How To Incorporate Tutoring Within A Learning Management System

What You Need To Do To Incorporate Tutoring Within A Learning Management System

Many students on their educational path at one time or another find a need for tutoring. Tutoring has always its place in education, whether it is used to enhance a grade or, more commonly, to assist in earning a passing grade. Online tutoring via the web can be successfully incorporated in a Learning Management System (LMS). In addition to using LMS web tools, other meeting tools can be used, depending upon what is available to the instructor and allowed at the institution. Students typically work first with their instructor for help and seek a tutor if further assistance is needed. So, how can you incorporate tutoring within a Learning Management System?

Set up a distinct course shell within the Learning Management System identified as tutoring for a specific program. Develop weekly modules as found in the typical classes for the program. If the program has distinct types of classes, sections can be identified within the weekly modules to target specific tutoring as needed. For example, in higher education, in Health Information Management associate (HIM) degree programs there are general core HIM courses and typically 4 medical coding classes. Coding classes involve very detailed information looking up medical and surgical codes and applying conventions and exclusion notes to arrive at the correct code for reimbursement. The classes typically relate to the following coding systems:

  • Basic Current Procedural Technology (CPT).
  • Basic International Classification of Diseases-10th revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM).
  • Basic International Classification of Diseases-10th revision, Procedure Coding System (ICD-10-PCS).
  • Advanced Coding (All systems).

A section can be set up each week for general HIM tutoring, and then 3 medical coding tutoring sections. Using distinct sections enables the student to get the targeted, focused attention to the specific subject. Within each listing tutors include a link for the student to click on the web session:

Week 1 Tutoring
General HIM subjects Wednesday, 6-7 PM EST & Saturday 7-8 PM EST
Basic CPT Coding Thursday 4-6 PM EST & Sunday& 7-8 PM EST
Basic ICD-10-CM  Coding Friday & Sunday 7-8 PM EST
Basic ICD-10-PCS Coding Wednesday Noon–1 PM EST & Saturday 7-8 PM EST
Advanced Coding Saturday 8-9 PM EST & Sunday 3-4 PM EST

How Can I Set Up Tutors?

Check with your institution to see if it will compensate the current instructors some extra funds to serve as tutors for the term or school year. In some cases, tutors receive a portion of a set adjunct salary. Tutors will serve in the areas they know best. In some cases, tutors may be the actual instructor for the class. The instructor knows the material in the class the best, so that often works well. As a rule, instructors love mentoring and tutoring can be very rewarding. Setting up a tutoring course shell is fairly simplistic once a tutoring schedule has been established.

So How Is Tutoring Conducted Online?

Instructors set up the links in the system in advance for their own sessions at the scheduled dates and times. Students are given some written direction on the tutoring page that includes a note to log on early so the session will start on time without a lot of distraction from late comers. Students are informed that tutoring is not the place to gain answers for their homework that is due. The session should enable them to find the pathway to answer the questions on their own.

The tools are in place for tutoring that are commonly used in a live class web session. Instructors can upload a pre-prepared PowerPoint, play and discuss a brief video, go to a website to use tools such as a medical encoder (for coding) or use a white board to illustrate examples or work through problems. Instructors can review the basic areas of concern and questions that arise in a question and answer period.

Tutoring sessions can be recorded and posted, so students can replay the session as often as needed. Some students are shy about speaking at a live web session, so they can listen in the background or play the recording. Students that missed the session can gain information by reviewing the recording.

Tutoring gives students a chance to be face-to-face with the tutor and classmates and participate in discussion. The questions one student asks may answer questions other students had. At times, a student may grasp the information better If the tutor is a different person from their instructor.

Online programmatic tutoring is another great tool in the instructor’s toolbox to facilitate student success. It can easily be designed within a Learning Management System as a course and has a relatively low cost in terms of tutor fees. It can be offered free to students. A win-win situation for the school and the student!