There is no substitute for human-to-human interaction. And one-to-one in-person tutoring in particular, which enables a high degree of communication and personal attention, provides the opportunity for serious learning to take place.
At the moment, the COVID-19 pandemic has, at least for a while, made in-person tutoring impossible. So a lot of tutors, students, and parents are wondering about the efficacy of online remote tutoring.
It is my distinct pleasure to assure you that online remote tutoring, although different in some ways from in-person tutoring, can have just as many advantages as the old standby we know and love. This doesn’t mean that it’s not without its own set of challenges, of course.
Online remote tutoring does require some preparation. A successful online experience for both tutor and student requires a good computer or tablet device, with a webcam and microphone, and a stable and speedy internet connection. Note that if a webcam is not available, a mobile phone will suffice for audio and video communication. At a minimum, even a regular old phone call can work quite well. We want to minimize any technical issues that may impede the learning experience. Feel free to reach out to A+ for technical help.
Once the technical side of things is arranged, we can focus on the advantages of online remote tutoring:
Anywhere, Any time:
Scheduling remote tutoring sessions is much easier than in-person sessions since we aren’t limited by distance, need to travel, and office schedules. In addition, the tutoring situation may be less stressful than in-person sessions since tutors and students may be able to choose comfortable spots at home from which to attend their session. This can create a sense of ease and comfort, which can make the tutoring session as productive as possible.
An Eye for Work:
Sometimes students suffer from “someone’s watching me work” paralysis. With online remote tutoring, students may read passages, decipher grammatical conundrums, and solve mathematical problems without feeling quite as pressured. In my experience this allows online students to learn more effectively and perform better
At A+, each student is assigned his or her own dedicated, persistent, online meeting room within our proprietary interactive whiteboard system known as iCollaborate. In conjunction with a video chat application (FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, etc.), students and tutors work together on documents, worksheets, drawings, and other curriculum. In the student’s “private room,” the problem of disorganization is nearly non-existent since all of the documents are stored there and can be reviewed in between sessions as needed.
Textbooks and workbooks cannot be “forgotten at home” by either party, and, even if a tutor or student does forget something, the internet contains seemingly endless digital books, information, and worksheets that could cover any academic emergency. My personal experience with iCollaborate is that it is rather intuitive and has a quick learning curve. Even my youngest student, only twelve-years-old, has not had any difficulty navigating the platform during our sessions on pre-algebra.
Since I began doing tutoring online with my students, I have received feedback from clients stating that the process is “painless” and that we “haven’t lost a step” in academic progress. One student of mine, a sharp student with a fear of making mistakes in front of me, has actually improved her academic performance while working with me online. Her mother told me that “mathematics used to make her very nervous but it’s now her favorite subject. She feels very comfortable working with you online.”
Another client said that the “flexibility is perfect,” as she and her son are always in a time-crunch. The ease of changing online appointment times makes for a more relaxed environment which contributes to academic success.
I completely understand the reasonable fear that something might be lost in the process. However, given my own very positive experience as a tutor doing remote tutoring for the first time, I suggest that parents, students, and tutors give it a try. You may be pleasantly surprised at how well it works!
A+ will offer the following to our students and to the community:
- Free Weekly Workshops (via Zoom) that cover topics from the SAT and ACT
- Free online proctored exams for the SAT and ACT starting on April 4
- Discounted additional 1:1 test prep sessions to students already enrolled in a test-prep program (discount will be 20%)
- 1:1 remote tutoring for SAT, ACT, and AP exams
- AP Exam free response question review service
During this challenging time, please contact us if you have any questions, and let us know how we can best address your needs.
At A+ Test Prep and Tutoring, our practices are based on the latest developments in educational theory and research. We have an excellent team of tutors who can help you with standardized testing, executive functioning, or achievement in any other school subject. If you want to find out more about our services, our Client Service Directors Anne Stanley and Susan Ware can be reached at 215-886-9188.