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Learning Specialist: Media-Based Academic Support

Oakton Community College: September 2010 – December 2011

Alma supervised and scheduled tutors for all Foreign Languages, Computer Topics, Humanities and Social Sciences courses. She participated in a team with other supervisors in developing and implementing quarterly training activities for all tutors.

Alma developed and provided asynchronous in-services on technology topics for the staff and administrators of the Learning Center. She investigated and proposed an online tutoring platform and integrated other technology resources into daily operations. Alma also provided basic maintenance to the on-site computers and copy machines. She maintained the online tutoring schedule and all other contents of the Learning Center website and marketed Learning Center events.

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Viking Academic Boot Camp SLA Leader

After graduating, Alma volunteered as an Structured Learning Assistance Leader for the pre-algebra portion of the Viking Academic Boot Camp. This was the second summer she had been part in the program, having been a leader for pre-algebra during its inaugural year (2009).

This was a summer-only program organized by University Advising and Tutoring and Academic Success Center that allows at-risk incoming freshmen to place into a credit-bearing, non-developmental math or English class during their first semester at Cleveland State University.

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Dropbox in Education

In order to keep up to date attendance statistics for Structured Learning Assistance and Supplemental Instruction tutoring sessions, student staff had previously emailed updated excel spreadsheets to both the instructor they worked with and the head of the SI/SLA programs. This became problematic after several weeks of those emails flooded inboxes and the SI/SLA courses became more commonly offered.

After becoming a Graduate Assistant with the Tutoring and SI/SLA programs, Alma make a staff-wide recommendation for the use of the cloud service: Dropbox. Student staff managed a single spreadsheet in their Dropbox, and sent a download link to the professor and the program head. This minimized the potential confusion between old and new versions of the file, lost or deleted emails, and corrupted attachments.

As a part of her position, Alma gave a series of presentations to the full staff of SI and SLA leaders (nearly 35 in total). The presentation covered a description of Dropbox, a step-by-step for the implementation and several other uses for the service.

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Using Dropbox for Communication

In the Supplemental Instruction and Structured Learning Assistance programs at Cleveland State University, student workers must share up-to-date attendance information with both professors and the SI and SLA program coordinator. In previous semesters, this involved sending excel spreadsheets multiple times per week and submitting hard-copy attendance logs.

Alma opted to harness the newer technology of cloud storage (Dropbox) coupled with an excel template. The template would show attendance and produce other metrics such as average session size, and attendance percentage by student, which is necessary for the SLA program. Continue Reading →

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SI/SLA Program Administrative Organization in Blackboard CE 8

In the highly regimented Supplemental Instruction and Structured Learning Assistance programs there is a lot of paperwork.

This communication between students, SI and SLA leaders, faculty and staff helps the program grow through suggestions and comments. In addition it also allows the program coordinator to ensure a somewhat standardized student experience across SI/SLA Leaders. In the past, Cleveland State’s program used hard-copy weekly reports, this lead to large binders and folders and confusing files as well as late submissions.

Alma designed an assessment in the the Tutoring and Academic Success Centers’ Blackboard community, it remained open for a full week so student workers could fill in their paperwork and submit it on time, from any computer. This regimentation helped the staff develop a routine and allowed the program Coordinator to do her review of these reports all at once. Staff were also able to complete the report more quickly as the original report was scaled down to fit into an electronic format and more quantitative metrics were involved.

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Technology Implementation Specialist, Tutoring and Academic Success Center

As part of my Graduate Assistant role at the Tutoring and Academic Success Center, Alma had the opportunity to provide technology in-services and implement tools for the organization of the entire tutoring staff (which ranged from 60 to 90 students).

AlmaI focused on finding technology tools that would increase efficiency and communication amongst staff and faculty while not jeopardizing the confidentiality of student records. She implemented those tools with the support of the TASC Coordinator and provided training and support for the use of the tools to the tutors and involved faculty members. Alma also organized the use of social media to increase visibility to students and edited a short promotional video on the programs, which is still in use.

Continue Reading →

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Digital Art 1 and 2 Instructor: Beck Center for the Arts

This was a great experience for Alma because she had to find photography subjects for her students that were inside of the private arts conservatory. They took pictures of their shoes, the light fixtures, condensation on a drinking fountain, and even furniture. They stretched their imaginations to find pleasing composition at odd angles. Alma stretched herself creatively by limiting herself geographically.

Alma promoted, built curriculum for and instructed beginning and intermediate level digital art courses. Constructed curriculum for beginning and intermediate digital art classes (for 8-week and 16-week sessions). Curricula included two projects and many constructive evaluations, as well as discussion topics. Provided immediate support to computers within the digital art lab as well as troubleshooting various types of cameras (supplied by students). Continue Reading →

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SI and SLA Leader, Tutoring and Academic Success Center

During Alma’s time as a Graduate Assistant at the Tutoring and Academic Success Center, she attended all classes for up to two designated courses per semester and provided small-group tutoring support for that entire class two to three times per week. Alma managed session attendance, planed supplemental lessons to scaffold off of class lecture, and individually worked with students if additional assistance was needed.

Workplace Accomplishments: Employee of the Month (Tutoring Center), February 2008
Student Employee of the Year Nominee (Cleveland State University), 2009-2010 school year

Continue Reading →

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Student Tutor, Tutoring and Academic Success Center

Spring 2008 – Spring 2010
Subjects: Anthropology, Art History, English, Linguistics, Mathematics, Photoshop, Physics, and Study Skills.

The Tutoring and Academic Success Center offered two types of tutoring sessions, walk-in tutoring and appointment-based weekly tutoring, Alma did both types of tutoring as well as Supplemental Instruction and Structured Learning Assistance when those programs began.

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