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Privatized v. Academic Online Tutoring: Determining the Effectiveness of Platforms

Testing Online TutoringOnline tutoring may be a constant of the tutoring landscape, but the question of effectiveness remains. Which organizations are best prepared to meet the needs of students: writing centers affiliated with universities or “professional” tutoring agencies, such as Pearson-Smarthinking? It is this question I intend to address in conducting a proposed experiment.Important Background Information  The concept most central to this proposed experiment is that of knowledge claims. In his book Reformers, Teachers, Writers: Curricular and Pedagogical Inquiries, Neal Lerner identifies the three primary types of knowledge claims that appear in a writing center:  “writerly knowledge,” “emotional knowledge,” and “role knowledge” (Lerner 115).  “Role knowledge” is arguably the most important knowledge claim (Lerner 115).  While analyzing transcripts of student sessions, Lerner noticed there was a correlation between the presence of “role knowledge” claims and the “success” of t…

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