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31 July 2020

Student and Writing Mentor Olga tells us how the online tutoring service Smarthinking has helped her

How are you settling into your studies this trimester? If you feel you need some help with any of your units, have a look at Smarthinking.

Smarthinking is an online tutoring service for Deakin students that allows you to reach out for assistance at any time that is convenient for you – 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Smarthinking allows you to work online in real-time – from any location, at any time of the day – with tutors specialising in a range of disciplines, including:

If you want feedback on your writing for an assignment, submit a draft of your writing and you will receive written feedback from Smarthinking within 24 hours.

You can book a session ahead of time, or ask to see a tutor ASAP (usually, you will be able to see a tutor within a few minutes). Your sessions will also be recorded, so you can review them again later. 

Arts student Olga Chatzigiannis

Curious to know more about how Smarthinking works? We spoke to student Olga Chatzigiannis (pictured), who is in her fifth year of studying a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Criminology at the Burwood Campus, about how Smarthinking has helped her.

How did you first hear about Smarthinking, and what first encouraged you to initiate contact with Smarthinking for advice?
As a Writing Mentor I inform students who come and see me about this service, so for me to best help students, I decided to submit one of my own difficult assignments to see how the service works, what kind of feedback I would receive, and how long it would take overall to submit my work and receive feedback.

What were your impressions during your time using Smarthinking?
Smarthinking is user-friendly and easily accessible. It is very easy to log in to the service and very easy to understand the submission process.

I like how it gives you the option to either choose a general tutor or one specialised in your field, and also that you get to either work with a tutor or just submit your assignment for feedback. Working with a tutor can increase students’ confidence and as a Writing Mentor, I see a lot of students needing reassurance that they are doing the right thing and that they are on the right track.

In what ways has using the Smarthinking service helped you?
Smarthinking has helped me to refine my writing, point me in the right direction and help me understand and learn from my mistakes. With the feedback I received, I was able to transfer this knowledge to students who came to me during my Writing Mentor shifts and help them build confidence.

How has Smarthinking been useful for you while we’ve been in lockdown/learning online this study period?
I believe that now that we are in lockdown, students need Smarthinking more than ever before.

During these difficult times students – especially first-year and international students – are struggling more than ever to understand academic writing and often, Writing Mentors don’t have all the knowledge to fully explain concepts to students. Language and Learning Advisers can sometimes be booked out due to high demand, so Smarthinking gives students personalised and tailored support based on their needs and can be used to provide assistance at times most convenient to them.

Why would you recommend other students use Smarthinking, and do you have any tips for others about getting the most out of using this resource?
I recommend Smarthinking to encourage students to use this service to get constructive feedback, refine their writing and respond to any gaps in their assignment before submission.

I also recommend it to help with assignment structure as tutors point students in the right direction.  And since Smarthinking gives you the option to speak with a specialised tutor, students can get helpful feedback about areas that are very central to the writing required in their discipline, which is really valuable. 

Want to know more?

For more information, check out this short video about using Smarthinking at Deakin. 

And remember, there’s also a wide range of other Study Support services available from Deakin throughout the academic year, including Writing Mentors and Maths Mentors. And if you would prefer some more personalised and tailored support, make an appointment online with a Language and Learning Adviser.

Visit Smarthinking now to explore the platform or book a session.

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