Asee peer logo

The Impacts on Peer Tutors of Leading Group Supplemental Instruction for First-Year Engineering Students

Download Paper |

Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Women in Engineering Division Technical Session 4

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Page Count

17

DOI

10.18260/1-2--35336

Permanent URL

https://strategy.asee.org/35336

Download Count

136

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Caroline Ghio Northeastern University

visit author page

Caroline is a fourth-year undergraduate student at Northeastern University, majoring in chemical engineering. Outside of class, Ghio works as a chemistry tutor and participates in undergraduate research in a biomaterials laboratory on campus.

visit author page

biography

Sydney Anne Morris Northeastern University

visit author page

Sydney Morris is a third year undergraduate student studying chemical engineering at Northeastern University. She has been involved in the Connections Chemistry Review Program for two years, and is also an active member of the university's chapter of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and is on the ChemE Car team. Sydney is also part of the Complex Electrochemical Systems Laboratory on campus where she works with lithium ion coin cells, and will be completing her second co-op this fall in the field of electrochemistry.

visit author page

biography

Hannah Marie Boyce Northeastern University

visit author page

Hannah Boyce is a third year undergraduate student pursuing a B.S. in Chemical Engineering at Northeastern University. She has been involved in the Connections Chemistry Review program for two years, was a Teaching Assistant for Cornerstone of Engineering, holds an e-board position on AIChE, is co-captain of ChemE Car, and is on the Club Swim Team. She participates in biomaterials research on campus and has had co-ops researching drug delivery at Alivio Therapeutics and in the Traverso group at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

visit author page

biography

Bradley Joseph Priem Northeastern University

visit author page

Bradley Priem is a senior undergraduate student at Northeastern University, majoring in chemical engineering and minoring in biochemical engineering. He has been involved in the Connections Chemistry Review program for four years. He has also held undergraduate research positions in biomaterials and tissue engineering research labs. He has completed two co-ops in the biotech industry.

visit author page

biography

Paul A. DiMilla Northeastern University

visit author page

Paul A. DiMilla is an Affiliate Associate Teaching Professor in Chemistry & Chemical Biology and Chemical Engineering at Northeastern University. During his academic career at Carnegie Mellon University, Boston University, and Olin College he has been the recipient of the first Whitaker Young Investigator Award from the BMES, a Searle Scholar Award, and an Early Career Development Award from the NSF as well as a three-time recipient of the Omega Chi Epsilon Outstanding Faculty Award from the Northeastern Student Affiliate of AIChE. He also has led industrial R&D teams at Organogenesis Inc. and Polymerix Corporation developing tissue-engineered medical products and drug- generating biodegradable polymers, respectively, and has co-founded Automated Cell, Inc. In addition to being an inventor on 11 issued US patents, he is the author of the textbook General Chemistry for Engineers.

visit author page

biography

Rachelle Reisberg Northeastern University

visit author page

Rachelle Reisberg is Assistant Dean for Engineering Enrollment and Retention as well as Director of Women in Engineering at Northeastern University. Prior to joining Northeastern University, Rachelle held a wide range of management positions in IBM, Hanover Insurance, and was the President of a high tech start-up company.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of peer tutoring experiences on upper-class male and female tutors who provided supplemental instruction (SI) for first-year engineering students enrolled in required general chemistry and physics courses at Northeastern University. Our previous research has shown a correlation between regular use of SI by first-year engineering students and increased GPA, as well as gender-based differences in SI usage and effects of SI. In this study, we turned our focus to the effects of the tutoring role on the tutors and sought to elucidate 1) whether tutors perceived that they benefitted from the SI experience, and if so, in what ways, 2) how gender affected attitudes towards tutoring and the impact of serving as a peer educator, and 3) whether level of commitment to group SI correlated with tutors’ perceptions of how they were impacted.

Forty-one individuals who served as peer tutors at Northeastern University between 2005 and 2018 were invited to respond to online surveys. Those who completed the online survey were invited to participate in follow-up phone interviews. Subjects were asked about their experiences with SI, their motivations to provide instruction, their level of commitment to the program, and—as they reflected on their college and post-graduation endeavors—their perceptions of the value of their tutoring experience. Statistical comparisons were drawn from the responses of 20 female and 9 male tutors to the online survey, and qualitative analysis of transcripts of follow-up phone interviews with 13 women and 4 men were performed.

Through the application of grounded theory to transcripts, supported by statistical analysis of data from the online survey, it was deduced that increased confidence and preparedness in future endeavors was the core category that linked individuals’ tutoring experiences. Participants reported that relationships developed with tutees, fellow tutors, and faculty mentors during their tutoring experiences impacted them beyond their experiences as tutors. Participants reported improved soft skills, including communication, teamwork, and leadership, and strengthened academic abilities, which resulted from a deeper understanding of the tutored subject matter. Serving as tutors also caused tutors to be more open to receiving tutoring themselves in their coursework. Improvement in soft skills along with enhanced academic ability contributed to an increased sense of confidence and preparedness. Analysis of the role of gender showed that females were more likely than males to perceive an increase in self-confidence and to view themselves as confidence builders for tutees. Women were also more likely than men to become a tutor to improve their communication skills and help others. Years spent as a tutor correlated positively with greater perceived benefits for both genders. This study demonstrates that peer tutoring can have a significant impact on the academic performance and professional development of tutors, particularly females, in addition to tutees.

Ghio, C., & Morris, S. A., & Boyce, H. M., & Priem, B. J., & DiMilla, P. A., & Reisberg, R. (2020, June), The Impacts on Peer Tutors of Leading Group Supplemental Instruction for First-Year Engineering Students Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35336

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2020 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015