Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

October 4, 2012

Students using tutor program

EFFINGHAM —     A growing number of students are getting free help with their homework thanks to Helen Matthes Library’s revamped online tutor program.

    The increased help is attributed to the new program the library is using after noticing the previous one wasn’t bringing in any new users.

    For the past four years, the library has offered online homework help that places students with a one-on-one tutor in real time. Students with a library card can access the program from anywhere.

    However, the number of students using the service has remained stagnant. In an effort to broaden the service and increase usage, the library changed to a new provider this year and response is growing.

    Since launching Brainfuse HelpNow, the number of people using the program has dramatically increased. In the first two months of the new program, July and August, 82 people logged on. The number of users is already on pace to exceed the yearly average of 200 users in the past four years.

    “It’s definitely up,” said Library Information Coordinator Shannon Wascher of the improved program.

    One of the biggest improvements is elimination of wait time.

    Previously, those logging on to the program  would wait one to five minutes to receive help.

    “When you’re sitting in front of a computer, it gets frustrating,” said Wascher.

    With tutors on standby, the program virtually eliminates that frustration.

    “There’s always enough to meet the demands of the students,” said Wascher.

    Students also are given more time to access the site. The addition of two hours allows students to log on anytime between 2 and 11 p.m.

    Another change allows students for the first time to receive one-on-one help in Spanish and practice tests on other subjects.

    “They can take practice tests on any subject at any grade level,” said Wascher. “They can do it on their own time, and it doesn’t require a tutor.”

    The tests provide skill building lessons geared toward a topic.

    “If they have trouble with a certain topic like run-on sentences, the tutor can give them practice questions,” said Wascher.

    Students may view the results, repeat the test or take a similar one.

    Feedback, provided through an online voluntary survey, has been positive, according to Wascher.

    “When asked if they’re glad we offer the service and would recommend it, 100 percent responded yes,” she said.

    The subject visitors to the site are seeking help most in is math. The survey revealed 95 percent of those utilizing the program are being tutored in math.

    The website also offers something for adults.

    Those studying to get their GED can take a practice test on the website and get help with U.S. Citizenship test, resumes or Microsoft Office.

    Other services include essay feedback and ACT and SAT prep.

Text Only
Local News
  • Man fatally shot in Pana standoff, officer wounded

    Illinois State Police(ISP) and Christian County Sheriff's Office are investigating a shooting that occurred on Tuesday, July 29, in rural Christian County that involved ISP SWAT, a Pana Police officer and an armed offender.

    July 29, 2014

  • City to determine contribution A request by Effingham Park District representatives for a million dollars to help construct the Richard E. Workman Sports and Wellness Center is being considered at a special Effingham City Council meeting this evening.Some commissioners questioned

    July 29, 2014

  • 7-29 Filming PRIMARY Effingham grad returns to make film Travis Long says he learned a lot from directing his first full-length feature several years ago.“Kill Me Now was a learning experience, both in shooting and distribution,” the 1998 Effingham High School graduate said.With a full production crew and

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • McCarter.jpg Some lawmakers donate pay

    Illinois lawmakers restoring their pay after years of furlough days has prompted some state representatives to give back to their communities — a move some local lawmakers call a political one.

    July 27, 2014 3 Photos

  • Distance learning catching on in area

    In what appears to be a growing trend among rural school districts, a third area school district may join an existing academic cooperative.

    July 27, 2014

  • Joshua Robison.jpg Opinion: God doesn't care about party affiliation

    Reflecting on what we politely refer to in this country as “political discourse,” I am often struck by how convinced many people seem to be that their sides' specific policies and personalities are the only way to save us all from utter ruin.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ron W.jpg Opinion: Column break just that -- a break

    ‘Hey, Ron. You didn’t have a column this week. What’s the deal? It’s the reason I buy a paper on Thursdays.”

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Isom.jpg Opinion: It's about time

    Finally, someone else speaks up and it’s about time.
    I applaud Ron Worman and welcome him to take a seat on my bandwagon. His addressing the proliferation of signs of every description, virtually everywhere one looks, is a welcome additional voice — even though rare.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Feds: Effingham County was meeting place for underage sex tryst

    An Ohio man has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that he traveled out of state to meet an underage person in Effingham County for sexual activity.

    July 25, 2014

  • Jail inmate attempts suicide

    An unscheduled cell check is credited for saving the life of an Effingham County Jail inmate who tried to hang himself early Thursday morning.

    July 25, 2014

AP Video

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.