Regardless of whether you were lucky enough to have a private tutor in high school, you will likely understand the benefits of having extra help outside of school hours. Having somebody to turn to regularly for help with your learning and assignments, who understands your learning style, struggles and strengths, is a powerful advantage.
University is no different. Despite the fact that your lecturers and tutors call all the shots when it comes to your final grade, having a tutor on the sidelines to help you get through your work is fantastic. Normally, you’d need to find a tutor for yourself and pay them an hourly wage – but if you’re an OUA student, you have more options.
Enter Smarthinking – an online tutoring service available to all OUA students 24/7.
The best part? OUA pays the hourly rate!
However, for a lot of students figuring out who to turn to for help, and when, can be tricky. Should you refer to your Unit Lecturer or Tutor? Or is it okay to call on your private Smarthinking Tutor for advice? We’re here to help you understand how to make the most of your free tutorial support.
Understanding the difference
University learning can be a complex business, but if you want to be really basic about it, there are two essential parts: there’s
- coming to understand the specifics of the course content
- using broad skills – writing, maths, drawing – to demonstrate this understanding
Let’s say you’re doing a Bachelor of Arts and you’re taking a unit in ancient mythology and you’re asked to learn about the story of Prometheus stealing fire from the gods on Mount Olympus. This is precise and explicit information that your tutor and lecturer will have an in-depth knowledge of. If you have questions you’d go straight to them.
But to show how well you grasp the myth and its meaning you’ll likely be asked to write about it. Your tutor or lecturer may be able to help you in that regard as well, but not always straight away and perhaps not always for as long or in as much detail as you’d like.
This is where Smarthinking becomes such a useful tool
Smarthinking is an online tutoring service free and available all day, every day to OUA students currently studying. It’s specially designed to help with those generic skills that are so important when it comes time to show the academics what you’ve learnt and how well you’ve understood it.
If we go back to the ancient mythology example, a Smarthinking tutor can’t give you the exact information you need on Prometheus for your assignment (even if he or she happens to know Greek mythology inside out). However, if you’re writing an essay on that subject, you can ask your tutor for assistance with grammar, the structure of your assignment, your research strategies and how you document and cite your sources.
Smarthinking won’t give you the answers to questions or equations. But it can be a huge help if you need some advice on the fundamental skills that are essential for good university results.
To find out more about how online tutoring works and how easy it is to access, visit the Smarthinking page on the OUA website.