Although Discord is most commonly used for gaming, juniors Chelsea Wu and Zayn Siddique made use of this platform over the break to help prepare students for their AP tests.
DB Relief, an online tutoring service, was created on March 18 with the objective of giving other Diamond Bar High School students an opportunity to review the material of classes such as Calculus AB/BC, Physics 1 and Biology. In terms of using Discord to video chat other people, it’s similar to Zoom, where students could see the teacher and use the texting feature to ask questions. The last session of the service was held on April 17.
Tutors were designated to teach a certain subject depending on how comfortable they felt with the material, with many of them teaching classes that they have been taking this school year. Wu taught AP Calculus BC, AP Computer Science A and all levels of Spanish while Siddique taught AP US History, AP Language and Composition and AP Computer Science.
“I wanted to provide some assistance for those who needed it, especially since these are all uncharted waters for all of us,” Wu said via Instagram. “The objective of our service is to help students who may feel unconfident or unsure and want extra help as we approach AP testing season.”
Wu said she started off her computer science and calculus classes by giving her students warmup questions and exercises to complete. Her main objective for the lesson was to expand on what students already knew and address any questions they had regarding the material.
Before each lesson, Wu reviewed the questions and work she planned to give her students. She said that this allowed her to gain a thorough understanding of the material in order to provide assistance to whoever needed it.
Since Wu had two to five people in each class, she didn’t find it difficult to teach students who learn at different paces. To ensure each person understood the lesson, she asked students individually for their answers as well as an explanation as to why they chose it.
“The response and explanation they give me allows me to gauge their level of understanding,” Wu said. “I do not mind slowing down for any student, and going over content multiple times allows my other students to hear these concepts again and reinforce their understanding as well.”
Similar to Wu, Siddique utilized online resources to help devise a lesson plan for his APUSH students to follow. He also utilized the homework assignments he has received throughout the year to help him make powerpoints for his students.
Siddique said he considered English to be an easier class to prepare for, since he just gave essay prompts to students to improve their writing skills. Although it was a challenge to convey all of the details of the lessons online, Siddique said he believes each student took it upon themselves to understand the subjects he taught to the best of their ability.
“For the humanities, it is as simple as leaving specific feedback on a writing assignment to make it apparent where the student could make improvements,” Siddique said via Instagram. “It is difficult to ensure students all understand the material the first time around, but the students that attend are very self-motivated, and I trust that if they need help they’ll either ask in the moment or find the right time to.”
Junior Kenny Chow started using DB Relief on March 21. While he considered DB Relief as a helpful resource for reviewing APUSH and chemistry, he pointed out that since it’s a student-run service that’s free, the tutors weren’t as detailed about the lesson as a teacher would be.
“DB Relief has done a fairly good job of preparing me for some of my tests,” Chow said. “They have provided a good amount of resources, especially for APUSH… its teaching comprehensiveness can’t exactly be compared to a paid tutor but it’s still decent.”
Chow said he is worried about scoring well on his tests due to the ambiguity of online exams. However, as the tutoring service taught its last lesson, Siddique and Wu said they hoped DB Relief helped alleviate the amount of stress DBHS students have about taking their tests.
“I’ve had the feeling where I felt like I was in a good spot for an AP test… and I didn’t do as well as I thought I should have,” Siddique said. “My goal is for anyone I help to not experience that feeling.”