A comparison between computerised tutoring and traditional face-to-face tutoring.
With the rise of technology over recent years, it stands to reason that many would opt for online based help over traditional tuition. There are benefits with either route. However, it’s worth looking carefully at both in order to choose what is best for your children. Today, we’re exploring both pathways to see what these benefits are. A major point to be borne in mind when deciding upon the course of study is that the focus of many examinations has, and is, shifting slightly. The emphasis is now upon deeper understanding and the ability to use and apply the knowledge learnt rather than simply being able to ‘recite’ the facts learnt. This is particularly important in subjects such as maths, physics, chemistry etc., where initially rote learning of formulae, theorems etc. is important but the development of the subject depends upon understanding and application. It is vital that students are able to question when they do not understand and request further clarification if they do not understand the initial explanation. It must be remembered that learning is a two-way process, requiring inter-action between student and instructor.
With traditional tutoring, the main attraction has to be the experience of either a small group or 1-2-1 tuition, with the professional right in front of you. Many tutors travel to your house, but there is also the option for your child to attend a tuition centre, which will be set up with classrooms and resources to give them the full learning experience.
This will focus your child, as they are in a ‘classroom based’ situation, with the tutor there to help and guide when needed. Alongside this, you have instant formative and summative feedback, with the tutor able to read through work and easily spot any errors that need addressing. This is particularly beneficial with subjects such as English, which require extended responses to questions. Not only does this support your child more, but it enables them to build a professional relationship with their tutor more easily as the weeks go on. With group tuition, your child will have the benefit of peers to bounce ideas off and also to gain co-operative support with other students that they might not have access to in their normal school setting.
When looking at online based tuition, the main benefit students enjoy is being able to engage in extra help from the comfort of their own home: although it is also possible to go to centres which provide the same service if need be. Most tuition sites/centres that offer web based tuition categorise their site into subject and individual unit: thus students can work through topics at their individual pace, usually reading and making notes online, then taking an end of unit test after each module. Tests are automatically marked and results received instantly, clarifying the answers you didn’t do well on, therefore you’re able to look back through the notes provided. You also have the added benefit of completing tuition at your own pace, whenever and wherever you wish.
There are clear benefits through both avenues. Traditional tutoring provides personalised sessions which are tailored to your child’s needs, but requires physical attendance at specified times, whereas online tutoring can be more flexible, allowing you to work around your usual schedules. Traditional uses trained professionals who can give detailed summative feedback whilst online gives you the right or wrong answers and the option to read back through the notes provided by professionals.
Of course, the main thing to keep in mind is your child’s personal needs.
- Are they motivated enough to schedule times to sit and work through online based modules in whatever their chosen subject is?
- Or do they need to sit with a tutor who can help them focus and engage them, developing their answers on the spot and giving instant feedback that goes beyond right or wrong?
These are key things to consider when looking into extra help for your child.