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Online Tutoring Vs In-Person Tutoring: Pros and Cons [All You Need To Know!]

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Online tutoring Vs In-person tutoring

Are you weighing the pros and cons of online and in-person tutoring to discover what’s best for you? Then you’ve landed on the right page!

While in-person tutoring is the traditional method of tutoring, online tutoring is a boon for students looking for affordable options and a flexible schedule. Varsity Tutors, Wiingy, and Wyzant, are some online tutoring platforms that provide online one-to-one tutoring lessons.

In this post, we compared online vs in-person tutoring on multiple dimensions and help you decide which one is right for you!

Online tutoring vs in-person tutoring: What is online tutoring?

Online tutoring provides educational support and instruction through internet-enabled platforms. It involves one-on-one or small group tutoring sessions conducted over the Internet. Online tutoring allows students to receive individualized attention and guidance from qualified tutors. Some traits of online tutoring are:

  • Online tutoring typically utilizes video conferencing, instant messaging, virtual whiteboards, and other interactive tools to facilitate communication and learning. 
  • It covers various subjects and academic levels, catering to students of all ages, from primary school to college. 
  • Online tutoring offers the flexibility of scheduling sessions at convenient times and provides access to a diverse pool of tutors with expertise in various subjects.

The teacher delivers personalized learning experiences to students in online tutoring, typically through video calls, chat, or virtual whiteboards. Teachers and students can share files, collaborate, or communicate effectively. 

Online tutoring benefits

The key benefits of online tutoring are discussed in the table below:

Advantages of online tutoringHow it helps you
Flexible schedule Students can choose their own learning time and place.
Often affordableOnline tutoring costs almost half of an in-person tutoring session.
Safe interactionTeachers undergo a strict verification process on online tutoring platforms before being hired.
No travelingNo need to travel anywhere for a class.
Access to top tutors from across the globeConnects with the best teachers worldwide.
Personalized learningThere are one-to-one tutoring platforms like Wiingy that deliver personalized tutoring services.
Access to adaptive learning toolsOnline learning tools include exercises, quizzes, and assessments.
Better academic progressPracticing mock tests and internal assessments results in better academic performance.
Benefits of online tutoring

Flexible schedule

As per the BAU reports, in the U.S., 63% of online students chose online tutoring because it suited their busy schedule. 

Having the freedom to choose your schedule to study is the ultimate amenity! Here you go with some significant advantages:

  • Online tutoring enables teachers and students to choose a schedule that suits their personal commitments. 
  • It allows for more flexible session lengths. 

Cost-effective compared to in-person tutoring

The in-person tutoring fee typically ranges between $60 to $100 per hour. Some selective subject tutors can even charge up to $200 per hour. 

Further, the cost of in-person tutoring can rapidly increase, especially if you are committed to a regular session for a particular period. 

On the other hand, 

  • Online tutoring is much cheaper, typically ranging between $20 to $60 per hour. 
  • You don’t have to enroll in monthly or yearly programs. You can get online tutoring services even a few months before your examinations. Study for an hour or longer and pay only for the hours you study
  • Not all online platforms force a minimum ‘x-hour’ class. For example, the one-to-one online tutoring services of Wiingy allow you to experience a free demo session and start learning without any fixed x-hours commitment.

Safe interaction

Reputed online tutoring platforms verify the tutor’s qualifications, experience, and background before hiring them for you. 

  • To provide the student with a safe environment, reputed online learning platforms such as Wyzant, Wiingy, and Varsity have a set of measures to ensure you have access to high-quality tutoring.
  • You can also use other students’ reviews by viewing reviews and ratings for the tutor and the platform.

No traveling

The most significant benefit of online tutoring is that students and teachers can connect without traveling anywhere. Whereas,

  • You only need your laptop, tablet, or even mobile phone with an internet connection to access the virtual tutoring. 
  • Online tutoring is available even for students who live in remote areas. 
  • The student simply sits at home and takes virtual classes. This saves a lot of travel time that can be used for more productive activities.

