MASP), and Student Academics Services Center (SASC). Given that some of these places are targeted to a fairly small population of students (e.g., engineering students, ROTC students, etc.), this finding is not surprising.
  • However, 82% are aware of tutoring services offered by the residence halls, 69% are aware of tutoring services offered by specific academic departments, and 82% are aware of private tutors.

About of students (47%) said they had a need for tutoring during the 1997-98 school year, but only 39% of these students actually obtained tutoring.

  • Of those who did not obtain tutoring, 44% said they didn't because of some student-controlled reason (i.e., not motivated, no time), 23% said they didn't know where to go, and 23% gave a reason having to do with a tutoring service (no tutor available, no one called me back, couldn't afford it).
  • Of those who did obtain tutoring, most (73%) obtained tutoring in the beginning of the semester, most (81%) did not pay for the services they received, and most (86-96%) were satisfied with the availability of, qualifications of, and demonstrated concern of their tutor.

Data Collection

Population and Sample

A stratified random sample of 516 undergraduates was selected (about 2.5% of the total population). We oversampled students living in the residence halls in order to get approximately equal numbers of students who lived in the residence halls and students who didn't live in the residence halls (so that we could compare their responses to one another). Thus, of this sample, 266 lived in the residence halls and 250 did not.

Response Rate

The questionnaire was emailed to the selected students on February 10, 1998; the survey was emailed again to the non-respondents on February 23, 1998. 15% (n=78) of the sample members completed the email questionnaire. Response rate did not vary by residence hall living (14.5% of residence hall students responded; 15.5% of the other students responded.)

CAUTION: Because of the low response rate, results must be interpreted with caution as the results may not be representative of all undergraduates. In fact, the low response rate mightbe an indication of a lack of interest in tutoring by most students. Furthermore, it is possible that a higher percentage of students who used tutoring or are interested in tutoring responded to the survey than students who didn't use tutoring or aren't interested in tutoring.

Questionnaire

The questionnaire was designed to determine students' need for, use of, and satisfaction with tutoring services.

Analysis

We compared the responses of students who live in the residence halls to those who don't and found very few significant differences in responses. As such, we present the results for all students and only present the results by live/not live in the residence halls if there is a significant difference. In presenting the results across all respondents, we have weighted responses to take into account the oversampling of residence hall students.

Results

Study Strategies

  • The first question asked students what strategies they used to be successful in their studies.
  • The majority of students study on their own, study with one or two classmates, and/or attend help sessions.

Table 1: Students' Study Strategies

Q 1. Indicate which of the following study strategies you use to be successful in your studies. (1=Yes, I use this strategy 2=No, I don't use this strategy)
Study Strategy Percent who use strategy
I study on my own 95%
I study with one or two classmates 73%
I attend help sessions 62%
I meet regularly with my instructors 29%
I study in groups of 4 or more students 23%

Awareness, Use, and Need for Tutoring Services

  • Students were asked if they knew where to go for tutoring services and then were provided with a list of tutoring services and asked to indicate their awareness and use of each of them.
  • Only 36% of respondents said they know where to go for tutoring services. However, students who lived in the residence hall were more likely to say they know where to go for tutoring services than students who don't live in the residence halls (68% and 22%, respectively).
  • As Table 2 shows:
    • A high percentage of students are not aware of tutoring services offered by the College of Engineering, College of Business, ROTC, sororities/fraternities, MEP, MASP, and SASC.
    • Between 22-32% are not aware of tutoring services offered by residence halls and academic departments.
      • However, only 3% of students who live in the residence halls are unaware of residence hall tutoring services, whereas 31% of students who don't live in the residence halls are unaware of them.
    • The tutoring services used by the highest percentage of students are residence halls (used by 17%) and academic departments (used by 19%).
    • Too few students used any of the tutoring services to calculate levels of satisfaction.

