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Improving Student Success with Online Embedded Tutor Support in First-Year Subjects


Institutional commitment to the student experience in the early stages of university has the greatest potential to exceed student expectations. The cross-institutional Embedded Tutors Program provides undergraduate students with access to subject content experts from 12 first-year subjects across a regional university. Tutors provide one-on-one draft assessment feedback in subjects with a large written assessment task. A total of 428 students attended 615 tutor sessions held online via Zoom. Students who met with a tutor had higher average assessment marks and cumulative subject marks than those students who did not attend a session. Feedback from students was positive, with 78% of students rating the tutor session “extremely helpful.” This study provides evidence of the value of subject-specific draft assessment feedback for students in first-year subjects.

Published: 2022-07-06
Pages:42 to 50
Section:Practice Reports
How to Cite
Linden, K., Teakel, S., & Van der Ploeg, N. (2022). Improving Student Success with Online Embedded Tutor Support in First-Year Subjects. Student Success, 13(2), 42-50.

Author Biographies

Charles Sturt University
Australia Australia

Dr. Kelly Linden is the Senior Retention Lead in the Division of Student Success at Charles Sturt University. Kelly completed her PhD in Physiology at the University of Melbourne in 2008 and later that year joined the academic team in the School of Community Health at Charles Sturt.  Kelly is currently involved in a number of research projects focused on improving student retention and engagement.

Charles Sturt University
Australia Australia

Sarah completed a PhD at Charles Sturt in 2021 in Cell Biology and Protein Biochemistry, and has been involved in teaching and tutoring in the School of Dentistry and Medical Sciences. Sarah has a current role as the Embedded Tutors Academic Coordinator where she assists the Retention Team in embedding tutors into key first-year undergraduate subjects to increase student engagement. Sarah has been involved in the training and support of tutors, evaluation of the Embedded Tutors Program, data analysis and research.

Charles Sturt University
Australia Australia
Mr Neil Van der Ploeg is an Academic Lead for the Retention Team in the Division of Student Success at Charles Sturt University (Albury Campus). Neil graduated from Charles Sturt with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy in 2011. He has experience teaching large first year service taught subjects and since 2019 has been combining his understanding of education and data to identify and support disengaged students.
Open Access Journal
ISSN 2205-0795