Online tutoring continues to grow
by Will Chambers on 28th September, 2022
Teachers, tutors and students want to keep the vast majority of tuition online because they see it as being more effective or as effective as the traditional in-person approach.
Who took part in 2022?
Over 2,200 people took part in the survey: from tutors (44%), teachers (29%) and students (21%) to parents (4%) and tutoring organisations (2%). They represented 51 countries but the majority of respondents (84%) were based in the UK.
Tutor attitudes towards online tutoring
The survey reveals that online tuition has become firmly entrenched since the pandemic saw most tutors switch from in-person to online.
Just over half (51%) of all tutors said that their tuition was exclusively online during the past 12 months, with just 3% saying that they were now tutoring exclusively in-person.
A minority of tutors (14%) want to return to purely in-person tuition. Nationally, almost half (48%) said they would prefer a mix of in-person and online tutoring, with 39% wanting to remain exclusively online - a 7% increase from the 2021 survey.
The appetite for an online/in-person mix is greatest amongst tutors in the East Midlands: 64 per cent of tutors in that region prefer this mixed approach. In London it was an even split between online only (45%) and mixed (45%) leaving just a tenth of tutors wanting to return to the traditional approach of only delivering tutoring in-person.
More than half (54%) of Yorkshire and Humber-based tutors wanted only to tutor online. A similar proportion of North East based tutors took the same view.
A large majority of tutors (84%) found online tutoring as effective or more effective than in-person tutoring – an increase from just under 80% in the 2021 survey.
Being able to tutor from anywhere was the chief benefit of online tuition for tutors, with more flexible lesson scheduling, reaching more students and lesson recordings other key benefits.
Students are finding online tutoring even more effective
The number of students who find online tutoring as effective or more effective than in-person also continues to grow – from just under 80% in the 2021 survey to 87% in 2022. Students report that the main benefits of online tutoring are that they feel more relaxed and focused online and that searchable lesson recordings aid their learning and revision.
Online tutoring is having a significant impact in schools
A third of teachers (33%) said that they had used external tutoring support for their school, with the vast majority of that tutoring (88%) being delivered online.
When asked to compare online tutoring to in-person tutoring, 80 per cent of teachers said that it was just as effective or more effective due to students being more relaxed and focussed, every lesson being recorded and searchable, and because it is easier to track progress – as demonstrated by our 2021 Impact Report with Pearson.
81% of teachers said that external tutoring support had had a positive impact on their students: 53% said it had improved attainment and 57% said it had improved student confidence. Almost a third (29%) said that tuition support had reduced the attainment gap for disadvantaged students.
The proportion of teachers using external tuition varies according to region – 43% of teachers in the West Midlands said they had used external tuition support compared to 27% in London. Teachers in the north west (58%) were most likely to say that this external tuition had improved attainment.
Online tutoring is the go-to option, with more to come
These survey results show that live online tutoring has become increasingly embedded as a teaching and tutoring tool in the past 12 months and continues the trends that first emerged during the pandemic and its immediate aftermath.
Certainly, it shows that teachers, tutors and pupils rate online tutoring as an effective alternative to the in-person approach and that they see is as a highly effective way of delivering tuition. The future of tutoring is likely to be a mix of online and in-person and our survey provides growing evidence that online is seen as the go-to option for tutoring.
This trend is only heading in one direction. With the development of increasingly sophisticated technologies that enable students to save and sort their online tutoring content for later revision online tutoring will be seen as the key way for students to gain the maximum impact from their tuition.