General Education

Online, Private, or Group Tutoring: Which One Is Best for You?

Online, Private, or Group Tutoring: Which One Is Best for You?
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Miles Keenlyside profile
Miles Keenlyside April 1, 2014

There are plenty of ways to find a tutor these days, but which one is the right one for your lifestyle? Considerations like time, money, and availability come into play when picking the right tutor. Which one is right for you?

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There is no shame in needing a little homework or test-prep help. Whether you’re a college student, law student, or parent of a middle schooler, tutoring can be a really helpful way to help you (or your child) achieve academic success.

Tutoring is a growing business in America. In 2004, estimates say that Americans spent between $8 and $10 billion on tutoring services. With all of these tutoring companies competing for your attention, be sure to find a tutoring service that has your best interests in mind. Here are some tips on finding the best method to suit your needs:

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# # Online Tutoring

Online tutoring is by far the cheapest and most convenient option for most students. Available 24/7 and 365 days a year, a myriad of websites from Khan Academy to to tutorial videos on YouTube offer a wide range of both free and paid tutorial services. While online tutoring might be the most convenient, often you will only get what you pay for out of these services. Studies show that students who rely on online tutoring services only improve marginally more than their classmates who solely rely on classroom materials. Online tutoring is the easiest option, but not the best if you need to turn your grade around quickly.

# # Private Tutoring

Private tutoring can be adapted to the student's individual learning style, and offer more flexible hours than a traditional classroom setting. To get the biggest bang for your buck, do your research to ensure the tutor you want to hire has solid credentials and experience. Try to find some reviews from past students. This way you'll be sure to get the most for your money.

# # Group and Peer Tutoring

Many universities offer a wide range of services to help students meet up and teach one another, and it's an opportunity you should take advantage of. Studies show that groups of students studying together and playing both the role of tutor and student can improve their skills significantly. While this option may not be as convenient as online or private tutoring, it will allow you to meet up and share ideas without breaking the bank. Check out the group and peer tutoring options available to you at your university, or if there aren't any, get together with some of the students from your class and set one up yourself. Get the best brains in your class together in one room, and you'll be on the right track to a grade of A in no time.

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Kumar, A. N. (n.d.). Results from the evaluation of the effectiveness of an online tutor on expression evaluation. Manuscript submitted for publication, Ramapo College of New Jersey, Retrieved from Ramapo College of New Jersey

Valerio, A. (2012). Private tutoring in modern times. is it really effective? Retrieved from Retrieved from Akdeniz Language Studies Conference 2012

Topping, K. J. (1996). The effectiveness of peer tutoring in further and higher education: A typology and review of the literature. Higher Education, 32(3), 321-345. Retrieved from Higher Education

Gordon, E. E. (2004). The state of tutoring in america: changing the culture about tutoring. The Association for the Tutoring Profession. Retrieved from The Association for the Tutoring Profession

Kumar, R. (2012, March 07). Opinion: Online tutoring disrupting traditional tutor model, but expanding the tutor industry. Wired Academic. Retrieved from Wired Academic

National Education Association. (n.d.). Research spotlight on peer tutoring NEA reviews of the research on best practices in education. Retrieved from National Education Association

Photo courtesy of Tulane Public Relations


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