Is Online Tutoring as Effective as In-Person?

If you are looking for tutoring services, and confused about which one is better online or in-person tutoring, you are at right place. Online tutoring is in trend nowadays, and in-person tutoring a traditional way.

Online tutoring being more convenient and flexible offers variety of programmes and schedules with many offers while as in-person tutoring is limited to specific areas depends on tutor’s preferences and approaches to made learner understand different things.

Understanding Online Tutoring Advantages
Being a perfect blend of technology and internet, online tutoring provides many services and integrate many approaches to make learning more fun and engaging. Flexible schedules, interactive content (such as videos and presentations), mocks and test papers, as well as access form anywhere, and personalised plans for paid users are some of the key features of online tutoring. It not only provides benefits to learners but also to the teachers

Flexibility and Convenience
Flexibility and convenience are the need of today’s generation, who doesn’t want to be learn at their own pace. Abuse and harassment are a major concern for learners and parents today, online tutoring provides them with safety.

The flexible timings and schedule with personalised plans make students to learn anywhere and anytime when they want, and this can increase the productivity. Parents can also keep a watch on what tutor is teaching, in case of children. Moreover, it also offers flexibility and convenience to tutor too. They can teach at whatever time, to as much as students they want.

In-person tutoring is not as much flexible as compared to online tutoring, the schedule gets fixed according to the tutors, the learners have to visit them, or tutors visit them accordingly to what time suits them. It is neither convenient, as one has to leave the comfort of their home to get teach or to learn. In-person tutoring is not dynamic as online tutoring, it does not involve interactive video lessons to make learning fun.

Access to expertise
Online tutoring counters geographical barrier and provide learners with enormous knowledge in each and every area, as well as tutors with specialised skills and knowledge sets, you can choose according to your level of knowledge and understanding, which tutor you want to join. Online tutoring not only benefits the learner but also to tutor which provides the solution to the limitation of being in a particular geographical area and bounded by a certain time zone.

In-person tutoring also provides access to expertise, but it is limited to a particular area, the local area where the tutor is residing. It also does not come with more options, in your area you can only find 2-4 tutors, and when it comes to subject of higher education you will rarely find one or two.

Challenges Unique to Online Tutoring

The more services online tutoring provides, the more challenges it faces. The technology and internet do come with their limitations, internet buffering, slow speed of internet can alter the smooth flow of ongoing tutoring sessions, make sometimes the users frustrated and irritated. Further, reaching to more and more students for sales is also a concern for online tutors.

For online tutoring one needs a suitable hardware and software with stable internet connection, and headphone or earplugs (to avoid distractions in the environment). Online tutoring has limited access to resources and educators, can cause eyes and ear damage, as more screen time without blue lenses can affect the eyes and use of headphones and earplugs can affect the ears and ear drum. Sitting or standing in a particular position for hours can also lead to other health related issues.

Online tutoring tries its best to offer engaging and interactive content, but sitting in front of a screen for hours and unavailability of physical presence of tutor brings a lot of distractions. One can easily access anything by minimising the tutoring sessions, such as games and Instagram, no one can control that, also the environment of home too sometimes brings the distractions.

In-person tutoring on the other hand have physical presence of tutor which make the environment of studying, ensuring more focus and concentration and less distractions, however some distractions would be there. In-person tutoring doesn’t affect the physical health of an individual, but there is a risk of being abused, physical and sexual molestation, which can affect the mental health of an individual.

Comparing Learning Outcomes
Learning outcomes can be measured through test scores, end semester grades, assignments, and assessments through different methods such as quizzes and mocks. Online tutoring offers variety of assessments to test the understanding and learning of the learner, it consists of hundreds of questions for a particular topic, just to make sure that learner can memorize and understand the concept thoroughly, revisions through discussions and test papers ensure the concept is memorized by the learners and for better retention.

Meanwhile, in-person tutoring, revisions and mocks are a part of the learning, but the time and resources are limited for both learner and tutor, which may affect the learning outcomes but not necessarily. The complexity of subject also determined the learning outcomes, subjects like maths and physics needs more focus and concentration, however it is also subjective. Some learners retain more after attending in-person tutoring sessions, while as some perform better after taking online tutoring. For students struggling with complex subjects like mathematics, the personal touch of a tutor can make a significant difference. Seeking a math tutor in my area can provide tailored support that addresses individual learning styles and challenges, bridging the gap between online and in-person tutoring efficiencies.

Online tutoring does keep track of student’s performance and maintain records but not in-person tutoring. Students’ satisfaction is also important, and this can be traced through their engagement. Engagement level is directly proportional to satisfaction level of leaners.

Online tutoring provides learners with personalized plans, make sure they get all their doubts covered and queries resolved, with one-on-one interaction with tutor. The students prefer online tutoring over in-person tutoring because of the flexibility and convenience it provides to study anytime anywhere. But it can not be stated that in-person tutoring is not preferred by the students, the method of teaching and the approach of the tutor matters the most, not the mode.

The Hybrid Model as a Solution

There is no end to debate which mode is better and compelling. However, a middle ground with integrative approach having benefits of both online tutoring and in-person tutoring can be achieved which would provide better results and engagement.

A model having benefits of both online tutoring and in-person tutoring can tackle the problems both of the methods are facing. Physical proximity with enhanced interactive video methods can lead to better learning of learners and learning outcomes.

For example, during science classes tutor demonstrating some experiments through videos and quizzes. Learning digestive through text bores learners, while as teaching it through with the help of videos makes them understand better and audio-video combination can make learner learn more and retain information. Providing quizzes just after the session or in a week can be more effective to learners.

As we mentioned that effectiveness of both online tutoring and in-person tutoring can not be compared, both have their benefits, and limitations, but a mid-way with effectiveness of both can be more effective and good. Which method is best and good is subjective and individualistic, some people find in-person tutoring effective while others find online tutoring effective, there are people too which aren’t satisfied with any of these tutoring.

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Yachika Yadav is a sociology post graduate student at Banasthali Vidyapith. She loves to capture moments in nature, apart from drawing and writing poetries. Field of research attracts her the most and in future she want to be a part of that. She is a good listener, learner. And tries to always help others.