tutoring

online tutoring, tutoring

How Does Online Tutoring Work? Is It As Effective As Traditional Tutoring?


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As of 2019, 81% of the developed world’s population and 56% of the world’s population has internet access. 2.71 billion people own a smartphone and 1 in 4 students in the UK have had private tuition. And there is a growing interest among parents with the idea of online tuition as it provides easy access to quality tuition, with less scheduling hassles, without any geographic constraints and the ability to have tuition for their child anywhere in the world where there is internet access. However, some parents may be wondering how does online tutoring work and is it as effective as traditional tutoring?

Although the idea of online tutoring sounds like a solution to a parent’s problem with finding their child quality tutoring, it does raise several concerns for parents. The concerns that parents have about online tutoring are usually in four key areas: how the lesson is delivered to their child, how their child interacts with the tutor in the lesson, how is homework assessed between the lessons and is online tutoring as effective as traditional face to face tutoring.

As a parent, are you looking for quality tuition for your child in order to help them be more academically successful? Have you researched the different tutoring options available today such as hiring a tutor from a large tutoring agency, a tutor clearing website or working with a tutor who is a sole proprietor? You may want to read the blog posts “Need A Tutor? Should I Go With A Franchise Tutor For My Child?”, “Tutor Websites: Should I Hire A Tutor Directly Through One For My Child?” and “Find A Tutor: Should I Hire A Tutor From A Sole Proprietor Website” for help with researching your options. Maybe you have decided that working with a tutor that you found through a tutoring website or who is a sole proprietor is the best option for you. And now you have to decide if you want your child to work with the tutor using a traditional tutoring format in your home or online.

How Is The Lesson Delivered

how does online tutoring work

Every day people are making video calls using Apple’s FaceTime or Facebook Messenger apps on their smartphone. In the late ’80s are early ’90s, large corporations started using video conferencing software to host meetings as a more cost-effective way to hold meetings rather than having to fly their executives to the location of the meeting. Or, videoconferencing was used to host meetings that had a more personal touch that could be obtained through a phone call. The video conferencing software of choice for large corporations at the time was Skype.

Today, an online tutoring lesson is delivered through video conferencing software such as Skype or Zoom. From the perspective of the tutor, both Skype and Zoom offer a good high definition video conferencing experience although Zoom is becoming the preferred choice. This is because it offers more functionality they can use in their lessons to create a richer more immersive learning environment. From the perspective of the parent, the app for both Skype and Zoom can either be downloaded or they can use the web-based version. And their child can easily connect to the lesson by clicking on the link in the confirmation email they were sent by the tutor on their smartphone, tablet or laptop.

How Their Child Interacts With The Tutor In The Lesson

how does online tutoring work

If the tutor visited their house the parents would see the tutor take out a variety of books, past paper questions, worksheets, sheets of blank paper, an assortment of coloured pens and sharpened pencils. They would most likely see the tutor sit across the dining room table and both the tutor and the child would solve problems together on a sheet of paper that was on the table between them. The tutor would ask questions to make sure the child understood the concept and the child would ask questions regarding anything that they didn’t understand as the lesson progressed.

The same learning experience can be achieved in an online tutoring lesson using digital paper and the sharing of the instructor’s computer screen. The digital paper of choice for tutors today is Bitpaper as it offers a wide variety of choices for the tutor to use in the lesson. The digital paper opens in a web browser and both the student and the tutor can write and draw on the paper simultaneously. It effectively replicates the blank sheet of paper, coloured pens and pencils used in a traditional tutoring session. Past paper questions and worksheets can either be embedded directly into the digital paper or the tutor can share their screen with the student. This allows the student to see past paper questions, worksheets, PowerPoint presentations or even video clips on the tutor’s computer screen. And of course, since the tutor and the student can see each other they can ask each other questions.

How Is Homework Assessed During The Lessons

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Although they are in a digital format, it’s actually a more efficient use of time to assess homework sets that are digital rather than paper-based. In a traditional tutoring environment, there is a delay in getting the homework marked. This is because the student is assigned homework at the end of one tutoring session and gives it to their tutor at the beginning of the second tutoring session. The tutor either marks it during the lesson, which is not the best use of tutoring time or takes it with them at the end of the lesson and brings it back with them at the start of the third lesson. Either the lesson time is not used efficiently or the homework sets are not marked in a timely manner.

In an online tutoring environment, the tutor shares a folder in the cloud with the student such as a folder on their OneDrive or Google drive account. This allows the tutor to upload a homework document to the shared folder where the student can download the document and complete the homework set. The student can then scan their completed work using an app on their smartphone and upload it to the folder. The tutor then has the option of either printing it off and marking the hardcopy or marking it digitally and uploading the marked copy to the shared folder. Although it involves a learning curve for both the student and tutor once the routine is established as part of the weekly tutoring session it becomes a rather effective use of time.

