Online Tutoring - The Good and The Not So Good
If you are reading this, it is possible that you are
thinking of getting an online tutor to help with your studies, but not entirely
convinced it is a good choice or perhaps, you don’t have the experience of having
online lessons. It is normal to be apprehensive if you have taken face-to-face
classes all your life.
In this article, we will discuss the advantages and the
disadvantages of online tutoring.
1. There is always a qualified tutor to help
No tuition centers in the world has more qualified tutors than online
tutoring sites. The pool of tutors for you to choose from is incredibly
2. You can attend a lesson anytime
Fancy a lesson at 3 in the morning? Yes, that is possible although it is
not something you’d like to try.
3. You can attend a lesson anywhere
This is not 100% true because you will need a good Internet connection to
have a lesson, but you get the idea. Usually, the most comfortable
place is home and that’s where you would want to have your lesson.
4. Online lessons save you time
If you could attend a lesson anywhere, you do not have to travel to
5. Saves money too
Without travelling to classes, you save considerable costs on public
transport or gas. A win-win situation for you and your tutor. This is
especially useful for learners who can’t find the right tutor in their area. Online lessons usually cost less too.
6. Access to unlimited resources
Because lessons are conducted on the Internet, you have immediate access to
various online resources.
What about the disadvantages of online tutoring?
1. You can’t learn everything online
The good news is that you can learn almost everything online but not
all. Subjects such as arts and music require more space and interaction to be
better. Yes, there are online arts or music lessons, but they are more suitable
for beginners or novices. If you want to be a better artist or musician, you
will need a more hands-on approach which online tutoring is unable to provide.
2. Lack of human interaction in a classroom
Although online lessons are conducted through video chat, the lack of
interaction among students can put off some people.
3. Online tutoring requires a good
connection between tutor and learner
Both the tutor and the learner must have a good Internet connection to
conduct a lesson. As much as technology has advanced, there are places with
limited Internet connectivity.
4. You need specialized hardware
Other than a good Internet connection, you must have a web camera with a microphone.
While this is standard hardware in most laptops, it is not so for desktop
personal computers. Some may not think it is worth investing in one.
5. Attending online lessons requires
A tutor’s control over a learner’s behavior is limited to the area that the
web camera is pointing at. If a learner chooses to abandon a lesson midway,
there is not much a tutor can do about it, unlike in a classroom. Therefore, a
learner must exercise self-discipline when attending online lessons. At times,
a parent or a guardian may be needed to be around for younger learners.
Is online tutoring for me?
Final thoughts - online tutoring is great for getting qualified
tutors to help with learning and to improve grades. If that is your objective, online
tutoring is the perfect tool. There are no other places where you can find that
many qualified and experienced tutors from top universities. For example, in
Hong Kong, a Cambridge University graduate teaching at Causeway Bay will cost
upwards of HK$1,000 (US$$130) an hour whereas an online tutor of the same caliber
will cost less than half that amount. The savings on costs and travelling time
Before deciding if online tutoring is suitable as a way of learning for you, it is recommended to have trial lessons with a few tutors.