In the last year, we've seen the education industry turn on its head. Where we previously saw online learning as a last-ditch option, the events of the last year have shown that it can be an extremely effective method of learning and is accessible to students around the world. But will this last?
The Scoodle marketing team has done some research into what students and parents in the UK think about tutoring now and going forward. We also asked one of our maths and chemistry tutors, Ibrahim Dangra, to weigh in on the subject. And the results are quite interesting...
Is the future of education online only?
As mentioned, online learning has taken the education industry by storm. Some of largest tutoring platforms have gone so far as to take away in-person lessons in favour of online tutoring only.
In some ways, this is a positive change for anyone who could not easily attend face to face teaching because of distance, disability or any other reason. Also, because online teaching is often a much more affordable option, it becomes more accessible to people who were unable to afford extortionate tuition fees.
At Scoodle, connecting students to the best available educators has always been a priority. Our CEO and Co-Founder Ismail describes Scoodle's vision is to build "a world where an Arabic expert living in Egypt can create classes or share answers with students from around the world.". Ibrahim Dangra, one of the tutors on Scoodle, confirms this positive sentiment around online learning.
"Where before people were apprehensive about going online, now they've come to realise that with the right teacher the students still get the same experience."
Having said all this, our research shows that when given the option, students still prefer in-person private tutoring, or in-person group tutoring by a long way. Maybe what we can take from this is that education, like many other industries, has to become adaptable and tailored to the student. The best thing you can do is have a range of options to suit any student.
Is tutoring now more popular than ever?
Unfortunately, we've seen a lot of disparity in education in the past year. Current events have been really difficult to deal with in all senses, and the normal progression of students from GCSE → A Levels or College → University is no longer the default option.
There is definitely a sense of uncertainty and some students even feel the need to "catch-up" academically after a year of dealing with a global pandemic. Ibrahim seconds this, explaining what he's seen from his students and parents recently:
"Because a lot of schools clearly weren't ready for the shift to online, be it through operation or teaching quality, a lot of students have end up behind academically. So I think a lot of parents will start to use outside help to supplement their child's education to raise the standard back to normal and then some."
Scoodle's own research shows that 60% of parents and guardians who had enrolled their children in tutoring (in the past 12 months) are considering doing so in the next 12 months, which confirms this.
However, we also found that even if private tutoring is the solution most people are turning to, schools and teachers are by far the most trusted when it comes to recommendations. These are closely followed by word of mouth and recommendations from family and friends. This shows how important interpersonal relationships are in this traditional industry, despite the take over of online learning and technology.
What makes a good tutor?
With all the changes we've seen recently, we thought it would be interesting to see if what people look for in a tutor has also changed.
What we found after asking both parents and students separately is very similar. When initially browsing for tutor, both groups said that price was the most important factor to consider. But once the price range is narrowed down, the focus shifted to the tutor's previous experience, reviews or testimonials from previous students, examples of their teaching style, years of experience, qualifications and educational history.
What we've seen on Scoodle specifically is that once a parent or student has established they want to spend £20-25 per hour on a tutor, they then filter for tutors in that range and look more closely at each profile.
From a tutors point of view, the most important thing is to be flexible. Ibrahim reminds us of this:
Someone who can adapt. In-person, online, with video, no video, regardless of what the scenario is a great teacher would still be able to deliver a lesson effectively.
We've seen that tutors with more complete profiles, including a good quality profile photo and verified status, have a higher chance of being chosen as they are deemed more trustworthy. At Scoodle, we aim to show you the best of a tutor before you book with Q&A, Video Lessons and Resources. To have a look, scroll through a few profiles to see what we mean.
Education is definitely changing as a result of the past 12 months, and technology is helping more educators reach more students. This is a great thing, but it's important to consider the rise of online learning as a new option and not necessarily the be all and end all of tutoring now, or ever. That's why at Scoodle, you can find the the best way for you to learn - be it in person, online, or through Video Lessons.