Is Online Tutoring As Effective As Traditional Tutoring?

how does online tutoring work

Studies indicate that online tutoring is as effective as traditional tutoring and gets similar results in the improvement of student course grades and standardised tests. The focus of the studies has shifted from how online tutoring works which has been clearly established to why online tutoring works. The reason why online tutoring works is that tutoring depends on the rapport that is established between the tutor and the student during the tutoring session. If the tutor and the student have rapport then the tutoring session will be determined to be effective and if the tutor and the student don’t have rapport then the tutoring session will be deemed to be ineffective.

This is, of course, assuming that the tutor has a strong command of the subject matter and knows how to use the online learning environment effectively. Online tutors who are sole proprietors naturally have a strong command of their subject matter as many are ex-teachers who have decided that tutoring online is a more effective use of their time than teaching in the classroom. And they have also developed through a steep learning curve a skill set that allows them to be effective in an online learning environment.

How Does Online Tutoring Work? And Is It Effective?

how does online tutoring work

The global online education market is growing annually and is expected to reach $190 billion in 2019. And online tutoring, which is a part of the global online education market, is also experiencing positive growth as more parents are choosing online tutoring in order to supplement or remediate their child’s education. The research and economic evidence strongly indicate that online tutoring is a cost-effective way for parents to afford quality tuition for their child. Although online tutoring is a growing field, some parents wonder how does online tutoring work and is it as effective as traditional tutoring?

Why does online tutoring work and is as effective as traditional tutoring? The reasons are summarised below:

  1. Parents have less scheduling issues, don’t have to drive to or from tutoring centres and aren’t restricted to hiring tutors that are willing to travel to their home when they hire an online tutor.
  2. Online tutoring uses high definition video conferencing software such as Skype or Zoom in order to connect your child with a qualified tutor so it’s like the tutor sitting across the desk from your child.
  3. Online tutors use digital paper such as BitPaper so that the tutor and student can write on the same sheet of paper. And the tutor uses screen sharing to share other resources that will be used in the lesson.
  4. Homework sets are uploaded and downloaded to a shared cloud folder and are marked digitally by the tutor between lessons which is a more effective use of lesson time.
  5. Studies indicate that online tutoring is as effective as traditional tutoring and gets similar results in the improvement of student course grades and standardised tests.
  6. Online tutors who are sole proprietors have a strong command of their subject matter as have also developed a skill set that allows them to be effective teachers in an online learning environment.

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Find A Tutor: Should I Hire A Tutor From A Sole Proprietor Website


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In the previous two posts, “Tutor Websites: Should I Hire A Tutor Directly Through One For My Child?” and “Need A Tutor? Should I Go With A Franchise Tutor For My Child?“, we discussed possible solutions to the problem of how to find a tutor for your child to help them earn the grade they desire in their courses. We looked at the advantages and disadvantages of enrolling your child in a franchise tutoring centre so that they can receive tuition. And we also discussed how to find a tutor for your child by hiring a tutor from a tutoring website where for a fee you can download the contact details of teachers who want to tutor in order to earn a supplemental income.

In this post, we conclude the three-part series and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of hiring a tutor from a sole proprietor business which owned and operated by the tutor. In your search results from the internet, you may have noticed websites that are not owned by the large tutoring companies but which offer bespoke tuition in various niche markets such as maths, English or science? In complete transparency, EmPowerMind is a sole proprietor business that offers online tuition in A-level chemistry, A-level conversion courses and AP Chemistry. 

Are you interested in a more personalised approach to your tutoring needs than sending your child to a franchise tutoring centre? Are you interested in a more convenient and professional approach to tutoring than having a teacher show up at your home in the evening and on the weekends? Are you interested in how to find a tutor who has a vested interest in your child’s academic success because their livelihood depends on it?

Find A Tutor: Three Advantages To Directly Hiring A Tutor

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The first advantage is that the tutor has a vested interest in your child’s academic success. This is because tutoring franchises are primarily interested in making sure that they meet their monthly franchise fees and mortgage payments for their centres. And teachers that advertise their services on tutoring websites are primarily working for a supplemental income. However, if a tutor has a sole proprietor business then they don’t have a loan against their home like owners of franchise tutoring centres in order to even out the cash flow and they need repeat business month after month in order to be profitable. So you can expect a higher level of professionalism and quality of tutoring for your child.

