Benefits of online tuition

With no need to travel, increased flexibility and advances in technology, online tuition is now a realistic - and increasingly common - tuition choice.

Online tuition is similar to face-to-face tuition but has a number of distinctive characteristics and advantages.

1. Efficiency and flexibility

Arrangements for online tutorials are generally easier and more flexible as neither you nor your tutor has to travel. Travelling to tutorials in central Oxford can be time consuming and stressful – arrangements need to be carefully planned and a location booked.  The vagaries of traffic and public transport mean that plenty of travel time needs to be set aside to allow for possible delays.  With online tuition the only arrangement that needs to be made is to fix a mutually convenient time for you and your tutor.

Because they are simpler to arrange, online tutorials can also be shorter and more frequent – sometimes a little and often, interspersed with independent study, is a more effective learning strategy.  Shorter tutorials may also allow you to spread the cost of tuition more evenly and over a longer period.

2. Live interaction

An online tutorial has all  the interactive benefits of a face-to-face tutorial – discussion with your tutor remains both stimulating and probing.  As with face-to-face tuition; to get the best out of your tutor and your tutorial be well prepared.  As with face-to-face tuition; to get the best out of each tutorial you should expect to complete about three hours of independent study for each hour of tuition.  Spend time thinking about what you want to cover with your tutor and send any completed homework to your tutor beforehand.  Preparing thoroughly for an online tutorial and communicating with your tutor in advance ensures that all the  points you want to discuss are covered.

In contrast to ‘distance learning’ programmes, where you are mostly self-taught through the provision of materials, online tutoring preserves the value of the tutorial method of learning through live interaction between you and your tutor.  Indeed, combining a course of online tuition around the structure of a distance learning programme can be very effective.  The single biggest reason why students give up with a distance learning programme is that they find it hard to remain motivated and find mustering the self-discipline to keep up a daily study routine daunting and difficult.  An associated programme of online tuition can be the solution to both of these problems.

3. Access to resources

Being online for your tutorial gives you and your tutor immediate access to the whole range of online resources.  With preparation, selected online resources can be easily blended into each online tutorial.  Combining a short demonstration from YouTube to help clarify and prompt discussion around a concept can have a significant learning impact.  Tutorials can also be prepared and shared as presentations – indeed, using an interactive whiteboard, joint presentations can be developed by you and the tutor as part of your tutorial.  Using a whiteboard also means that all your tutorial notes can be saved and sent to you immediately after every tutorial.  Tutorials – or parts of tutorials – can be recorded for you to refer to at a later date.

The possibilities and the way in which online resources can be combined into an online tutorial are almost limitless.  The only constraint is you and your tutor’s imagination.

Like the tutorial itself – effective use of online resources during a tutorial does require careful planning and preparation.  Given the wide range of possibilities the temptation is sometimes to try and do too much in a single tutorial.  With online tuition – keeping things simple is also often best.

4. Study from the comfort of familiar surroundings

Online tutoring allows you to have your tutorial from the comfort of your own surroundings.  This means that you have access to all your notes and other study materials; and you are also working from familiar surroundings.  Studies show that comfort and familiarity can have a significant and positive impact in promoting meaningful learning.  Online tuition enables the same level of engagement as face-to-face tuition and within an environment that is familiar to you.

Studying from the comfort of your own surroundings can also be an added bonus during cold, wet and dark winter days!

Go to frequently asked questions about online tuition.

The answer is not to standardise education, but to personalise and customise it to the needs of each child and community.  There is no alternative.  There never was.

Sir Ken Robinson, Educational thinker and visionary