What Are The 5 Biggest Problems Faced In Online Tutoring?

Not so long ago, Sherpa conducted research on the problems facing online tutoring. 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. The results from the research therefore show that the majority of participants have experience with both face-to-face tutoring and online tutoring.


The results additionally found problems that students and parents feel about online tutoring. This blog discusses in detail the main issues and misconceptions with online tutoring and the answers to these problems.

Sherpa is constantly striving to improve the quality of online tuition. We offer access to thousands of qualified online tutors with who you can hold free no-commitment online introductions before moving ahead with any lessons.


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 whether online learning platforms create a successful and productive learning environment.


The big issue that came up most between students and parents with online tutoring is whether online learning can actually provide a good working environment. This is because many young people often use technology to play games or watch films. Resultantly, many young people may not take online learning seriously or some students may find it difficult to learn with the vast number of distractions that come with online technology. 


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 it has some tools to keep students engaged at all times.


For instance, Sherpa has a screen share feature which means tutors are always able to see what the student is looking at. This ensures the student to not become distracted as tutors are able to see what they are doing. Secondly, we have an interactive whiteboard at Sherpa which provides the option to share documents instantly. This enables tutors to have access to work students have done in online lessons. 


Thirdly, all your revision notes from the online lesson are automatically emailed to you after every lesson. This means any revision resources and important study notes can be saved on your computer from all of your online lessons.


Research has shown that students undergoing online education retain 25-60% more material when compared to 8-10% within a classroom environment. Moreover, studies have also found that 40-60% less time is required to learn online rather than in a traditional classroom setting. It is therefore clear that online learning has dramatically helped students build their confidence in a much quicker fashion than in a classroom. As a result, the stigma that online learning isn’t engaging and effective is merely a misconception.


2. Internet connection for online learning and device connectivity


Other problems for online learning come from a technical perspective. Some participants have stated that they have not used online tutors purely because of connection issues or devices not connecting to the internet properly. 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 more likely reason for connection problems will be mainly due to the user’s device having issues with connecting to the online platform. However, this should be a rare occurrence for connection problems because the average broadband speed in the UK is 22.37Mbps; which makes the UK one of the best broadband providers in the world. 


To put this into a larger perspective, it only takes 1Mbps for a zoom call so it would be very unlikely for online lessons to fail from connection issues. If you are interested to find out how quick your broadband speed is, click on this link here. 


3. Is online learning safe? Are online tutors qualified?


 Another problem with tutoring in general is the teacher's level of experience. Many students and learners are wary about the background of online tutors and the subsequent experience tutors hold. 


Though, it is important to note that online tuition platforms like Sherpa have strict policies to ensure the private tutors that apply adhere to what is required. For instance, tutors that apply are DBS checked to see whether they have a criminal record. 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. To ensure what tutors put are true, many online tutoring platforms conduct strong background checks to ensure the tutor has actually achieved what they have stated on their profile. 


4. Is online tutoring expensive? 


In simple terms, the cost of online tutoring is considerably lower than that of face-to-face tutoring. Tutors often offer lower pricing for online learning than face-to-face because some tutors may charge extra for travelling costs. At Sherpa, most lessons average around £30/per hour whilst the cheapest lessons range around £20/per hour. 

Research has shown that many face-to-face tutors are more expensive than online tutors. GCSE level tutors cost on average £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.


Before any payments are made, Sherpa offers a free introduction to establish if the tutor is right for each student. This is about 20 minutes long which allows the student to inform the tutor of their performance goals and areas they would like to work on. While the tutor on the other hand can support the student and explain the structure for their tutoring sessions. 


Furthermore, it makes sense for students and tutors to agree on a time and day for real sessions. This free introduction will give you an instant answer regarding what timings are best for sessions. 


For the students wanting to start GCSE revision or A-level revision and much more at the start of Summer, this would be a good time to book your introduction session to find your perfect tutor early on. This enables you as a student to feel confident even before the academic year has started. 


5. What is the availability of online learning?


Time frames and availability for online tutoring is massively flexible for 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 can start within a moment's notice from most devices. More importantly, this is where you use the free introductory session to find out the availability of the tutor. This allows you to fit your schedule in perfectly when you find the right tutor. 


Final Thoughts


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 began.


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 which makes 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.

Author's profile picture

Ethan Carter

26th October

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