The second advantage is that the tutor works in a specialised niche market so you are getting quality tuition in one subject area rather than working with a tutor that tutors in several areas. For a tutor to run a sustainable tutoring company they only have time to market themselves and work with students in a given niche market. They only have time to be specialists and not generalists. This is why you see websites for sole proprietor tutoring businesses that are geared towards maths or English tuition rather than the franchise tutoring websites that can afford to market themselves to a more general population. The third advantage is that the tutor can specialise in a specific delivery of instruction that works with your child. For example, the tutor may specialise in maths tuition in a certain geographical area and be willing to work with your child in your home. Or they may specialise in English tuition and work in an online format. As a parent, you have the option to choose which method of delivery you want for your child. Three advantages to directly hiring a tutor:

  • The tutor has a vested interest in your child’s academic success.
  • Your child is getting quality tuition in one subject area.
  • The tutor can specialise in a specific delivery of instruction that works with your child.

Find A Tutor: Three Disadvantages To Directly Hiring A Tutor

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The first disadvantage of hiring a tutor directly is that it is more expensive than hiring a tutor from a tutoring website although it is normally less expensive than having your child tutored by a teacher who works for a franchise tutoring company. This is because the tutor who owns a sole proprietor business have their own business and personal expenses that they need to meet each month and their client fees are their sole source of income. And since they are running a business and are not competing with other teachers they do not need to be competitive in their tutoring fees in order to match or undercut the fees of other teachers in order to get clients.

The second disadvantage of hiring a tutor directly is that as a parent you need to verify that the tutor is background checked and is qualified to teach in their chosen subject area. If you work with a teacher that works at a large tutoring franchise or if you hire a tutor through a tutoring website then as part of your fees you are paying for a background check and a credential check to be completed on the teacher. Anyone can create a website and profess to be credentialed to teach in a given subject area so you need to make sure that you have checked the background and credentials of the tutor before you allow them to work with your child.

The third disadvantage of hiring a tutor directly is that they may not have access to quality resources to use in their tutoring sessions. Although franchise tutoring centres are an expensive option and are not the best return on your financial investment one advantage they do have is access to resources to use in their tutoring sessions with your child. The same applies to teachers you hire through a tutoring website as they normally use the resources that they use in the classroom. So, make sure that if you chose to hire a tutor directly through their business website that you check that they have access to resources they can use in their tutoring session with your child such as worksheets, past paper questions, mark schemes and course specifications.

Three disadvantages to directly hiring a tutor:

  • Hiring a tutor directly is that it is more expensive.
  • You need to verify that the tutor is background checked and is qualified to teach in their chosen subject area.
  • They may not have access to quality resources to use in their tutoring sessions.

Conclusion

The private tuition business is a growing market with the global market expected to reach $177,621 by 2026 according to Zion market research. Having to find a tutor for your child can be an emotional process because as a parent you are concerned about the academic progress your child is making in school. And as a parent, you are rightfully concerned about your child’s academic future and whether they will get into the university of their choice. And like most parents, you have probably started a search on the internet for a solution to your problem and clicked on a couple of websites or made a couple of telephone calls.

Hopefully, this three-part blog series has allowed you to explore the three possible solutions when you want to find a tutor to help your child be more academically successful: franchise tutoring centres, hiring a tutor through a tutoring website and hiring a tutor directly through their business website. Each solution has its own advantages and disadvantages which are summarised below:

Advantages

Hiring a tutor through a franchise agency

  • You bring your child to the centre to be tutored which means that you don’t have to tidy up your home for a home visit from a private tutor.
  • Tutoring centres only hire teachers that have passed a background check and are qualified teachers in their subject fields.
  • Tutoring centres tend to follow a systematic program of instruction when tutoring your child.
  • The tutoring centre will give your child progress tests so that you can see the progress that they are making in their studies.
  • Children who attend franchise tutoring centres do make academic progress throughout the academic year.

Hiring a tutor through a tutoring website

  • The teachers have had their background checked and their credentials verified.
  • You get to choose who you want your child to work with.
  • Parents can post reviews regarding their experience working with the tutor or the tutor can ask the parents to post referral to the website.
  • It is a lot cheaper to work with tutors directly rather than working with a franchise tutoring company.
  • The teachers who offer their services as a tutor on tutor referral websites often rely on the extra income in order to meet their financial obligations.

Hiring a tutor directly through their business website

The tutor has a vested interest in your child’s academic success.

  • Your child is getting quality tuition in one subject area.
  • The tutor can specialise in a specific delivery of instruction that works with your child.

Disadvantages

Hiring a tutor through a franchise agency

  • You have to bring your child to the tutoring centre several times a week.
  • The teachers who work at the tutoring centre are paid minimum wage or just above minimum wage for their time.
  • Franchise tutoring companies follow a pre-programmed system of tuition.
  • The cost of the lesson itself.
  • The owner of the franchise is not required to be a teacher and often does not have an educational background. 

