Smarthinking

Smarthinking, founded in 1998, is an online tutoring service headquartered in Washington, D.C. that provides tutoring services to over 300 colleges and universities throughout the United States.

What subjects does Smarthinking cover?

Who are the Smarthinking tutors?

Why does Empire State College use Smarthinking?

What types of tutoring are offered?

How does OCAS monitor the quality of Smarthinking’s tutoring services?

How well has Smarthinking been serving our students so far?

How do students register for Smarthinking services?

What does a tutorial session look like?

What subjects does Smarthinking cover?

Smarthinking provides tutoring in the following subject areas:

  • Mathematics and Statistics: (basic math to calculus)

  • Spanish: (introductory to intermediate levels)
  • Writing: (undergraduate to graduate levels, includes ELL/ESL writing)
  • Science: (introductory undergraduate level sciences—biology, chemistry, and physics)
  • Business: (introductory undergraduate level accounting, economics, and finance)

Who are the Smarthinking tutors?

Smarthinking's staff of 600-700 part-time tutors includes active college faculty, retired faculty, and adjuncts of which 90% have a Master’s or Ph.D. in the discipline they tutor. The remaining 10% are graduate assistants with teaching experience. All participate in required initial and ongoing online training programs in technological and instructional skills. Smarthinking’s tutors are trained to guide students toward a clearer understanding of the content.

Why does Empire State College use Smarthinking?

Smarthinking tutoring services extends our ability to provide students with access to academic support services in the following ways:

  • Students can access Smarthinking tutors beyond the times when Empire State College centers are open.
  • Students can access Smarthinking tutors when work or family commitments may prevent them from getting help from Empire State College center staff.
  • Students can get tutoring help at the moment it is most needed.
  • Tutoring is available in a large number of subjects and with multiple modalities real-time, essay submission, and question submission.
  • Using Smarthinking is a cost effective way to provide a wide range of tutoring services to our students regardless of their geographic location.

What types of tutoring are offered?

Smarthinking offers the following types of tutoring services: 

Real Time Sessions

  • “Drop-in” tutoring allow students to login to the Smarthinking web site and interact with a tutor via chat or an electronic whiteboard without making an appointment.
  • Students can sign up for appointments to meet with tutors in real-time.

Questions and Essay Submission

  • Students can submit questions and receive a response within 24 hours.
  • Students submit essays or papers to the writing center to receive a 30- or 60-minute critique.

How does OCAS monitor the quality of Smarthinking’s tutoring services?

The Office of College Academic Support monitors the quality of services being provided to our students through administrative access to their web site. We view monthly usage reports for the college as whole and by center, conduct monthly sampling and evaluations of session transcripts, conduct student satisfaction surveys (twice per year), and assist students who experience difficulty or have questions.

How well has Smarthinking been serving our students so far?

The following indicate that Smarthinking tutors have performed well to date.

  • Usage: Student use of Smarthinking tutors is strong. In November 2008 students initiated over 600 tutoring sessions. This involved more than 300 hours of tutoring time. (Strongest usage areas are in writing and math.)
  • Satisfaction: Student surveys indicate an overall satisfaction rating of 4.3 on a 5-point scale.
  • Effectiveness: Monthly evaluation of tutoring sessions sampled shows tutors are consistently professional and effective.

How do students register for Smarthinking services?

Students must register for Smarthinking services to use them for the first time. Students register by connecting to MYESC, clicking on the Learning Support tab, and then clicking on the Smarthinking Online Tutoring Service link. Once they have registered, they login to the Smarthinking home page to access services.

If you have questions about Smarthinking tutoring services, please contact 518-587-2100 ext. 2201