Math Support Center

The Math Support Center (MSC) seeks to provide learning support for students in any course with a mathematical or computer science component. The MSC employs a trained staff to assist in various kinds of peer tutoring. The forms of support offered include traditional drop-in peer tutoring, peer-led group study, peer-led work groups, and workshops. Located in the Buckman Library in Ohlendorf, the MSC endeavors to assist students in their studies as well as equip them with the tools to succeed in the classroom. The Center also investigates the effectiveness of various methods of learning support through qualitative evaluation of tutor effectiveness and Directed Inquiries into pedagogy.

 

Courses Supported

Currently the courses supported are:

Math 107 (Linear Methods),

Math 108 (Cryptology),

Math 111 (Elementary Probability and Statistics),

Math 115 (Applied Calculus),

Math 121 (Calculus I),

Math 122 (Calculus II),  

Computer Science 141 (Computer Science I),

Computer Science 142 (Computer Science II), and

Psychology 211 (Statistical Methods in Psychology).

 

Types of Tutoring

Drop-in

Drop-In tutoring sessions feature the traditional 1-on-1 peer tutoring, but tutors will also work with small groups of students. Sessions are scheduled by course, and the schedule can be seen here .

Working in the MSC

The work of the MSC is carried out by the peer tutors, the RSAP student director and the faculty director. The peer tutors undertake the task of helping students with their studies. They do this by leading study and work groups, and by conducting one-on-one, drop-in appointments. The student and faculty directors administrate and evaluate the MSC, as well as plan future innovations.

 

Being a Tutor

Generally tutors work for 2-4 hours per week and are currently paid $10 an hour. All tutors receive initial training, and can choose to take courses in Math Education. See “Course offerings for Tutors”.

To work as a tutor in the MSC, you will need to have taken a course similar to the one you wish to tutor, and obtain a recommendation from a Rhodes professor. If you would like to be a tutor, then please let your professor know of your interest.

If you would like further information, then please contact either Prof. Rachel Dunwell or Stefan McCarty.

Course Offerings for Tutors

Students who work in the Math Support Center enjoy a rich experience that can highlight the main themes in educational theory and practice. For those students who wish to fully exploit this opportunity, the MSC runs courses in math education and educational practice. Currently there are two courses, but more courses are planned. If any of you are interested in taking any of these courses then please contact Prof. Dunwell.

Applying Learning Theories to the Learning of Mathematics

Students who work in the Math Support Center enjoy a rich experience that can highlight the main themes in educational theory and practice. For those students who wish to fully exploit this opportunity, the MSC runs courses in math education and educational practice. Currently there are two courses, but more courses are planned. If any of you are interested in taking any of these courses then please contact Prof. Dunwell.

Additional Information

The Math Support Center seeks to provide support for all classes that fulfill the F6 Foundation Requirement of the Rhodes College Curriculum. The F6 requirement is as follows:

F6. Gain facility with mathematical reasoning and expression: Some human experiences are most effectively expressed in mathematical language, and important areas of intellectual inquiry rely on mathematics as a tool of analysis and as a means of conveying information.

 

Study Groups

Study groups are a relatively new feature for some MSC courses and we hope in the near future to expand them for other courses. At the beginning of the semester students are given the opportunity to request a study group of approximately five students. This group is assigned a tutor. The tutor’s role is to mentor the group on whatever aspects of the course the students wish to work on. The tutors and groups meet at a time and location of their choosing.

Forming a Study Group

The Math Support Center offers students in Math 121 and Math 111 the opportunity to be member of a mentored study group. Students who benefit most from study groups are those who

enjoy working with friend;

enjoy seeing how other people solve problems;

enjoy sharing their methods for solving problems;

learn a topic better if they talk about it; or 

to feel that “We′re all in this together” feeling.

What should you do to form a study group?

At the start of the semester, before the deadline given in your course syllabus

Get together with three to six people who are taking the same course as you, and who all want to work together for the whole semester.

Check that everyone is willing to attend a 30-minute to 60-minute group meeting every week. Have one person email Professor R. Dunwell with the names, email addresses and course section (the section number, or a list the lecture times) of everyone in the group.

 

Then what happens?

Professor Dunwell will reply to you with the name of your group′s mentor.

You will be asked to communicate, as a group, with your mentor to schedule the time for your weekly meetings.

The fun begins.

Notes:

It may be necessary to join smaller groups together, but this will happen only if it is absolutely necessary. No group will be larger than six students.

In the unlikely event of you missing three group meetings you will be asked to leave the group.

 

Work Groups

Work groups are an integral feature of the Applied Calculus course.   In the future, work groups may be used in other courses. Students assemble groups at the beginning of the semester and are then assigned a tutor. The groups are assigned weekly tasks by their professor; the tutor’s role is to assist the students in completing the task. Students receive course credit for this work. They meet weekly at a time and place of their choosing.

Workshops

Workshops are offered periodically by the Math Support Center, usually for specific technology components of courses. The most frequently offered workshop is for Mathematica.