Hiring a tutor through a tutoring website

  • The tutor will be making a home visit in order to tutor your child which means that you will have to prepare your home for a visitor and tidy up the common areas of your home.
  • You need to pay the tutor when they are leaving your home after they have taught your child.
  • Although the tutor may have an interest in seeing your child be successful in their studies most of the teachers on the tutor referral websites tutor on a part-time basis with an ulterior motive.
  • You need to consider the quality of the tutoring that you are receiving from the tutor.
  • You need to consider the mindset and professionalism of the tutor.

Hiring a tutor directly through their business website

  • Hiring a tutor directly is that it is more expensive.
  • You need to verify that the tutor is background checked and is qualified to teach in their chosen subject area.
  • They may not have access to quality resources to use in their tutoring sessions.

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Hiring A Tutor: Should I Hire A Tutor Directly From A Tutor Website For My Child?


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Hiring A Tutor

In the previous blog post, we reviewed the concept of shadow education and the advantages and disadvantages of using a franchise tutoring agency to tutor your child. As you may recall, shadow education is a term used to describe the supplementary education i.e. tutoring, that a growing number of parents are purchasing for their children in order to improve their GCSE or A-level grades with the expectation that they will get into a better 6th form college or be accepted into the university of their choice. And a franchise tutoring agency is a company that has a business location, hires teachers to tutor children and uses a pre-programmed method of instruction. The conclusions from the previous blog post were that enrolling your child in a franchise tutoring agency would probably increase their grade in their GCSE and A-level exams. However, the pre-programmed one size fits all approach to tutoring is not a good fit for all children, taking your child to and from the tutoring centre is inconvenient for the parent and the cost of tutoring at a tutoring centre is a rather expensive option. Is hiring a tutor directly and cutting out the middle man possible? Is doing this a possible alternative to the franchise tutoring companies?

The answer is yes! The first alternative to be considered is hiring a tutor directly through a tutoring website. If you Google private tutors in a given subject a lot of the search results besides the franchise tutoring company advertisements are for tutor websites that allow tutors to advertise their services to prospective clients.

Is learning about a more economical approach to tutoring your child something that you are interested in?

The Five Advantages To Directly Hiring A Teacher

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There are five distinct advantages to hiring a tutor directly through a tutor referral website. First, is that all of the teachers that have created a profile on the website have had their background checked and their credentials verified by the company that owns the website. Therefore, you can feel more at ease allowing the tutor to work with your child in your home.

Second, is that you get to choose who you want your child to work with which is a distinct advantage over working with the franchise tutoring companies who assign your child to work in a small group with a tutor or assign your child to work individually with a tutor. You can book an individual lesson with your chosen tutor and at the end of the lesson, you can decide if you want to book another lesson with the same tutor or try another one. As a parent, this gives you ownership of the situation and allows you to try different tutors until you find the perfect match for your child.

Third, is that the parents can post reviews regarding their experience working with the tutor or the tutor can ask the parents to post a referral to the website. This free exchange of review of the parent’s experience of the tutor working with their child either at the parents initiative or at the tutor’s request means that the quality tutors get hired more and rise to the top of the search results on the website and the poorer quality tutors get filtered out because they aren’t hired by parents to tutor their child. As a parent, this means that you have the option of choosing between several tutors with good reviews from the website and reading the honest reviews of parents of the child with whom the tutor has worked with previously.

Fourth, is that it is a lot cheaper to work with tutors directly rather than working with a franchise tutoring company. Depending on the qualifications and teaching experience of the tutor, the qualification and subject matter being taught and where you are located, you can hire a tutor for between £20 – £60 per hour without having to purchase a package of lessons like you would have to if you worked with a tutoring agency. A lot of parents choose this option because they get similar results to working with a tutoring agency at a fraction of the cost.

Fifth, is that the teachers who offer their services as a tutor on tutor referral websites often rely on the extra income in order to meet their financial obligations. Therefore, they work hard to help their tutees improve their grades and then ask their tutee’s parents for a recommendation letter.

The Five Disadvantages To Directly Hiring A Teacher

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Although there are a lot of advantages to hiring a tutor directly through a tutoring website there are also several disadvantages. First is that the tutor will be making a home visit in order to tutor your child which means that you will have to prepare your home for a visitor and tidy up the common areas of your home. Most homes tend to be busy homes in the evening times during the week with the evening meal being prepared in the kitchen, family members watching television in the living room and various conversations taking place throughout the home. So you will have to take time out of your busy schedule at the end of the day to tidy up your home, clear off the dining room table and make the room a quiet zone for an hour when the tutor teaches your child.

Second, you need to pay the tutor when they are leaving your home after they have taught your child. Most tutors who make home visits operate on a cash-only basis so this means that you need to remember to stop at the ATM machine on the way home from work and take out cash to pay the tutor. This is another task that you need to add to a long list of tasks that you need to accomplish during the week.

