Statistics 208 tutoring effectiveness debated

By Deborah Costello

It is debatable whether tutors for Statistics 208 students will make a difference in grade improvements since the assistance came so late in the semester.

The tutoring was decided after 129 grievance forms were filed with the Student Association Academic Affairs Committee against Professor Sadhana Tiwari.

Tutors will meet today with the Statistical Mathematics Director Ibrahim Ahmad to find out how progress is going.

“I think it’s good the university responded to our request (for tutoring), but the help may have come a little too late in the semester. A good percentage of the grades have been decided,” said Willie Fowler, SA Academic Affairs adviser.

“Since the help sessions started so late in the semester many students will not benefit. The major problem is that many students are not able to understand the instructor, maybe the instructor should get some language classes to improve her communication abilities,” he said.

“She needs to improve her communication skills. Extra tutoring can’t be a cure-all. Professors need to be willing to get help themselves,” Fowler said.

In a previous interview, Tiwari said she felt the students who really want to learn sought help on their own before grievances against her were filed.

Although Fowler does not know how many students have attended the tutoring sessions, he said “students may be more inclined to attend if they knew what the tutors were being paid.”

The three graduate student tutors are being paid $7.50 an hour, Ahmad said. He said funding is being provided by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.