SOURCE: AskOnline

October 10, 2007 13:07 ET

Increased Usage of Online Tutoring Parallels Earlier Growth Trends of Online Learning

AskOnline Grows Enrollments at Nine Times E-Learning Rate

CAMBRIDGE, MA--(Marketwire - October 10, 2007) - e-Tutoring, a lifeline for students and a powerful retention strategy in higher education, is fast gaining popularity across the country as an online service, giving students immediate, often 24/7, access to the help they need to succeed.

Fueled by the success of e-learning, more than 100,000 students in more than 50 North American colleges and universities have gained direct access to tutors -- whether peers, paid tutors or professors in off hours -- via AskOnline. Originally developed by a Harvard student to provide online tutoring support to Boston area schools, AskOnline (www.askonline.net) is now a leader in online tutoring systems for higher education and private enterprise. It provides a highly structured, flexible environment for institutions to connect their own qualified tutors with their students.

Online tutoring via AskOnline can take place in real time or asynchronously via chat, whiteboard, videoconferencing, audio conferencing, discussion boards and private messaging. The AskOnline student count increased by 675 percent in 2006, more than nine times the enrollment increase in online college/university courses.

"Online tutoring goes hand-in-hand with e-learning. Although it's wonderful when tutors and their students can get together face to face, there are many occasions when the online approach is preferred, whether the student isn't on campus full-time, is shy about asking for help in the traditional tutoring setting, is dealing with special physical needs, or -- like everyone else -- juggling an already packed schedule," said Lauren Moore, Director for Academic Support Services at Mercy College. "The AskOnline online tutoring environment dramatically improves access to support resources for students and tutors. Students and tutors alike embrace the convenience of the system. Now tutors can provide assistance to students from anywhere they have an internet connection, rather than just from the on-campus tutoring center."

In addition to giving more students access to more tutoring hours, online tutoring gives students time to frame questions and absorb answers, then capture key points for reference in searchable transcripts. For students who may be hesitant to ask for help face-to-face, online tutoring provides a safe, convenient way to receive the assistance they need.

An online tutoring system differs from a learning management system in that it's structured around people and their learning needs, not around specific course sections. Tutors often work across multiple courses, sections and grade levels, and students sometimes need tutoring in more than one discipline. AskOnline's flexibly accommodates these multidirectional needs and is fully hosted, giving institutions, their tutors and their students full access to the system via a web browser.

Some of the institutions using AskOnline to deliver tutoring services include:

Berkeley College                           Houston Community College System
Bridgewater State College                  Mercy College
California State University-Los Angeles    Palm Beach Community College
Cedar Valley College                       Reformed Theological Seminary
Coles College of Business - Kennesaw       University of Memphis
State University                           University of New Hampshire
Fashion Institute of Technology            University of Tampa

"So many students are getting the help they need, and the online environment is one in which students are so comfortable in. Online tutoring helps eliminate the obstacles of time, distance and access to qualified tutors," said AskOnline CEO Lisa Philpott. "Colleges and universities are increasingly turning to online tutoring as an effective way to support their students and promote academic success. e-Tutoring is the next chapter in the story of e-learning and one that is changing lives every day."

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