Access to top tutors from across the globe

Why limit the source of knowledge only to your local geographical region when online learning helps you access top tutors from across the globe? With online tutoring-

  • Regardless of your geographical location, you can contact expert tutors from anywhere in the world and choose the best tutor for your subject.
  • Besides, moving abroad to study or acquire new skills is not an option for many students. However, many universities now offer online courses to students. Using these courses, students can now effortlessly study at foreign universities or pick up academic skills without leaving their country. 

Personalized learning

One of the key benefits of online tutoring is the ability to offer personalized learning.  Reputed online tutoring platforms, like Varsity Tutors, Wyzant, and Wiingy, offer one-to-one online tutoring so teachers can deliver personalized attention to their students. 

  • One-to-one online tutors can assess the strengths and weaknesses of the students to plan a study program that meets their academic goals and interests. 
  • Besides, the teachers are trained to design their teaching method according to the student’s needs instead of incorporating a generic approach.

Access to adaptive learning tools

Online tutoring platforms can leverage adaptive learning technology in online tutoring. The benefits are, 

  • These tools analyze a student’s performance and provide personalized recommendations, adaptive quizzes, and interactive exercises that target specific areas of improvement. 
  • They adjust the difficulty level based on the student’s progress, ensuring personal progress tracking.

Better academic progress 

Online tutors incorporate exercises, quizzes, mock tests, and assignments to improve students’ exam performance. These practices contribute to tracking academic progress in online tutoring. Some records confirming the same are:

  • U.S. Department of Education (2010): This meta-analysis examined 51 studies comparing online and face-to-face instruction across various subjects and grade levels. The results showed that students who received online tutoring performed slightly better than those who received in-person tutoring, with a small but statistically significant advantage for online tutoring. 
  • Since 2020, 98% of universities have shifted their classes online (Source: Higher Ed Partners).

Online tutoring drawbacks

The table below briefly explains the disadvantages of online tutoring.

Disadvantages of online tutoringHow it harms you
Lack of personal interactionStudents and teachers might not share a personal space or comfort.
Technical challengesNot all students have the internet or electronic gadgets for classes.
Unsuitable for practical subjectsSubjects like music and arts require physical presence.
Disadvantages of online tutoring

Lack of personal interaction

Our body language reveals a lot about confidence and clarity on a topic. Personal interaction becomes important when a tutor has to understand a student’s non-verbal cues and body language. 

Face-to-face interaction builds trust and understanding between the tutor and the student. However, in online tutoring systems, virtual interaction is the only method.

Technical challenges 

Accessibility is a major factor here. Not all students can access electronic gadgets like smartphones, tablets, laptops, and computers. Students who come from poor backgrounds cannot afford them. Also, some live in areas with poor internet coverage. Therefore, for them, online tutoring is not feasible. 

Furthermore, high-quality internet can also be a challenge in certain places. This can result in a poor classroom experience with video and voice streaming issues.

Unsuitable for practical subjects

Certain subjects, like music, painting, and dance, are better understood when physically demonstrated in front of students. Online tutoring is, after all, limited to virtual demonstration, which does not give them an experimental learning experience.

With that, let’s move on to in-person tutoring.

Online tutoring vs in-person tutoring: What is in-person tutoring? 

Until online tutoring came into the picture, in-person tutoring was the standard mode of educating pupils. In-person tutoring is a traditional form of face-to-face teaching between a tutor and a student. 

It involves the tutor meeting the student in person, usually at a predetermined location such as a classroom, library, tutoring center, or the student’s home. The tutor imparts knowledge directly to the student.

In-Person tutoring benefits:

The table below explains the in-person tutoring advantages.

Advantages of in-person tutoringHow it helps you
In-person conversationTalking face-to-face with the tutor keeps you engaged.
Instant FeedbackThe teacher is physically present before you, so you can quickly get feedback on your performance.
No dependency on devices and networksYou can learn your lessons without a strong internet connection or electronic devices.
In-person tutoring advantages

One-to-one tutoring In-person

Meeting someone virtually is different from meeting them in person. Meeting in person brings immediate comfort, trust, and understanding. It keeps the tutors and students engaged in their work. 

