By our guest blogger, Ryan Thompson.
Of all the questions that arise when selecting a tutor, where and when used to be the easiest; either the tutor or the tutee’s residence.
Online tutoring, however, opens up a whole new range of possibilities – and questions. Principally, is online tuition a different experience than being taught face-to-face?
A survey, commissioned by The Tutor Pages and released earlier this year, suggests the convenience of flexible times and locations (alongside better technology) means there is growing enthusiasm for e-tuition amongst tutors, parents and tutees.
It has become possible – with a humble webcam – to eliminate travelling and reach bigger and more diverse groups of tutors (or students).
The benefits of online tutoring are being felt by both rural and urban areas: London has the highest proportion of tutors working online, followed by the South East and the South West.
With up to 12 children competing for each place at grammar schools, this access to as wide a range of tutors as possible, is especially important.
Online tuition is typically delivered over a service such as Skype. However, it can also include auxiliary services, including tools such as the online classroom Edmodo, interactive “whiteboards” such as Scribblar and of course it makes marking work more flexible too.
These tools operate as a support centre for students to pose questions and work interactively in-between formal sessions.
So does it feel different? Children are ever more familiar with technology, and being able to learn from your own space may feel more comfortable than travelling to meet with a tutor.
But what is most interesting is, of the survey respondents who were only taught online, the majority stated it was either ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ beneficial to improving learning.
It was more mixed amongst those who had only experienced face-to-face sessions. Yet, there may be happy medium, as some responses said online tuition worked well in tandem with face-to-face sessions. In some cases, most sessions were conducted online alongside regular face-to-face meetings a few weeks apart.
Importantly, the child’s parents still meet the tutor and build a rapport, but don’t miss out on the mutual benefits of more flexible teaching schedule.
If there are any major criticisms of this survey, however, it is the lack of the responses from children.
E-tuition is an interesting new step in tutoring, which we at Beam Tuition are getting well-acquainted with. Now that major universities such as Harvard are offering so-called “MOOCs” (massive, online-only courses) for students who are not enrolled at the campus, it is certainly not just a passing fad.
Are you looking for a tutor; online or face-to-face? Beam Tuition has a 100% record of getting children through the 11+ exam and we are proud to offer flexible and attentive tutoring. We follow developments in the tutoring industry to talk through what’s best with clients and offer the right solutions. For all enquiries, Contact Us.