Third, is although the tutor may have an interest in seeing your child be successful in their studies most of the teachers on the tutor referral websites tutor on a part-time basis with an ulterior motive. They are tutoring in order to bring in some extra cash to smooth out the monthly cash flow, pay for the nicer things in life, pay off a financial obligation such as an outstanding bill or a credit card or save up for a vacation or a downpayment on a home. Once they have met their financial objective they stop tutoring until they need to meet another financial objective. As a parent, you need to consider whether you want to hire a tutor who is only a tutor for a short duration of time or do you want to hire a tutor who will work with your child throughout the duration of the course.

Fourth is that you need to consider the quality of the tutoring that you are receiving from the tutor. Although the franchise tutoring companies use a worksheet based approach to tutoring the advantage they have is that they do have all of their resources planned out in advance for each module of the course. When hiring a tutor directly through a tutoring website you need to make sure that they are not just turning up to your home to provide homework help with your child but that they also have a long term approach to tutoring and have a plan and resources planned out for each module of the course.

Fifth, you need to consider the mindset and professionalism of the tutor. Most teachers tend to act professionally in their dealings with students and do uphold themselves to a high level of professional conduct. However, if a teacher is tutoring on the side in order to make extra money throughout the school year even if they have their own resources and a plan for tutoring your child are they as fully committed to the process as a tutoring franchise owner is who has made considerable financial investment and needs to see his franchise be successful?

Looking For Tutors: Is Hiring A Tutor Directly From A Tutoring Website A Good Idea?

Hiring A Tutor

There are advantages and disadvantages to hiring a tutor directly through a tutoring website. As a parent, you get to work with a tutor that you have chosen in the comfort of your own home and a time of your choosing at a fraction of the cost of working with a franchise tutoring company. However, the tutor may not have a long term plan of action for tutoring your child or the resources for each module of the course prepared in advance. And their mindset may be meeting a short term financial obligation such as paying off a personal financial obligation rather than a long term plan of seeing your child earn the best grade that they can in the course.

According to the BBC news, the supplemental education service is a £17.5 billion a year business. In the supplemental education service there are a wide range of tutors from high school students to super tutors. It’s an area that is definitely worth investigating before you make a decision.  

However, before you make the decision to hire a tutor directly through a tutoring website you may want to consider working with a teacher who is running a tutoring company themselves which will be discussed in the next blog post “Find A Tutor: Should I Hire A Tutor From A Sole Proprietor Website.”

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Need A Tutor? Should I Go With A Franchise Tutor For My Child?


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Are You Being Reactive Or Proactive?

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Have you noticed the billboard advertisements on your daily commute into work for the franchise tutoring agencies? Maybe you have noticed the advertisements for the tutoring agencies on the side of the local buses or tubes? Or maybe you have noticed the flyers for the tutoring agencies in your junk mail that arrives in the mail along with your monthly bills. Have you noticed that they all follow the same format? A child is seen smiling as they work with their private tutor as they sit around a table. Or another child is seen holding up their A-level results letter which states they have earned A* or A grades on their exams and are going off to the university of their choice. Or another advertisement states that their franchise tutoring agencies almost guarantees an A* or A grade on the final exam of A-level courses.

And maybe you pause for a moment and think about how well your own child is doing in their A-level courses. Maybe you have just received your child’s mock exam results and are worried about what they predict for your child. If you need an explanation of the results, read the blog post “Mock Exam Results Explained: Are They A Good Indicator Of Your Child’s Future Success?” And you wonder if rather than spending a lot of money sending your child to a tutoring franchise once a week, whether hiring a private tutor directly would help them earn better grades on their final exams at a cheaper price. So you conduct a quick Google search on private tutors in your area which shows not only the Google advertisements for the franchise tutoring services but also a page of links to tutoring websites. One of those websites where teachers post their credentials and hourly rate and show up to your house in the evening during the week or during a Sunday afternoon.

In an act of desperation as your child brings home a failing or a poor grade on their latest A-level course exam you reach for your phone and schedule an appointment with the local franchise tutoring agency. Or you enter your credit card details into a website, purchase the contact details of a private tutor and hire them to come to your house and tutor your child for an hour on a weekend afternoon.

Did parts of this story sound familiar to you? When you read the story did you think that you knew exactly what that parent felt like? Did you see yourself in the story scrolling through pages and pages of search results on your phone while you waited for a tube on the way into work? Or maybe late at night after you finally get a few minutes peace and quiet to yourself?

Would you like to be able to compare the advantages and disadvantages of working with a franchise tutoring company versus a private tutor?

