Online Learning Assistant Program (OLA)

Request an OLA Here
How to incorporate an ola

We are glad you are interested in the Online Learning Assistant Program (OLA). We know that sometimes it is difficult to give all your online students the one on one support that they may need.

Our Online Learning Assistants (embedded tutors) work closely with instructors to support the achievement of student learning outcomes and foster engagement with course material and challenging course concepts. They provide an additional layer of support for you and your students. OLAs can provide support for both writing intensive and test-based courses.

OLAs are hired and extensively trained by CAPS and are provided at no cost for your course.

Learning Assistants Provide

Academic Support

  • Engage in difficult course material with students.
  • Provide opportunities to deepen content.
  • Encourage students to think critically about the subject.
  • Lead group or one-on-one tutorials/discussions on the content covered in the course.
  • Provide feedback on student writing or other assignments.

Online Setting Support

  • Model appropriate netiquette.
  • Share successful online learning/academic strategies for students.
  • Show students how to maximize the benefits of online learning.
  • Participate in online discussions to encourage active construction of knowledge.

Building Community

  • Model and encourage communication between students in the course.
  • Provide online group review sessions for the class through Collaborate.
  • Help promote and model diversity and inclusion among learners.

Frequently Asked Questions About the OLA Program

As OLAs support your course we ask that you make the following commitments:

  • Work closely with your OLA, and communicate on a weekly basis. Communication between tutor and instructor is key for the OLA program. This can take place online or in person.
Embedding the Learning Assistant
  • Participate in a one-hour OLA orientation, before the start of the semester.
  • Incorporate the OLA into your curriculum. Your EL Course Designer and CAPS staff can provide one on one support if this is your first time embedding a tutor into your course (during the orientation and throughout the semester).
  • Provide opportunities for the OLA to interact with your students through assignments, review sessions etc.

Here are some characteristics:

  • Your course is a fully online course offered through Main Campus.
  • The curriculum for your course allows for minor adjustments to incorporate the tutor.
  • Your course has frequent, scaffolded and/or challenging assignments.
  • Your course is considered a General Education course.

  • An OLA offers students in your course the perspective of an experienced student.
  • Through a peer tutoring model, OLAs can build community among online students.
  • It can help expose students to tutoring who may not seek it otherwise.
  • UNM courses with an OLA (embedded tutor) on average have higher retention rates.

OLAs are not able to:

  • Act in place of or as a Teaching Assistant.
  • Teach new concepts the course instructor has not already introduced.
  • Grade quizzes, exams, or final papers.
  • Enforce class management or discipline policies.

  • Due to the limited number of OLAs available we will accommodate courses based on fit and on a first come first served basis.
  • You can request an OLA HERE and our Manager for Online Academic Support will be in contact with you.

  • Please contact Dayra Fallad-Mendoza, CAPS Manager for Online Learning