Not All Online Tutoring Programs are the Same

Is there value in online tutoring?

At a time when many parents and students are weary of “online school” and virtual learning, some are questioning the effectiveness of online tutoring. After nearly two years of remote learning, why would we think it’s a good idea to sign up our kids for an online tutor? After all, aren’t kids tired of staring at a screen, trying to focus and concentrate enough to learn?

The answer is yes and no.

In a recent New York Times article, they point out that “Spending on virtual tutoring is explicitly allowed under federal stimulus guidelines, and the Education Department said quality remote tutoring can be a ‘great option for many students, as long as the tutoring addresses individual students’ needs and produces strong educational outcomes.’”

The Key Ingredients for Quality Remote Tutoring

Individualized tutoring –

A canned lesson or curriculum may serve as an adequate guideline for a classroom situation, but when a student is having challenges and needs tutoring, the learning should be personalized for the specific material that student needs help with. The student’s unique problems should be the determining factor for what the tutor wants to focus on, not a one-size-fits-all solution.

One-on-one attention –

Classroom teachers have to divide their attention among many students, all with varying levels of comprehension and success. Group lessons–even small groups–don’t fix the problem for students who are falling behind. For tutoring to actually be effective, sessions need to be just one student matched with one tutor, face to face.

Qualified, experienced tutors –

There’s a difference between a subject matter expert and a trained educator. Many tutoring companies hire college students or other tutors who may be very well-versed in a certain subject but this doesn’t mean that they know how to help a struggling student. Teachers are trained to be able to identify learning issues and how to address them, adapting their approach to the student’s unique learning style and individual needs.

Tutor/Student connection –

When a student has regular, personalized, one-on-one tutoring sessions with the same tutor, even if these sessions are “virtual”, student and teacher are able to develop a real connection. They get to know each other and develop their own pace for learning. Sticking with the same tutor helps a student develop trust and confidence in the help they receive.

Frequent sessions –

Tutoring isn’t the same as homework help. Sometimes a student is stuck on a single concept, problem, or assignment and just needs one short session to help with that. However a student who is struggling, or trying to get caught up with tutoring, gets the biggest boost with two to three sessions per week. Some concentrated tutoring support has been shown to be very helpful in learning, reinforcing, and improving in any grade and subject.

How TutorUp Measures Up

  • All of our tutoring sessions are individualized. Designed by that specific teacher for that specific student.
  • We only provide one-on-one tutoring support. No groups.
  • TutorUp’s tutoring staff is 100% comprised of certified, experienced classroom teachers.
  • Once a student is matched with a tutor, they stay connected. Unless the parent requests a change.
  • We strongly recommend two or three tutoring sessions per week. The frequency and length of the sessions varies based on age of the student, type of help needed, and compatibility of schedules. And at TutorUp, the more sessions you purchase, the lower the per-session price.
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