Combatting COVID-19 Learning Loss with Online Tutoring

Parents and educators agree that the COVID learning loss issue is real. A new report from ABC News states that “As millions of students return to virtual classrooms after the holidays, new research reveals how the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted learning and skills retention nationwide that experts say could take years to overcome.” Students are experiencing gaps in understanding, skills, and knowledge that will have far reaching impacts on their academic progress.

Margaret Raymond, director of the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University said, “We found that the learning loss experience was quite pervasive, that almost all students were negatively impacted by the pandemic and pivot to remote learning,” The Stanford researchers estimate that students have already lost half a year in reading and more than a full year in math learning since the pandemic began.

Sixty-six percent of teachers in one national survey, conducted by the RAND Corporation in conjunction with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said their students are less prepared for grade-level work now compared to this point last year.

One-on-One Online Tutoring Helps Students Get Ahead

With kids spending a lot of time online for school, it may seem counterintuitive to suggest that they would benefit from online tutoring. The evidence, however, shows that virtual tutoring may produce the same benefits as in-person tutoring. Scientific American reports that studies show students making impressive gains after online tutoring. Author Philip Oreopoulos, Distinguished Professor in Economics of Education Policy at the University of Toronto, recently analyzed 96 randomized evaluations of different tutoring models with a group of his colleagues. They found that “80 percent of the studies led to markedly improved outcomes, with more than half of the studies reporting large gains as a result of these programs.”

To minimize the risk of face-to-face interaction during a pandemic, online tutoring programs are gaining in popularity and are proving to be highly effective. An evaluation of one online tutoring program in Italy showed that “middle school students who received three hours of online tutoring a week—over a computer, tablet or smartphone—from trained university students saw a 4.7 percent boost in performance in math, English and Italian. With six hours of tutoring support, improvement doubled.”

One of the reasons that online school is so stressful for students is because they get very little individual help and tend to be reluctant or embarrassed to ask questions in the online group setting. Older students are getting inundated with homework assignments they are expected to complete independently, and younger students are having problems staying engaged in group settings. When one teacher/tutor works with one student at a time, this problem is eliminated, and students get the personalized, direct help they need.

An experienced teacher can conduct the same high quality personalized tutoring sessions in a virtual format that they can when meeting in person. As student and teacher get to know each other and build rapport, the teacher is able to customize the learning experience to suit that student’s needs and learning style.

Find out more about TutorUp’s online tutoring services, where all of our tutors are certified, experienced, background-checked teachers who know how to teach.