Can Online Tutoring be more Effective than Face-Face Tutoring?
Inarguably, the COVID-19 pandemic opened the world's eyes to even more potential the World Wide Web has to offer, and in particular the invaluable lines of communication it gifted families and friends with when they needed it the most. We experienced online shopping like never before, including many businesses moving online to survive. Exercise classes moved online, as we saw living rooms transform into yoga studios and martial arts spaces. Suddenly we heard of, and became experts in; FaceTime, GoogleMeet and Zoom as screens became our only means of 'face-face' interaction...virtual hugs the 'norm'.
One major shift was that of education and its move to online learning. Here, we really saw the adaptability of educators, students and parents, and for many, online learning became the preferred method of education. For example, the announcement of the UK's National Tutoring Programme, became the hottest topic in education in 2020, and continues to support the education of billions of young people today.
Thankfully, we continue to see the world opening up and warm embraces returning. However, pandemic aside, online teaching, and online private tuition in particular, continue to prove a more preferable, effective and beneficial method of teaching and learning compared to face-face. Of course, we at Performance Tutors are going to say that, after all our target demographic is 100% online. However, we are not here to be biased so we thought we would let the results speak for themselves.
We surveyed 300 of our Performance Tutors members, including our teachers/tutors, students and parents. They each shared their experience of online tutoring over the last three months.
How Effective is Online Teaching/Tutoring?
Students were overwhelmingly positive about their experiences online – 88% said online tutoring was more effective or as effective as tutoring in person.
92% of parents and 90% of tutors agreed, although tutors in particular expressed that their experience over the last 3 months proved that online tutoring is as effective as the face-face alternative.
Benefits of Online Tutoring
We asked a selection of our tutors to choose the three main benefits of online tutoring. Tutors, students and parents all agreed that flexible lesson scheduling, lesson recordings, clear written feedback after each lesson and a more relaxed and focused atmosphere are the most beneficial features of online tutoring.
In fact, 75% of our students said they regularly use their lesson recordings for consolidation and revision, especially during exam seasons. Some students and tutors even believe that they cover more content in their online lessons compared to face-face lessons, especially when in a 1-1 tutoring session.
Is Online Tutoring Here to Stay?
Collectively amongst a proportion of our parents and students, their belief is that online tutoring will remain an integral part of their education, with 93% of parents factoring online tutoring into their child's weekly schedule over the next 12 months, with students increasing that belief to 97%. When compared to pre-COVID statistics, this is a phenomenal rise, with most parents at 82% reporting that all private tutoring pre-pandemic took place face-face, with only 5% reporting that any online tuition took place at all.
Furthermore, we saw 97% of our tutors reporting that at least some of their tutoring work will take place online over the next 12 months, with 87% confirming that half of their current tuition work will take place online. Finally, approximately 1/3 of our tutors reported that all their tutoring would be online over the next 12 months. When you compare this with 78% of our tutors having never taught online before COVID, these is a staggering set of results.
The Future Continues to Look Bright for Online Tutoring
These results speak for themselves when highlighting the immense shift from face-face tutoring to online tutoring, and beyond lockdown...this shift is here to stay! This goes a long way to dispelling any belief that online tutoring is inferior, in fact, it would go a long way to proving that online tuition is indeed the superior method of tutoring.
Our results alone proved that online tutoring is now the most likely way tutors will teach their students for at least the next 12 months, and with this continuing to be the preferred method of teaching and learning, online tutoring is likely to stretch much further into the future.
It’s funny how a dramatic change, when fuelled by necessity, becomes an eye-opening change for the better. The human mind never ceases to amaze in its adaptability to move with the times when push comes to shove. However, what remains is the realisation that in this case, that painful shove actually opened up a world of benefits for all.
Written By: Rebecca Blades