Online tutoring offers a way for college students to learn and improve their skills in various subjects without going out of the comfort of their homes. With the advent of technology, education is not only becoming global but also easier to access. Majority of the students still prefer the conventional one on one tutoring options by physically being present in the company of a tutor. Trends are however changing and more and more students are adopting online tutoring services.
There is a general opinion prevalent that online learning makes students lazy when compared with conventional tutoring options. Therefore, before investing into an online learning platform, some pros and cons as well as the effectiveness of learning online should be evaluated.
Online tuition is free of many limitations of private tutoring. As there is no limitation of distance, one can choose a tutor based on any qualification or experience. The fee options are also flexible, with different course packages available or tutors can also charge by the hour. There are some sites where students can find unlimited questions and answers and other preparation materials. If the student and teacher are both adept at technology, and have a reliable and fast internet connection, then travel time can be saved and the online tutoring hours can be put to fruitful use.
However, for a student that is lazy or has little interest in studying, the same platform becomes an easy excuse to avoid the teacher. A student could easily give the excuse of a bad internet connection, or turn the sound to mute and do something else like watch a movie or have the attention divided with online gaming and social networking. The tutor is not physically present, thus it is not possible to monitor the student’s actual activity and engagement level.
Student-Teacher Levels of Contact:
Different subjects can require varying levels of engagement. A tutor for Humanities and Arts would typically expect the student to spend more time reading or writing on their own. Whereas Science subjects like Mathematics etc. would require a faster response by the student. Online tuition could be more advantageous if the student’s college teachers are the ones giving an online lecture etc. the teacher would be already familiar with the student’s limitations and behavior and could pursue the online session with more interaction and effectiveness. It would thus serve as an extension to the actual classroom lecture and not something unique or strange.
Limitations of Online Tuition:
Many other factors also cause students to get lazy during online sessions. Technology limitation is one of the key factors. It is difficult to communicate across a laptop or PC by scribbling or hand gesture. The tutor cannot judge the thoughts and mood of the student without looking at the facial expressions. Even simple body language can convey to a teacher, the interest level of their student. In case the student does not turn up for the session, the tutor would be just left waiting at the other end.
It is imperative for students to have face-to-face time with their tutors. This develops their interest and understanding. Parents should play an active role in monitoring the online sessions to increase the effectiveness and without which online tutoring can turn out to be a real time waster. Latest technology with touch screen and digital pressure pens can be very effective in online communication. Platforms like Skype etc should be used where tutors could see facial expressions.