Peer tutoring teaches computer science, skills
By Cazzy Lewchuk, Staff Writer
Working with computers is a task students will face almost constantly. It extends far beyond complicated programs relating directly to a computer science class; even simple tasks like formatting in Microsoft Word or creating a PowerPoint presentation are challenges a student may face in a class. The basic skills involved in working a computer are often misunderstood or unknown by a surprising number of people. That’s where tutors at the Douglas College Learning Centre step in.
Located in room A1040 at the Coquitlam campus, and in the library at the New Westminster campus, the Learning Centre offers free tutoring from experienced tutors on almost any subject—including the computer skills department.
Among the 25 Douglas College students who work between the two campuses, there are four who specialize in computer science and technology. These tutors are the ones who can help with a specific computer question, for those enrolled within courses in the Computer Sciences program or just anyone who needs a tune-up on how to use a computer.
The services offered by computer skills tutors go far beyond just this field. Any questions relating to using the Internet or a computer program can be directed to them: this can include adding animations to a PowerPoint presentation, adding page numbers to a Word document, or creating a graph in Excel. Accessing the Internet for academic work can be a challenge, too. Students can also learn from these tutors how to access and use Blackboard, MyDouglas, or their student email.
Monika Sharma, a second-year Computer Science student, is one of the four computer skills tutors at the Learning Centre. Her specialization in tutoring includes programming, computer languages, and general computer skills. She told the Other Press, “While I assist computer science majors or those taking a CSIS [Computing Science and Information Systems] class, I also help with many accounting or business majors with Excel.”
Sharma plans to continue her computer science studies and find a job in the field in the future. She shares the computer skills desk with the three other computer skills tutors. The computer skills desk offers walk-up help for quick computer-related questions, such as how to attach a file to an email and how to create an APA header. In addition, 25 or 50-minute appointments can be made for more in-depth tutoring sessions on computer-related questions.
The Learning Centre also offers a study group for computer sciences, specifically focussing on Windows Programming and the course CSIS 1175. This group meets in the Learning Centre at the Coquitlam campus on Thursdays from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
To book an appointment at the Learning Centre, you can book an appointment online at www.douglascollege.ca/learningcentre