The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown many aspects of daily life into uncertainty. From panicked trips to the local grocery store, to lockdowns, and to near constant hand washing and social distancing, the virus has changed the way that almost everyone around the globe goes about their daily life.
One of the most impacted segments of the world’s populations has been students. Students in many countries, such as the United States, were already at risk before the pandemic, and the closure of schools has further increased the potential for students to fall behind. An estimated 1.5 billion students around the globe have been impacted by COVID-19-related measures.
Overall, the closure of schools has trended toward the shift to online learning. This approach, which allows students to engage with classes and continue their education while adhering to social distancing requirements, has let down more vulnerable students for a number of reasons.
First, even in relatively prosperous countries, some students lack access to essential technological tools for online learning, such as laptops or a reliable Internet connection. Students at risk of failing before the pandemic have also found themselves in environments that are either not conducive for learning or feel abandoned or unsupportive. Even students who, typically, excel have seen their performance suffer because of the inevitable decline in educator-student interaction.
Fortunately, with every new issue comes equal and opposite innovation. Many educators have developed strategies to engage students, while some students have been able to modify their study habits to help improve their CGPA and other performance indicators during the pandemic. In terms of response to the pandemic, perhaps, one of the most innovative fields within education has been tutoring.
This article investigates the unique aspects of tutoring within education and how the field has adapted to the pandemic.
What Makes Tutoring Unique?
Tutoring has long been a growing field within education, especially for K-12 students. Vulnerable students, especially those in underfunded school districts, have benefited greatly from enrolling in tutoring programs. During the pandemic, interest in tutoring programs has increased significantly, becoming a viable option for a wider range of students.
The most common forms of tutoring programs involve the following, each coming with its own advantages and disadvantages:
- Teacher tutoring programs
- Professional tutoring
- Caregiver tutoring, such as homeschooling
- Non-professional or community tutoring, typically conducted by volunteers
The effectiveness of tutoring differs, depending upon the qualifications of the tutor and the age of the student. Professional tutoring has proven to be a relatively cost-effective method, with companies such as Tutorme offering a wide variety of subjects and solutions for students of all backgrounds and learning capabilities. The shift to online learning has helped such programs become available to students regardless of their geographic locations. Many educators see tutoring as a viable solution for the learning loss that students across the globe may suffer from the impact of the pandemic.
Advantages Of Tutoring Over Conventional Education
Perhaps, the most straightforward advantage that tutoring presents over conventional education is the capacity for personalization. Especially with distance learning, conventional education provides plenty of chances for students to slip through the cracks. But, even during times of normal education, students may excel at certain subjects, while having their needs go unnoticed in other classes.
The lack of educator-student interaction can exacerbate any preexisting learning difficulties that students struggle with. Tutoring provides a solution for these issues by allowing students to work, typically one-on-one, with educational professionals, as well as to learn at their own pace and review essential skills.
Another intrinsic advantage has to do with motivation. During the pandemic, engaging learners has become a near impossible task for some educators. Some educators have turned to technology and social media to keep their students participating and entertained, but many others have seen participation and motivation wane as school closures drag on.
Tutoring, by contrast, helps students take agency for their own learning. Successful tutoring programs develop learning capacities, in addition to helping students better connect to their academic coursework. Even in online forms, tutoring provides a focus on individual students and equips them with skills to excel on their own.
New Forms In Tutoring
The wider demand for tutoring services during the pandemic has led to new forms arising. Group tutoring options have become more available as some parents look for ways to combine child care and education in the absence of schools.
Tutoring pods are one new tutoring form that has become more common during the pandemic. Operating as micro-schools or as a supplement to online education, tutoring pods involve small groups of students receiving training from the same professional tutor. Other solutions have involved hiring one-on-one online tutors, or investing in caregivers that also have some qualifications to help supplement learning goals. The increased use of technology within education and tutoring has proven especially effective, considering how well-acquainted this generation of learners is with technology.
Some educators fear that the shift to online learning will increase inequalities among students, with higher income families having the capability to provide their children with better technological tools for online learning, while also being able to afford tutoring programs to keep their children from falling behind. At the same time, the increase in interest in tutoring may help underline the importance of personalization in education. Every student has different strengths and needs, and tutoring as a form of education is uniquely suited for fostering this approach.
A Look to The Future
As school closures continue, a lot of students, parents, and educators remain cautious about when to expect a return to normality. In the meantime, many people are turning to alternate education solutions to combat loss of learning that some students may suffer from as a result of the pandemic.
Tutoring models have risen to the challenge, providing student support, personalization, and motivation to help them stay engaged despite the difficulties associated with distance learning. It’s even possible that this shift in focus brought forth by the pandemic will continue to have an impact after schools open again, with more students and parents placing a higher value on the unique individuals focus that tutoring provides.