Online tutoring has become a hugely popular alternative to face-to-face tutoring in recent years. In fact, India is leading the way in global online tutoring services by offering professional linguistic and academic coaching capabilities at an affordable cost. The relative convenience and cost effectiveness of online tutoring as compared to the face-to-face approach are perhaps the two most important reasons why online tutoring is preferred by many students and parents as well these days.
However, before this prompts you to quickly make up your mind to go for an online tutoring business, it is necessary to remain informed about the pros and cons of this particular method of tutoring.
What’s good about online tutoring
The convenience factor – Nowadays online tutors or tutoring institutes can be located right from the convenience of your home using websites like LearnPick. This means that you do not have to travel all the way to the tuition center which is a big boon if you are staying in a city or have to wait indefinitely for the session to start. All you have to do is set up a time with your online tutor and login to your Skype account at the agreed time. Most online tutors are also quite flexible with their course timings. So if you have a busy schedule ahead, you can request your tutor to slot the training sessions as per your availability.
Easy on the pocket - Because the infrastructural costs of arranging an online tutorial session are minimal, such tutors often charge lower per hour rates for online tuitions vis-à-vis face-to-face sessions. Since you no longer have to travel for the tutorial, you save money on fuel as well. In most cases online tutoring works out to be more cost effective than in-person tutoring.
Recording of online tutorials – One of the biggest advantages of online tutoring is being able to replay the recorded video lecture sessions. Not only does it reinforce the learning process, it can be a novel way to revise your lessons just before the exam, giving you a competitive edge over your peers.
Remote access to experts- There is a possibility that you do not find a suitable tutor locally. So instead of having to settle for a tutor who is not up to the desired standards, online tutorials allow you to search for a subject matter expert who can help you attain greater clarity in the subject.
Introvert students benefit from online tutoring – Students who are introverts and hesitant in seeking clarifications in a group study scenario can benefit from online tutoring that offers them a chance to feel more at ease and interact with the tutor more freely.
And what’s not so good about it
Requires you to be self-disciplined – Face-to-face tutoring requires greater discipline in terms of keeping track of the number of tutorial sessions, log in time, being attentive and not getting distracted by what’s going on around you. This also includes restrictions in accessing social media or personal email accounts, and instead focusing on what’s being said and asking all the relevant questions. Similarly, online lessons may also prove to be ineffective if the student is not disciplined and organised.
Not applicable for all subjects - There are certain situations in which online tutoring may fail to deliver. For example, in case of foreign language lessons, students have to follow the mouth movement of the teacher to grasp the pronunciation. This is not easily achievable in the case of online tutoring. Similarly, if the homework requires the student to draw or write on paper, then online tutoring may not be as helpful.
Communication roadblocks - The subtle non-verbal cues play an important role in the effectiveness of student-teacher communication. A frown on the face, scratching of the forehead, or a distracted look may tell a teacher that the student is not following the lesson well. That’s something which is impossible to record in the case of online tutoring and such cues often go unnoticed.
At the same time, individual knowledge and teaching skills vary across online tutors. But then, that’s also the case with tutors who teach on a face-to-face basis. Taking into account all the benefits that online tutoring has to offer, it certainly is a great option for students who cannot find the right tutor locally, and need some flexibility in terms of customizing their session timings and schedules. So if you happen to have a high-speed internet connection, headphones or an inbuilt microphone, an online tutoring option is definitely worth considering.