Henry Fagg is the founder of UK’s premiere tutor directory, The Tutor Pages. Shortlisted for UK Website of the Year and FSB Worldpay Business of the Year in 2014, the website was founded in 2008 with the vision to provide cutting edge information and advice on online tutoring industry. It has now taken shape of a dynamic online community for private tutors in the UK where they connect with each other to learn about new developments in online tutoring, share ideas and find work opportunities.
Be sure to join him in his upcoming webinar on WizIQ, ‘60-minute Roundup on Why and How Online Tutoring Works‘, where he will share his insights on online tutoring based on his groundbreaking survey.
In an interview with WizIQ, Henry shares more about online tutoring, market trends and its future.
Hi Henry. Apart from teaching the Alexander technique, you’re also actively investigating the Online Tuition Industry. Why did you choose Online Tutoring in particular?
At The Tutor Pages, we were surprised to find that there was virtually no research into online tuition in the UK. Until recently, there’s not even been an easy definition of online tuition which online tutoring companies can get behind.
But as technologies improve and people become increasingly comfortable with online learning, online tuition is obviously a growth area. We wanted to find out in depth what tutors thought about the subject. That’s why we conducted a survey on online tuition which almost 400 tutors took part in.
The survey report provides great insight into all aspects of the industry: from which subjects tutors are teaching online and the technologies they are using, to the perceived benefits of the medium and the current and future challenges for online tuition.
According to you, what are the benefits of Online Tutoring for teachers and students?
Online tuition has many advantages: some obvious ones, and some more surprising benefits as well.
Top among the benefits are location (the possibility of tutoring or being tutored from anywhere), convenience (no need to travel or have the student/ tutor in the home) and flexibility (the possibility of a greater number of scheduling options during the day, or for shorter periods).
These broad benefits have some knock-on benefits as well. For example, the lack of travel can bring down the cost of tuition, can help with fitting lessons into a busy schedule, and can even be seen as kinder to the environment because you’re reducing your carbon footprint.
Other examples of ways in which teachers and students can benefit include those with mobility issues being able to access courses easily from their home environment, and night workers being able to access a tutor in a foreign country when local tutors would normally be asleep!
Could you please share your observations on the market for Online Tutoring?
The online tuition market is growing, and our data suggests that demand may be outstripping supply in certain subjects such as English or Sciences.
Parents will often choose online tuition either because it’s more convenient, or because they can’t find a suitable tutor in their local area. The latter of course applies particularly when a student is studying a rather niche subject.
Our survey also discovered that some online tutors in the UK are very successfully tapping into the overseas market. In particular, there are families living overseas who wish to send their children to British schools, and so UK-based private tutors are perfectly placed to advise and assist in this process.
What advice would you like to give to teachers, students and parents who wish to try it?
First of all, I’d advise familiarizing yourself with some of the key findings in our online tuition report. For example, online tuition doesn’t have to be a complicated or daunting prospect. Many tutors use easy-to-use online tutoring software such as WizIQ allowing tutors to focus on providing quality education through its wide range of features.
It’s also worth getting to know the challenges of the online tuition medium. Some tutors and students will struggle with issues such as understanding body language and establishing rapport. However, by being aware of any potential challenges and frustrations at the outset, you will be much better placed to deal with any issues should they arise.
Save Your Spot for Henry’s webinar ‘60-minute Roundup on Why and How Online Tutoring Works’. Don’t worry, if you can’t attend the LIVE webinar or missed it. You can register for the webinar here and get free access to the recording of the webinar.