Q&A with Student Partner Amelia Barker

Amelia Barker

Student at Southeastern Louisiana University majoring in Accounting.

Q&A with Student Partner Amelia Barker

Why do you think the Student Partner program is so effective?

The intimidation factor is a real thing for students, and there are some students who are scared to death to talk to professors. I’m not a graduate assistant or a professor—I’m a student too, and other students are much more likely to listen to someone who has been through the course, been in the same seat as they are, and is much more real with them than their professor. The truth is, most students listen to me before they listen to their teacher!

How do you help the students in your course?

I help them with anything regarding how to optimize their WileyPLUS experience. As Student Partners, we are trained to answer questions concerning anything from registration all the way to how to get the most out of ORION. It is all about making sure the students get the maximum benefit from WileyPLUS.

What’s the relationship between a Student Partner and the instructor like?

If you’re doing your job right as a Student Partner, it should be a symbiotic relationship where everyone is benefitting from the program. Instructors feel like they have someone on their side, and they get insight into their students’ views and can tailor their lesson plans accordingly. I act as an intermediary between instructors and the students—something you can only get with a program like this.

How have you as a Student Partner helped your instructors?

Sometimes instructors don’t feel confident implementing new software for their course, and even if they are comfortable with technology, they may be afraid of student questions that they can’t answer. Most of the questions about technology come to me. And that’s so comforting for the professor to know that someone who is used to the software can answer students’ questions. I’m there to help my professors.

What are typical questions you get about WileyPLUS?

Students often don’t understand what ORION can do, and they don’t know what adaptive practice means. But once I explain that ORION is different and that it’s truly a study tool, they change their mindset from thinking, “This is a waste of my time” to “This actually is going to help me prepare, and I’m willing to put in the time.” I’ve had so many students tell me that they wished they knew more about ORION at the start of the semester, so I decided to do an ORION presentation a week before the first test, and students said that was so helpful.

Can you give an example of when you helped a student?

I got an email from a student late one night with the subject line: “Help, ASAP!” I emailed her back right away, which surprised her because it was really late. I was able to help her that night, and she turned her homework in on time. A lot of students don’t want to email their teacher that late at night for fear that their teacher will think they are procrastinating, so it’s less intimidating to email another student.

What do you like most about the Student Partner program?

My favorite thing about this program is how unique it is. It’s beneficial not only to the students, but also the professors. Connecting students to their professors through Student Partners is a distinctive characteristic, and it is only achievable through this program. It allows a special connection to form between instructors and students, instructors and Student Partners, and the Student Partner and students.