Every semester at Michigan, I, along with my friends, would spend countless hours and too many long nights at the UGLI, toiling away just to find the best way to study for a certain class. And just when it seemed like we had found a rhythm and felt we had “mastered” that class, the semester would end, and we would have to start all over again. Though the information I gained from every class I took was invaluable, I often found myself, after finals, asking: What am I going to do with all this very specific knowledge? What is knowledge good for, if it is not being shared? Wouldn’t it be great if I could go back in time and tell my “syllabus-week self” exactly how to prepare for this class and its exams?
That is when I realized that the best college tutors are not the professional tutors with years of experience. The best college tutors are the real experts: your peers. They have recently experienced what you are going through, so they can relate to your struggles, and their knowledge is much more relevant than that of a professional tutor whose understanding of the material is broader.
I was able to confirm my theory about the benefits of peer tutoring by taking advantage of the Science Learning Center (SLC) on campus, a very helpful center for science peer tutors. But as valuable as the SLC and other organizations like it are, I found their group session formats and timing inconvenient. I also struggled to find peer tutoring opportunities in non-science subjects, since there aren’t many other services like the SLC for other areas of study. So, convinced by the power of peer tutoring, frustrated by the lack of peer tutors at the university, and motivated by the desire to improve and give back to the community that had given me so much over the years, I decided to create the app that I wished I had throughout my college career: TOOTR.
TOOTR is a tutor-matching web app tailored for peer-to-peer tutoring on college campuses. It provides a convenient platform for individuals who are not necessarily professional tutors and can offer their experience and expertise. They’ve excelled in certain subjects and can help their peers, who are looking for relatable tutors. TOOTR also creates a unique opportunity for students who are interested in gaining experience in the education industry, and/or are simply trying to make a little cash. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take advantage of this app, since I was not able to launch it before graduating in May, but I am happy to announce that it is now live. We could not be more excited to share it with students on campus!
If you’re living around Ann Arbor and interested in connecting with and tutoring current U-M students, check out TOOTR’s website here.