AKRON, Ohio — Finding a tutor during a time when in-person connection is challenging. An app is helping students connect with the help they need. 

What You Need To Know

  • Business students at the University of Akron are using 'on-demand' tutoring, through the "Knack" App

  • The app allows students to browse their classes and a list of tutors available

  • The service is free to students and the tutors receive payments

Aurelia Turner pulls out her laptop, takes a seat and looks for students in need of her help.

“Tutoring is just a great way to help students in general. It’s a great resource. I know as a college student, especially right now, it’s kind of lonely, and you feel like you might not have a lot of people or a lot of help," Turner says. 

With the pandemic making in-person connections harder, the third-year accounting student found a way to tutor online.

“Normally if a student wants to schedule a session, they can post a session online and they specifically put down the course they want, maybe when they’re available, if they want to do repeated sessions or just a one time session.”

She’s using the on demand app called Knack which allows students to browse their classes and a list of University of Akron tutors like Turner, who can help them with homework or studying.

“The advantage of Knack is a great way to just be flexible in order to get help on classes and being with peers when you do it, too. So, it’s less intimidating than maybe talking to a professor or having a peer student that also has gone through the same class, has had the same experiences, kind of understands the material more from a student perspective.”

Dr. Susan Hanlon is the Dean for the College of Business Administration. She says of the 31 years she's been with the university, the pandemic has been a challenge like no other.

“The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. It is the hardest thing we’ve been through. And because it’s health-related, it’s scary.”

So having an app like Knack is helpful, especially with limited in-person learning.

“Online learning is more difficult for students. And I think they are having a harder time managing their time, and frankly, disciplining themselves enough, and so it’s just so much different than the face-to-face environment that I feel like students need more help than they would in the traditional face to face environment.”

When a student opens up the app, they can find ratings for each tutor, who also get paid while the services are free to the student.

"I have five stars and eight different ratings and reviews, and I can go in there, too. I have a really great student that I work with, so he really supports me, which is great," Turner said about the positive reviews she's received.