Online Tutoring Becoming More Prevalent

 

This year, I have found that many of my students have been choosing to work with me remotely (online). In fact there is a general trend toward online tutoring as per this article: https://thejournal.com/articles/2016/09/30/online-tutoring-market-expected-to-grow-6.15-percent-over-next-four-years.aspx

I have been thinking about this, and have come up with several possible reasons for the shift.

It is evident that, as online courses and online tutoring become more prevalent, students are starting to see the advantages that remote tutoring provides. Of the most self-evident reasons that students choose online tutoring, the flexibility factor is certainly one of the most prominent. With online tutoring, students and their families don’t have to make elaborate travel plans in order to attend a session. The tutoring session happens wherever the student is. With many schools now having WIFI, the tutoring lesson can actually take place in the student’s school, perhaps during a spare block or break. This means that the tutoring session can occur closer to the time the material was taught initially, and can also free up students’ time for other things.

Also, remote learning through online courses and distance learning programs partner well with remote tutoring. In remote tutoring situations, those taking online courses are already comfortable with the online learning experience. It is also true that often the support available to students through the online teaching process is less than what is available to them in the classroom. The teacher in an online course may be available for questions or respond to emails only rarely, if at all. At this point, outside support frequently becomes necessary.

Online tutoring also allows technology to be seamlessly integrated in a lesson or session. When I’m in my office with my headphones on, standing in front of my SMART Board, I’m able to provide demonstrations for the student with whom I’m working remotely as though they were sitting in front of me in my office. At the same time, I can bring in multimedia such as pictures, graphs, videos or other tools that provide good examples or learning aids. There is so much good material out there for learning!

However one of the problems students have these days is that there is sometimes too much material online that becomes difficult to sift through in order to find quality learning tools and demonstrations. A lot of time can be wasted trying to find a good learning tool. A tutor can provide quality tools and demonstrations, leaving the student with more time to focus on the lesson at hand.

For those who aren’t familiar with SMART boards, they are interactive touch screens that hang on the wall of an office or classroom. They are white boards that are somewhat like huge iPads. My SMART board sits on my wall, and I’m able to draw on it like I would in a classroom. But I’m also able to put up videos, applets, graphs, images, drawings, moving functions, and so much more. This greatly enhances the session and the learning experience of any student or group. It can be used as easily in a remote tutoring session as in a face-to-face session.