Students4Students – The future of tutoring


Every students knows the feeling a few days before an exam: wondering if you paid sufficient attention in class, stressing because you might not understand an example mentioned in the lecture slides, etc.

You realize the teacher will not be in her office during the weekend and it usually takes her a few days to reply to e-mails. Asking the question via e-mail will require a long answer and therefore isn’t the ideal option anyway. You can call a classmate but you doubt that he or she has time for your question and you wonder whom to call in the first place. There is always the option of hiring an expensive private tutor but the government does not transfer your student loan until next week. Now there is an extra option for the stressing student: Students4Students!

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Students4Students is a tutoring-platform where the tutors are students providing sessions to their struggling peers. The platform will take away the inconvenience and psychological barriers (Collins, 1997) that come with scheduling a face-to-face meeting with the professor. It is also more interactive than the supply of online videos, writing a complicated e-mail and receiving an even longer and more complicated answer. But above all, it is a cheap option to get a better grasp of the topic on which the exam will be.

The tutors will be students that are extremely familiar with the subject since they will have taken the course before. In order to ensure quality tutoring sessions, there will be a recommendation system in place and the university will verify the past grades of the tutor.

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A quick step-by-step analysis as to how a struggling student will increase her grade through Students4Students follows next. First, the student signs up for the service via sin-online (using EUR as an example). Next, she will select the area in which she struggles. A list of possible tutors at their available hours will show and she can decide when she wants the session to take place. An extra option is that she can decide her own price that she wants to pay. However, if the minimal monetary amount for the two tutors (there is also a co-tutor to answer individual questions, which brings the total amount to $25 per session) is not reached 24 hours in advance, the session will be cancelled. If the financial threshold is reached, the session will take place and both the tutor and student will receive a notification of this 24 hours in advance. Another advantage is that if the threshold is surpassed, the total of $25 will be split evenly between the students so that each individual will pay less than the maximum they initially indicated.

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As the table above shows, the utility levels as described by Carson et al., (1999) for all parties involved (students, tutors, the university and Students4Students) will increase because this tutoring tool combines the advantages of the competition (office hours, e-mail, class mate, private tutor, websites, e-tutoring). Maybe you will see one of us as your tutor for information strategy in the near future!

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References:

Carson, S. J, Devinney, T. M., Dowling, G. R. & George, J. (1999). Understanding Institutional Design Within Marketing Value Systems. Journal of Marketing, 63.

Collins, J. (1997). Barriers to Communication in Schools. British Educational Research Association Annual Conference. Retrieved May 23, 2014, from http://www.leeds.ac.uk/educol/documents/000000331.htm

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