Online tutoring companies have been boosted by a pandemic in which parents — and now also schools — are looking for ways to help children fill in the gaps left by an education system that is still grappling with its own remote-learning shortcomings.
But it’s also a dynamic that could bring a far more business-savvy and profit conscious model to what was once a localized and often personal part of the education world. It’s a shift that has some education experts questioning just how effective online tutoring can be.
“The type of tutoring with evidence is intensive tutoring with a consistent tutor who comes with an understanding of the students needs — based on data from direct assessments or from the school or teacher — and with curricular materials for addressing these needs,” Susanna Loeb, the director of the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University, said in an email.
“This type of tutoring is relationship-based in which the student and tutor come to know each other well and the tutoring builds student engagement and broader well-being as well as content-specific skills and knowledge.”
Many remote tutoring companies have started in the past 10 years and most follow a similar platform of connecting families with tutors who can help children with everything from math to reading and more.