Drop-in tutoring is in session

The Ted Rogers School of Management (TRSM) is changing the way it caters to students.

Apart from the office hours provided by professors, free drop-in tutoring sessions administered by Academic Support Services of the business department have been increased Monday through Friday.

Drop-in sessions last throughout the entire day for up to two hours at a time. All students registered in management courses, such as accounting and finance, statistics, and marketing, are welcome to drop in for help.

Tutoring is not offered for every course. Course-specific tutoring sessions depend on students demand. Marketing tutoring sessions were added at the beginning of this school year.

“We (also) focus on the courses that have traditionally had a high failure rate,” said Alexander Ruvuza, student success facilitator of student services in the TRSM.

“My hope is that both the students who want to excel in the courses as well as those that face challenges are able to access this free service and eventually there will be no students that fail these courses.”

The tutoring is peer-facilitated. The sessions are led by upper-year student who have taken and excelled in the courses. They are hired under the work-study program and trained and supervised by Ruvuza.

Third-year economics student Payam Taban is tutoring for his fourth semester.


Payam Taban draws a graph to explain a statistics question to student at a drop-in tutoring. (Caroline Dinnall/Ryersonian Staff)

He discovered drop-in tutoring sessions in his first year at Ryerson while seeking help for his statistics course. Apart from tutoring on Monday mornings and Friday afternoons, Taban still attends class.

He says he also benefits from the tutoring sessions. “I get to go over the concepts that I am currently learning in class over and over again. Tutoring here is my study time, it’s my review,” he said.

Drop-in tutoring is held at the tutoring centre (TRS 3-051).

Taban says the busiest time is during midterms. He says he enjoys helping students, but also acknowledges that there are pressures to the job.

“Students don’t get much out of the session if they come here to learn the content from scratch, but they do benefit if they study beforehand and they come in with questions and a general understanding of the work,” he said.

Business student Mervyn Onyekuru, who also works in the tutoring centre, said students tutoring students makes for a more comfortable and relaxing environment.

“Say you have a social life problem and you’d rather talk to your friend than your parents. Compare this to a teacher. You could not understand something and a teacher could seem intimidating, whereas a student could relate to you and how you feel because they are currently going through what you are going through.”

Taban said that student-on-student tutoring isn’t meant to replace consultation with professors.

“I think it should all be there,” he said. “Students should help students, and professors should have open office hours. I don’t think one is better than the other.”

Drop-in sessions will last until April 10, not including reading week.


This story also appeared in The Ryersonian, a weekly newspaper produced by the Ryerson School of Journalism, on Feb. 11, 2015.

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