U Florida Student Government Updates Facebook App for Tutor Matching
- By Dian Schaffhauser
A Facebook-based service developed by the University of Florida student government to help students and private tutors find each other has just been updated. Tutor Matching Service (TMS) was launched in 2009 and currently helps arrange and collect payment for 50 to 100 hours of tutoring a week. The latest version of the service, which is available to any student with a Facebook account, adds the ability for tutors to display an introductory YouTube video.
"There are a lot of great tutors out there," said student government President Jordan Johnson. "But often they don't know how to connect to the students that most need their services. Students have difficulty locating tutors, and they may have concerns about the quality of the tutor, the safety of the situation, payment, etc. And tutors have no way of accepting credit cards or providing an easy way for students to book appointments. This service solves all of those problems and turns an informal process into a professional one. There's a much higher likelihood of a successful connection now."
Students can find tutors by name, subject, or specific course codes and view a calendar of available tutoring slots. Users can purchase and schedule individual sessions or packages of multiple sessions. Tutor biographies link to each tutor's personal profile page in Facebook.
The application includes a rating system with a restriction that allows only students who have paid for a tutoring session with a particular tutor to leave feedback for that tutor. The system also allows groups of students to split the hourly rate for a tutor.
The service is available to colleges, universities, and high schools for $250 annually. Students and tutors pay no fee to participate. Currently, both the University of Florida and the University of Central Florida are using the application.
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.