December 9, 2018

BY CHRIS HUSSEY

When Rose Galdamez booked a writing appointment over the phone with the Learning Commons last semester, she was happy with the experience.

“They’re very nice in there … and I had an excellent appointment,” she said.

However, when she tried to book a math appointment with one of the many tutors through the department, she found it a lot more frustrating this time around.

“The problem stems from the fact that they’re no longer accepting appointments over the phone (for tutoring),” she said. “The online system is not user-friendly.”

It all started when Galdamez, a second-year personal support worker to practical nursing bridge student, tried to book an appointment through the Virtual Learning Commons website. She found the booking process difficult, so she visited the Learning Commons the next day and a staff member worked with her to help her book two appointments before an upcoming exam.

However, when she came in for what she expected was the first of the two appointments, she was told that the staff member had made an error and booked the appointment on another day.

Galdamez said that’s when it hit a breaking point for her.

“I was really upset,” she said. “I wasted a whole hour of my time.”

When she was finally able to meet with the tutor, she said it was “fantastic” and really helpful. However, she said the online booking process needs to be changed and made easier.

Lisa Bauman is a Peer Services consultant at the Learning Commons, and while she was not able to comment specifically on Galdamez’s case, she said there is a broad range of comfort with technology within the student body at Conestoga and that other students may have had a better experience booking a tutor.

“We know that there may be students who may find it very difficult, but we also have a lot of feedback where students say, ‘Oh yeah, it’s simple and straightforward and I knew how to do it.’”
For students like Galdamez who may not find it as straightforward, Bonnie Lipton-Bos, manager of the Learning Commons, said students can also come in to get hands-on assistance.
“The staff members at the front desk will get right on the computer with the student and help them book the appointment if it’s difficult for them.”

Galdamez said at the end of the day, she just wants to voice her concerns so that other students get the best experience at the Learning Commons.

“I just want to find common ground and raise awareness in the hopes that they take my feedback … and really make an effort to help students succeed and pass their courses.”

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