Table 2: Awareness and Use of Tutoring Services

Q 3. Below is a list of tutoring services. If you have never used a service, write a "1" or "2" to indicate your awareness of the service. If you have used the service--either this school year or previously-- write a "3," "4," or "5" to indicate your satisfaction with it. (1=Not aware of this service, 2=Aware, but haven't used, 3=Used, and experienced low satisfaction, 4=Used, and experienced medium satisfaction, 5=Used, and experienced high satisfaction)
Tutoring Services Percent not aware of service Percent aware, but haven't used Percent who used service
Private Tutor 18% 75% 7%
A residence hall 22% 62% 17%
An academic department (e.g., Math, Chemistry) 32% 50% 19%
Student Academic Services Center (SASC) 70% 29% 1%
The College of Engineering 65% 27% 8%
A sorority/fraternity 71% 27% 2%
The College of Business 75% 24% 1%
ROTC 77% 20% 3%
Minority Arts and Sciences Program (MASP) 81% 17% 2%
Minority Engineering Program (MEP) 81% 16% 3%

Need for and Use of Tutoring in 1997-98

  • Students were asked several questions about their need for and use of tutoring services during the 1997-98 school year.

  • When asked, "During the 1997-98 school year, did you ever have a need for tutoring services," almost half (47%; n=35) said yes.
    • Of the 47% who said "yes," most of these said that the class or area of study they needed tutoring in was physics, calculus, or chemistry.
    • Those who said "no" were asked why they didn't need tutoring services. Most said that they were doing fine in their classes and didn't need any additional help.
  • Of the 35 students who said they needed tutoring, 39% (n=14) said they actually obtained tutoring services.
    • Of the 61% (n=20) who said they did not obtain tutoring services, 44% said they didn't obtain tutoring services because of some student-controlled reason (i.e., not motivated, no time), 23% said they didn't know where to go, and 23% gave a reason having to do with a tutoring service (no tutor available, no one called me back, couldn't afford it).

Table 3: Need for tutoring in 1997-98

Percent who said they had a need for tutoring services during 1997-98 school year 47%
Of those who said they needed tutoring:
Percent who said they actually obtained tutoring
39%
Most frequently mentioned classes in which tutoring was needed
Physics, Calculus, Chemistry

Table 4: Reasons for not obtaining Tutoring, of those who said they needed tutoring
Q 8. If you needed tutoring but did not actually obtain tutoring, what was your PRIMARY reason for not obtaining tutoring services?
Reason Percent who gave this reason
I didn't have time to find a tutor and attend tutoring sessions 24%
I didn't know where to go for tutoring services 23%
I just wasn't motivated to actually get a tutor 20%
I knew where to go, but there wasn't a tutor available for me 13%
Other 10%
I couldn't afford the tutoring services 7%
I knew where to go, but no one called back to make arrangements 3%
I couldn't find a tutor who met my tutoring needs/I didn't like any of the tutors that were available 0%

Description of Tutoring Services Used in 1997-98

  • The 14 students who said they had needed and obtained tutoring services during the 1997-98 school year were asked several questions about the tutoring services they received. Their responses to these questions follows. Extreme caution must be used in interpreting these results since they are based on such a small number of students.
    • Where did you obtain tutoring?
      • 36% residence hall
      • 19% academic department
      • 15% MEP
      • 5% Private tutor
      • 25% Other (e.g., ASAP coordinator, boyfriend)
    • When did you obtain tutoring?
      • 73% in the beginning of the semester
      • 23% in the middle
      • 4% at the end
    • Did you pay for tutoring services?
      • 81% no
      • 19% yes (between $10-15 an hour)
    • Students were also asked about their satisfaction with various aspects of the tutoring services they received. As can be seen in Table 5, the majority of students were satisfied with the tutoring services.

Table 5: Satisfaction with Tutoring Services

Q 12. How satisfied were you with each of the following aspects of the tutoring services you received during the 1997-98 school year?
Q 13. Overall, how satisfied were you with the tutoring services you received during the 1997-98 school year? (1=very dissatisfied 2=dissatisfied 3=neutral 4=satisfied 5=very satisfied)
Aspect Percent Dissatisfied Percent satisfied
The accessibility/availability of my tutor 0% 96%
The cost of my tutoring 0% 95%
My tutor's concern for me as a student 4% 87%
The qualifications/knowledge of my tutor 4% 86%
Tutoring services, overall 4% 73%
The teaching strategies my tutor used 9% 69%
The amount I learned 14% 54%

Last revision 07/08/05


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