Published on November 8th, 2013 | by J Davies


Online Vs. Private Tutoring: Pros and Cons Explained

You need some help with your studies. It happens to the best of us. No matter how well you pay attention in class, there’s always something you miss – something critically important. That’s why you need a tutor. It’s not that you’re dumb. It’s that there’s just way too much information to digest in the time allotted. Besides, the professor can’t always slow down class or go into a lot of detail. He or she has a lesson plan that has to be finished.

Your choices? Online and private tutoring. Which should you choose? It depends.

Online Tutoring

Online tutoring has several major advantages. For starters, an online tutor doesn’t require you to travel anywhere. That’s a major plus if you live in a rural or ultra-rural area. Online tutoring is also incredibly flexible, as it is taken as an “on-demand class.” Online learning also typically provides you with direct-line communication with your instructor via a chat interface.

Online tutors are ideal for both high school and college-level students because sessions are cheap and the tutor can help with homework and provide visual aids for more theoretical or conceptual subject matter.

The primary downside to online tutoring is that there’s no guarantee that you’ll have the same tutor throughout your academic year. As a result, it may be difficult for tutors to adequately assess your strengths, weaknesses, and gaps in knowledge.

Private Tutoring

Private tutoring is tutoring that is usually done in the home or a central meeting place. It’s one-to-one tutoring. A central idea in private tutoring is that you build a relationship with your tutor over time so that he or she can get a better grasp on what you need help with and where your strengths lie. In fact, Los Angeles children who got tutoring via private sessions often improved test scores compared to students who didn’t receive private tutoring.

The tutor is usually hired for the entire academic year, giving a personal guarantee on improving grades in the subject being tutored. Since the private tutor is giving the student personal attention, it’s like having a private teacher or instructor with you several times per week.

Lessons can be customized, the tutor moves at your pace, and you cover material in a way that is both meaningful for you and adapted to your specific learning style.

Private tutoring is ideal for elementary school students since eye contact and body language is known to be important in the learning process at this age. The experienced tutor can identify a student’s knowledge and skill level in a subject, identify gaps in knowledge, and create lesson plans that specifically target weaknesses.

If you’re not very tech savvy, or you want that personalized touch in your tutoring, private tutoring is probably for you.

However, it is the most expensive form of tutoring since everything is customized to you, the tutor has to drive to meet you, and you’re paying for expert-level knowledge of the subject matter.

Of course, you don’t have to opt for either online or private tutoring. If you can’t afford multiple tutoring sessions for the week, consider hiring a tutor part-time and supplement the private sessions with online tutoring. That way, you’re still getting at least some of the personal attention you need without breaking the bank.

Kaylee Cowling has used tutors for her four children throughout the years. An avid writer, she likes to share what she has learned with others online.

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