Urvi Bhagi is an online education consultant on AssignmentHelp.Net – an online assignment help service for students studying in classes K-12, and college or university. STEM and new developments in the areas of education are her areas of interest and she regularly shares her insights on these topics with teaching community through her articles published on prestigious blogs and websites.
Now to help educators and instructors realise the opportunities and potential of online tutoring, she’s presenting a free webinar ‘Importance of Online Tutoring and its Future’ on WizIQ on June 9th.
In an interview with WizIQ, Urvi shares more about her online tutoring journey and how it is changing the face of education for both students and teachers.
What inspired you to take up Online Tutoring?
My desire to venture into online tutoring for students was fuelled by my love for teaching and present generation students’ net-savvy characteristics. The traditional classroom setting is not a holistic teaching-learning system, unable to produce college/job market ready candidates. At AssignmentHelp.net we figured that web-based tutoring was perfect for the present generation of net-savvy students. The present generation of kids are able to seamlessly use a variety of IT devices and navigate the Internet. Students today are more likely to use the Internet for research than the library. They crave interactivity—an immediate response to their each and every action as well as a directed speedy information retrieval. Irrespective of the device and circumstances (tablets, PC, laptop, cell phone), kids are constantly connected and always on. Most Next-Gen learners prefer to learn by doing rather by being told what to do. Online tutoring is a web-based educational assistance technology that caters to all these characteristics of the next-gen. Thus online tutoring provides a tutor who is constantly available 24×7, through any of your IT devices, to answer your queries with speed and accuracy and learn about any topic of their choice, in the most informal manner without any enrolment issues, curricular restrictions or pre-requirements on learning.
What kind of improvements have you observed in the quality of education with Online Tutoring?
Online classrooms cultivate autonomous learning skills that allow learners to develop meta-cognitive strategies to integrate and apply their acquired knowledge into problem-solving in different situations. This will be a much valued skill in the future job-markets. Online tutoring and web-based classrooms have also been able to take the load off of the mainstream educational institutions by providing easy alternatives for remedial education and outside-classroom assistance and tutoring, providing learners with facilitator or coach, rather than another lecturer or grader. Thus, online tutoring and web-based classrooms have helped to “democratize” education—bringing instruction to people where and when they need it. Research has pointed towards overall increased pass-rates, increased student engagement and satisfaction, flexibility in delivering content, more personalized instruction based on assessments, reduced learning time, mastery in contextual learning, and improved cost-effectiveness. Many institutions are experimenting with flipped classroom collaborations where online tutors can tackle the task of teaching rote instructions and textual information. Slow learners also enjoy the possibility of repeating instructional selections without feeling embarrassed. Online tutoring is definitely a more personalized, adaptive, supportive, forgiving and patient learning space.
Why is online education better than traditional brick and mortar tutoring? How would you compare the two?
Apart from being a match to the technology-use habits of net generation kids by providing a constantly connected, immediate, interactive, media-rich and unlimited digital learning in boundary-less environment, online tutoring scores over the traditional tutoring in a variety of other ways as well. The biggest advantage of online tutoring over traditional classrooms is for the section of non-traditional learners. These include high-school/ college dropouts, part-time students, full time working professionals, single parent having dependent children, professionals looking to upgrade their skills and variety of other life-long learners. For this group of learners, going to college is all about acquiring skills/degrees/diplomas which will advance their career. However, the rising cost of tuition and inability to enrol in full-time courses hinders many life-long learners. Such learners have a strong preference for online tutoring based courses because of its convenience and ﬂexibility. The ability to learn from and interact online with reputed teachers, professors and industry trainers with convenience and comfort for an extremely moderate price is much valued by them. The advantage of increased customization, convenience, and collaboration allows online learners to handpick courses that are of immediate value to them.
Another advantage of online tutoring over traditional learning spaces are for managing students having brain-based learning differences like attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism and others. Personalised and tailored learning approach of online tutoring can effectively meet such learners’ needs.
Can you tell us more about the common challenges faced by online tutors and how to address them?
While online tutoring and web-classroom spaces have already arrived, there are some technology, implementation as well as delivery based challenges that remain to be tackled. On the technology front, there remains problems of seamless hardware and software installations, rapid technical support and contingency plan for technical failures and information delivery backups. Online tutors also need to be trained with regard to the essential support and contingency issues. Coordinating amongst the various technological bases amongst students and tutors is also a tough road. In terms of instructional designs and delivery, tutors and designers are yet to collaborate to create a user-friendly, highly interactive, media-rich, fully adaptable yet differential learning based knowledge platform to balance virtual interactions and enable autonomous learning skills. Rigorous feedback and assessments schemes need to be developed to optimise tailored learning outcomes. In the end, a lot remains to be done to make the process of online tutoring much more financially sustainable for businesses to create breakthroughs in rich learning instructional software. At AssignmentHelp.Net we are also striving to combine the structure of online tutoring with a variety of other education technology trends as well as creating learning systems based on project-based learning and gamification techniques for increased student engagement and learning outcomes
What would be the one piece of advice you would like to give to teachers planning to tutor online?
Despite the various benefits of online tutoring, web-based education technology is not a given for every learner. Before introducing students to online tutoring, teachers and educators must carefully profile the learners for their learning styles and objectives. Also, online tutoring is not equivalent to impersonal teaching-learning system. Teachers must remember that technology is but only a medium of delivering instructions. Regular interactions, peer collaborations, and communication structure between the students and online tutors and are as essential as the teacher-learner rapport in a traditional classroom. Online tutoring software and web-based classrooms are in fact more demanding in terms of clarity in curriculum goals and productive instructional design to retain learners’ attention and create an engaging platform.
Be sure to join Urvi in her webinar Importance of Online Tutoring and its Future to know more about online tutoring. If you feel you cannot attend the webinar or missed it, register anyway. You’ll get free access to the recording of the webinar.