Recently, Sherpa Online conducted research on the problems facing online tutoring and problems when dealing with an online teacher.
From the responses received, 82.1% were students and 17.9% were parents. 69.8% of the participants had used face-to-face tutoring whilst 65.1% have considered online tutoring. This means the majority of participants have experience with both face-to-face tutoring and online tutoring.
The results found have highlighted problems that students and parents feel about online tutoring and also the concerns people have about online learning.
This blog will reveal student's main issues and misconceptions with online tutoring and answer some of the most frequently asked questions around these problems.
So, what are some of the biggest problems faced in online tutoring and what are the main concerns with online tutoring?
1. Is online tutoring effective? Is online learning good for children?
Within the survey, we received many similar responses to the effectiveness of online tutoring and if online learning platforms created a successful and productive learning environment.
The main problem that students and parents have with online tutoring surrounds whether it is actually creating a correct working environment. This relates to issues like children not taking online learning seriously or students not finding online tutoring as engaging as face-to-face tutoring.
Fortunately, this is a big misconception for online tutoring. This is because online tutoring is an effective way of having interactive private lessons. Due to the sole fact that some tools it has to keep students engaged at all times.
For instance, Sherpa Online has screen share capabilities, interactive whiteboard functionality and the ability to share documents instantly. Furthermore, all your lesson notes are automatically emailed to you after every lesson.
Studies also provide evidence that online tutoring is actually more engaging than face-to-face tutoring.
Research has shown that students undergoing online education retain 25-60% more material when compared to 8-10% within a classroom environment.
Studies have also found that 40-60% less time is required to learn online rather than in a traditional classroom setting.
The stigma that online learning isn’t engaging and effective is just a misconception.
2. Internet connection for online learning and device connectivity
Other problems for online learning and online tutoring come from a technical perspective. Some participants have stated that some reasons for not using online tutors are purely down to connection issues and device connectivity.
Although, these issues are simply down to two factors. The first depends on the website platform for online tutoring and the second relies upon the user's connection.
Most online tutoring platforms are built in such a way that connection issues will not be dependent on the software that online tutoring platforms use. Before websites go live with this software, they’re rigorously tested to iron out these issues before being put in front of a client.
The likely connection problems will come from the users ends for connecting to a platform. Although, this is not a problem for nearly all residents of the UK. In the UK the average broadband speed is 22.37Mbps making the UK one of the best broadband providers around the world. The minimum broadband connection needed to have a Zoom call is 1Mbps. To find out how quick your wifi is you can check this out on the link provided.
Most online teaching platforms are also accessible via most devices. The software created by online learning platforms enables most devices to access their products.
3. Is online learning safe? Are online tutors qualified?
Another problem regards the teacher's level of experience. Many are wary about the background of online tutors and the subsequent experience that tutors hold. Even though this problem is identical for face-to-face tutors alike.
Online teaching platforms like Sherpa Online, as well as other online learning platforms, have strict vetting policies that they need to adhere to before providing their services.
Most tutors that apply are DBS checked by online tutoring platforms to check whether they have a criminal record. It’s key to note that not all platforms and tutors do this. In order to safely procure a tutor with no criminal record, check their biography on online tutoring platforms to see if they have given their DBS.
All tutors that go through online platforms state their experience levels and tutoring styles in their biography. This makes online tutoring directories even efficient at finding the top tutors for yourself or your child.
It’s actually a lot safer to find a tutors background and experience for online teaching than it is in comparison to face-to-face tutoring.
4. Is online tutoring expensive?
A FAQ brought to attention in the survey regards the monetary commitment of online tutoring.
The cost of online tutoring is very similar to that of face-to-face tutoring. Most lessons average around £25-30/per hour whilst the cheaper sides to lessons cost about £15/per hour.
Sherpa offers a free introduction to establish if the tutor is right for each student. Meaning you can try a couple of tutors to find the best tutor for you!
Many face-to-face tutors are actually more expensive than online tutors. GCSE level tutors cost an average of £32.50 per hour, and £36 per hour at A-Level. For university tutors, the average hourly rate was found to be £41 per hour. Music tutors were reported to charge £32 per hour, and language tutors, £30 per hour.
5. What is the availability of online learning?
Time frames and availability for online tutoring is massively flexible down to two reasons.
Firstly, most tutors are also teaching in schools or universities so they are free at the same time frames that most students are. This means they are free on weekends and also school holidays, leaving them open for revision sessions at the most crucial times.
Secondly, the internet is the perfect resource for availability. Tutors can be contacted for session bookings instantly and lessons can start within a moment's notice from most devices.
The five biggest problems faced with online tutoring are effectively all misconceptions surrounding online learning.
Online tutoring is one of the most effective teaching methods available and is becoming ever more prevalent since the coronavirus outbreak.
Internet platforms rarely endure any connection issues and most connection issues that occur are down to the client's internet connection which can be tested and fixed.
The tutors on most online platforms are DBS checked and qualified to teach with years worth of experience.
Comparatively, online tutoring is actually cheaper than face-to-face tutors. Making online tutoring a more worthwhile long-term resource.
The internet has also made the flexibility and availability of online tutors invaluable and they can be reached at a moments notice from anywhere on the globe.