Technology and the Pirate Tutoring Center

Technology is changing the way the Pirate Tutoring Center does business at East Carolina University.

At ECU, tutors in the Pirate Tutoring Center (PTC) are utilizing new methods to deliver tutoring; the iPad and Tegrity, a desk top lecture capture recording system. In a recent article in EDUCAUSE Quarterly, Redfield and Larose describe an intelligent tutoring center as one that combines computer programs and face-to-face tutoring to better address the needs of all students desiring assistance. The vision for the PTC is to be a place where multiple educational resources are available and tutoring methods of delivery are a combination of online Tegrity recordings, iPad applications, bamboo tablets, and other innovative approaches to providing tutoring materials.

Through partnership with ECU’s IT Group and College STAR, PTC tutors began utilizing iPads, bamboo tablets, and Tegrity recordings to enhance tutoring sessions last semester. Tutor usage of technology has expanded this fall with the establishment of a new center location.

iPads are utilized in one-on-one, group, and large format tutoring sessions. Connecting iPads to LCD monitors changes the connection between tutor and tutee. No longer are tutors standing at a white board hovering above the tutees, the iPad allows for the tutor to remain seated while serving the tutees maintaining and equal relationship and status during the tutoring appointment. One tutor observed, “I am no longer the expert standing at a white board above my tutees, now my tutoring sessions have begun to be a more like a study group with an imbedded student who knows the concepts."

In a large group format setting, the iPad connected to a large LCD monitor allows tutors to present College STAR supported workshops to a larger group of students. In addition, the Bamboo Paper application allows tutors to import formulas, problems and solutions prior to a tutoring workshop to increase topics covered in the one hour workshop.

College STAR supported tutors are learning to use Tegrity lecture capture software that allows for recorded tutoring workshops to be added to a Blackboard course supporting specific courses. Tegrity recordings are allowing tutees to access tutoring course concepts and problem solutions anytime, anywhere. Student usage is being analyzed to measure the effectiveness of these new tutoring methods.


Carol Luckhardt Redfield, Gisele Larose. (2010), Intelligent Tutoring and Mentoring for Effective LearningEducause Online Review, 2012, 11/14/2012.