Need A Tutor: Five Advantages Of Using A Franchise Tutoring Company

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Franchise tutoring companies along with private tutors are part of the shadow education market. They both provide supplemental education to your child in order to help them succeed on benchmark exams such as their GCSE or A-level exams. The franchise tutoring market segment is growing rapidly. According to IbisWorld, the franchise tutoring market has grown over the last five years to $1.15 billion. If it’s a growing market, then it must mean that a lot of parents are using their services so the tutoring that the children receive must be making a difference in their education. And one would assume that its good value for money, right?

There are several advantages to consider if you are thinking about using the services of a tutoring franchise. First, is that you bring your child to the centre to be tutored which means that you don’t have to tidy up your home for a home visit from a private tutor. Second, is that tutoring centres only hire teachers that have passed a background check and are qualified teachers in their subject fields. So you know that the teacher that is tutoring your child is qualified to tutor in their field of expertise and you are not paying for someone who claims that they can tutor in a given subject but are unqualified to do so. Third, is that the tutoring centres tend to follow a systematic program of instruction when tutoring your child. Your child will take an initial diagnostic test and the results will be used to create a plan of action for the tutor to follow using the centre’s resource materials. Fourth, the tutoring centre will give your child progress tests so that you can see the progress that they are making in their studies. And fifth is that children who attend franchise tutoring centres do make academic progress throughout the academic year.

Need A Tutor: Five Disadvantages Of Using A Franchise Tutoring Company

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The disadvantages are the opposite of the advantages outlined above. First, is that you have to bring your child to the tutoring centre several times a week. This means that you need to drive to the tutoring centre, drop your child off at the centre, wait for tuition to finish, pick your child up and then drive back home. Is this something that you want to do several times a week after you have been at work all day? Second, is that the teachers who work at the tutoring centre are paid minimum wage or just above minimum wage for their time. Most of the teachers who work at franchise tutoring companies are doing so in order to pay off a credit card or other financial obligation or are saving up for a vacation. If you stop and think for a minute, why else would a teacher who has been background checked, qualified as a teacher and has several years of teaching experience work for minimum or just above minimum wage after teaching all week? Do you think that the teacher has your child’s best interest at heart or are they just going through the motions of tutoring your child in order to collect a meagre paycheck once every two weeks? Third, is that franchise tutoring companies follow a pre-programmed system of tuition. Once your child has completed a diagnostic test they are placed into a stream of worksheets that they complete and the teacher checks against an answer key. If they score a certain percentage then they can move onto the next worksheet and gradually work their way to the end of the sequence of worksheets, take a diagnostic test and then repeat the process again until they graduate from the tutoring centre. Do you want a one size fits all approach to your child’s education or would you rather have a bespoke approach that is tailored to your child’s educational needs? Fourth, is the cost of the lesson itself. Franchise tutoring companies charge anywhere from £40 to £99 per lesson depending on whether you want your child to be tutored in a group setting or individually and what topic is being taught i.e. GSCE or A-Level or English or Maths. Now, it doesn’t take a parent too long to realise that if the teacher is being paid around £10 per hour, then the rest of the hourly fee is being used to cover franchise fees, operating overheads and the salaries of the director and the administrative staff. Fifth is that the owner of the franchise is not required to be a teacher and often does not have an educational background. Rather, all they need is a desire to own and operate a tutoring franchise and they will receive up to two weeks of training from the franchise corporate headquarters before opening their franchise. Again, would you trust your child’s future to someone who isn’t a qualified teacher?

Need A Tutor: Is Sending Your Child To A Franchise Tutoring Agency Worth The Money?

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There are good points and bad points to take into account when considering sending your child to a tutoring franchise for tuition. Using a tutoring franchise is an expensive option, which for most parents in the United States is equivalent to paying for the first year of their child’s college tuition. However, like buying clothing off of the rack in a department store, tutoring franchises may offer a solution that isn’t quite the right fit but it does get the job done. Your child will graduate with GCSE or A-level grades that are higher than they would have been without having tuition from a tutoring franchise. However, before you make the decision to send your child to a tutoring franchise for tuition you may want to consider private tuition by hiring the teacher directly through a tutoring website which will be discussed in the next blog post.

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Mock Exam Results Explained: Are They A Good Indicator Of Your Child’s Future Success?


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Mock Exam Results Explained

Are you concerned about your child’s mock exam results? This week nationwide students took their mock exams in their A-level subjects and waited for their tutors to mark their papers. Some students were happy with the result that they earned on their mock exams and believe that they are on track to secure a place at the university of their choice. 

Other students were unhappy with their mock exam results and have had conversations with their subject tutors where they were given advice such as “study more” or “complete more past paper questions.” Some students who didn’t do well on their mock exams may also have been assigned mandatory study periods in order to help them use their time in the day more effectively.

Did your child do well on their mock exams? If they did well that’s great! If they didn’t do well, as a parent should you be concerned?

