I received a note the other day from Dave Krevitt of www.withcoach.com, an online hosting service for tutors and teachers. He sent me a link to an interesting study they did on online tutoring. They surveyed 279 tutors from around the world asking questions like
- How is online tutoring being adopted? Can we discern any patterns across subjects or types of tutoring?
- What tools are proving critical in the adoption of online tutoring? What tools are still lagging and need to improve?
- What’s preventing tutors from moving online, or being successful after making the switch?
- How do successful tutors find students in this brave new world?
The results are interesting and definitely worth a look. One of the surprises for me is the low adoption rates for Google Hangouts which I find to be a superior teaching and webinar environment over Skype. Google Hangouts has a shared screen capabilities and a number of useful tools that can be added.
Read the comments on the study’s post because there is a link to another report from the UK about online “tuition” (tutoring).
One of the concerns in the reports that tutors have is the “lack of personal connection with the student.” I think that is a tutor training issue and not something inherent in the medium. Some online teachers report that they know their online students better than their face-to-face students because online students, if given an appropriate forum or space, will naturally humanize the online experience by sharing who they are and taking the time to make the connections.