The Difference Between Formative And Summative Assessments

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To understand the value of mock exams you need to understand how they fit into the learning cycle. Assessments in education are divided into two categories – formative and summative. Once you understand the difference between the two types of assessment you can understand the value of mock exams and will better understand your child’s mock exam results.

Formative assessments are assessments such as HW sets. They are used to monitor the progress that your child is making in the course as they are learning the course material. The teacher marks the HW set and notes which questions the students got correct and which questions they got incorrect. The teacher then tailors the next lesson to reteach any areas where there is a misunderstanding of the concept by the students. Summative assessments are assessments such as quizzes, end of topic tests or mock exams. They are used to assess how well your child understands the topic if its a quiz or an end of the topic exam. Or they are used to assess how your child is progressing in the course compared to a benchmark i.e. their predicted grade if its a mock exam.

A mock exam is a summative assessment of your child’s understanding of the course material to date and is a good indication of how they will perform on their end of course exams.

Help Your Child Be Successful In Their Studies By Helping Them Plan Their Study Time

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Now you understand that the mock exam is a formative assessment that assesses your child’s progress in the course you are better equipped to decide whether you should be concerned about the grade on your child’s mock exam result. The answer is that you should be concerned about your child’s mock exam result as its a really good indicator as to how your child will do on the final exam of the course. So, although your child may tell you that “its nothing to worry about” or that “they have things under control”, as a parent you need to step in and take decisive action in order to help your child be successful in their studies.

One action that you can do to help your child is to help them create a revision schedule. In order to save time consider purchasing a dairy with one page for each day of the week. Then sit down with your child and block out and label each hour of the day during the week that they are in class or are attending subject tutorials or other school events. Block out and label time for eating breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as getting ready for the day in the morning. And block out and label an hour to relax at the end of the day and assign a reasonable time to go to bed.

Did you notice how commute time to and from school wasn’t blocked out? If you look at your child’s day on the planner you may notice that there are pockets of dead time throughout their day. For example, commute time to and from school or an hour between lessons on certain days of the week. Using these pockets of dead time to study can help your child become more productive during the day by using their time more effectively. Studying during their daily commute is a productive way to use this time as your child can revise keywords and definitions using an app on their smartphone or review the steps needed to complete a complicated problem.

Your child has probably been told by their tutor that they need to study so many hours a week per subject outside of lesson time. Most schools follow a plan where they assign five hours of homework per week per subject during the school year. However, in the ramp up to the end of course exams, the school may update their plan and recommend that students study five hours a week if they want a C at the end of the course and 20 hours a week if they want an A* in the course. It is now time to sit down with your child and map out the hours of revision time that they need to complete each week in order to earn the grade that they want in the course.

Mock Exam Results: Will Hiring A Tutor Help My Child Earn Better Grades?

Mock Exam Results Explained

A lot of parents panic after their child shows them their mock exam results and believe that a tutor is a solution to improving their child’s grades in their courses. In fact, according to the Evening Standard, 27% of parents have hired a tutor for their child.  The thinking is that their child is not doing well in their studies because of an external issue – the teacher is doing a poor job at teaching the course, the school isn’t providing the needed resources such as access to several years of past paper questions or the latest laboratory equipment or the subject tutorials offered by the school are rather lackluster and ineffective. Parents think that by hiring a tutor they will solve this problem because they are hiring an expert that can meet with their child for an hour a week and the problem is fixed! 

However, our experience indicates that it isn’t an external issue that is causing the poor mock exam results. Rather it is an internal issue that is causing the problem. Many children have not been taught by their subject tutors how to revise effectively for their exams. What they have been taught is how to create a revision schedule with so many hours of revision each week for each of their subjects. What they end up with is a piece of paper with all of their classes colour coded and all of their revision time for each subject colour coded and their days full from the time they get up in the morning to the time they go to bed in the night time. They put their revision schedule into a plastic sheet protector and place it in the front of their day folder and follow their plan and study each of their subjects for a set period of time each day. And at the end of the course, they don’t get the grade that they want on their exams and they enter clearing hoping to find a university that will accept them onto a course. And they feel resentment towards their subject tutors and their school because they did what they were told but they didn’t get the result.

Will hiring a tutor may help your child be more successful in their studies? It depends on the type and quality of the tutor that you hire to help your child. If the tutor understands that the issue with your child’s grades may be internally focused rather than externally focused then your child will improve their grade in the course. If they use strategies to help your child revise more effectively as well as review the subject content then it is worth the investment of your time and money. However, if the tutor just reviews subject content with your child once a week then your child’s grade in the course will not improve dramatically and the money spent will not be a good investment. If you are considering hiring a tutor, read the blog post “Imagine What It Would Feel Like to See Your Child Go to University” for factors to consider when hiring a tutor.

 

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Hiring A Tutor For Your Child? 10 Factors To Consider Before You Decide


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Are you considering hiring a tutor for your child? Maybe it’s because you see them feeling frustrated and demoralised when they earn a failing grade on a test. Or maybe you see their report card and wonder if they are living up to their true potential. And maybe you wonder if they will actually attend the university of their choice.

Hiring a tutor for your child is a big decision for parents to make. You need to consider whether hiring a tutor will help your child earn the grades they need on their exams. And what factors to consider when hiring a tutor so that you hire a quality tutor for your child that helps your child improve their grade in the course and prepares them for their final exams.

Will An A-Level Tutor Help My Child Earn The Grades They Need On Their Exams?

Hiring A Tutor For Your Child

According to The Telegraph, there is an increase in the number of parents who are hiring a tutor for their child in order to supplement their education. Parents don’t hire private tutors because they are dissatisfied with the quality of teaching that is taking place in their children’s school. Rather, they hire private tutors either to help their child with a particular subject or because their child is excelling in their studies and they want their child to attend a specific university. Although some school headteachers frown upon using private tutors and instead suggest that if a student is failing at a subject that they should be tutored in-house by their subject tutor, the viewpoint is different when a child is taking A-levels. According to the article, David Boddy, head of St James Senior Boys’ School in Ashford, Surrey, believes that private tutoring is of a benefit for A-level students because it gives them a confidence boost, helps them with their work discipline and helps ensure that students get the grades on their exams that they need in order to get into the university of their choice.

10 Factors to Consider When Hiring An A-Level Tutor

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There are several factors to look for when hiring a tutor for your child either face to face or online. Consider the following factors:

  1. Ask for testimonials. A strong tutor will have testimonials from the parents of children they have previously tutored.
  2. Check credentials. A strong tutor will have the appropriate qualifications to teach the subject.
  3. Teaching Credentials. Strong tutors are qualified teachers that have teaching credentials. Weak tutors tend to be unqualified teachers.
  4. Criminal background check. Make sure that the tutor has been screened by the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB).
  5. Rapport with your child. Make sure that the tutor has rapport with your child. To check this, book an initial session with the tutor before committing further.
  6. Academic Strategy. Consider the tutor’s academic strategy for your child. Weak tutors will not have a well thought out plan for the time that they are spending tutoring your child. Their response will be along the lines of “give your child extra practice with homework” or “go over areas of the course that they are weak at” whereas a strong tutor will have SMART goals such as “review the module on atomic structure ” or “review past papers for three weeks.”
  7. Tutor Provided Resources. Weak tutors will not have their own resources rather they will ask to borrow your child’s textbook. They will ask your child if they have any questions about the material that they can answer. Strong tutors have their own resources and will give homework.  In addition, strong tutors will provide you all examination papers for your child’s course.
  8. Success Rate. Ask the tutor about their success rate helping students earn the grade they desire on their exams. Ask how many of their students have earned A*, A or B grades on their A-levels exams. Ask them how many students started with a failing grade in the course and earned a passing grade on their end of course exams.
  9. Price of the Session. Teachers are busy professionals and are either writing lesson plans, teaching students or marking papers. Check the market price of tutors at various agencies or independent tutors in your area. Beware of tutors who are marketing themselves a lot cheaper than other tutors tutoring the same subject. They are either starting out as a tutor and are inexperienced in tutoring or are building a list of referrals so that they can market themselves as a stronger tutor in the near future and increase their prices. You know the old saying “if it’s too good to be true then it probably is.”
  10. Online or Face to Face Tutoring. Some parents prefer to drop their child off at an agency to be tutored and don’t mind paying the markup that the tutoring agency charges. They enjoy the convenience of having someone else handle the scheduling of the sessions and the paperwork involved in the background check. Some parents want the teacher to come to their house and tutor their child in their home. They don’t want the hassle of having to travel to the tutoring agency several times a week and drop off and pick up their child. Other parents are more technically savvy and want their child to be tutored online. They understand that by working with a tutor online their child can have access to tutors that may not be otherwise available to them due to geographical constraints. According to Digital Journal, online tutoring is expected to grow in popularity at a rate of 14% per year until 2021.

How To Help Your Child Get The Grades

Every parent wants to see their child be academically successful and attend the university of their choice. They want to see their child have a better social position in life than they did in their lives. And every child wants to pass their coursework and exams with the best grades that they can earn and have less stress and frustration when completing their homework assignments and studying for their exams.

A tutor is someone who is a subject matter expert, someone who motivates your child to succeed and who believes in them. Maybe a tutor is a solution to the challenge that your child is having with their academic studies. If you are considering hiring a tutor for your child you may want to read the blog post “Need A Tutor? Should I Go With A Franchise Tutor For My Child?“, in order to understand the advantages and disadvantages of hiring a franchise tutor.