  • According to some parents, in-person tutoring is a more straightforward mode of communication for them to talk to the tutor and get feedback on how their child is growing. 
  • One-to-one tutoring in person has its advantages. Nonetheless, remote tutoring platforms like Wyzant, Varsity, and Wiingy allow virtual face-to-face tutoring with personalized attention. They connect the student to the teacher of their choice for a one-to-one session.

Instant feedback 

The in-person tutor can answer their student’s queries quickly and immediately. However, some students feel shy to pose a question directly to a teacher, especially in a group setting such as a classroom. 

No dependency on devices and networks

Students who have in-person tutors don’t have to purchase laptops or tablets. They don’t depend on the Internet either. Thus no struggle with audio-video glitches or software compatibility. 

In-Person tutoring drawbacks:

The table below explains the in-person tutoring disadvantages.

Disadvantages of online tutoringHow it harms you
Limited flexibilityIt doesn’t allow you to choose your class timings and schedule.
Limited tutor optionsYou can’t search for an expert tutor beyond your local area.
Difficult to affordIn-person tutoring is double the cost of online tutoring.
In-person tutoring disadvantages

Limited flexibility

In-person tutoring sessions often have more rigid time constraints. The scheduling depends on the availability of physical tutoring spaces and the availability of the tutor and student in person. The drawbacks are,

  • You may have to make travel arrangements depending on the instructor you select. 
  • Sometimes, you must set up a suitable space in your house when hiring a personal in-person tutor. 
  • Moreover, in-person tutors mostly enroll students in yearly programs. Students with multiple commitments will find it challenging to stick to a stringent daily schedule.

Limited tutor options

In the case of in-person tutoring, your options become constrained because of the search for a tutor in a suitable and limited geographical location. 

In the case of in-person tutoring, selecting the “ideal” teacher is challenging because of this location constraint. As a result, you may end up hiring a tutor who lacks the precise training, credentials, or abilities necessary for practical assistance.

Difficult to afford

In-person tutoring is usually more expensive than online tutoring due to travel and session fees. The classes typically cost between $60 to $100 per hour. 

The traveling costs vary for every student. Depending on your location, the season, and even the kind of intensive training you require, the cost of in-person tutoring varies.

Over to you…

Now that we’ve analysed the pros and cons of online tutoring vs in-person tutoring, here’s the only answer you’ve been waiting for:

How do you decide whether to choose online tutoring or in-person tutoring?

There are several things to think about while picking a learning platform as a student. 

  1. First, consider your needs and preferences. While some students are more familiar with technology and prefer using interactive online resources, others favor older methods like in-person instruction and printed materials. 
  2. Consider your personal understanding capacity and analyze how well it matches online or offline sources because no single ideal strategy can benefit all teachers and students. 
  3. Think about the capabilities of different online tutoring brands.

You may easily get free demo sessions on the online tutoring platform Wiingy. After all, what’s better than testing and trying before you make your decision? Remember, the outcome matters most in the end. 

Other Useful Reads

The Ultimate Guide to Online Tutoring

How Online Tutoring Supports Homeschooling: Benefits & Strategies

Online Tutoring for College and University Students

Overcoming Challenges in Online Tutoring and How to Solve Them

Tips for Engaging and Motivating Students in Online Tutoring Sessions

How Online Tutoring Can Help Students with Different Styles of Learning

How to Find a Tutor for Your Child

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Should a student receive online or in-person tutoring?

As you’ve seen, there are advantages and disadvantages to online tutoring. However, many parents and students find that online tutoring provides numerous benefits over in-person tutoring, with the added convenience, lower cost, and greater selection of tutors.

How does online tutoring work?

Online tutoring connects students with experienced online tutors who assist them in understanding the course material, problem-solving, and test preparation. In this field, everything takes place virtually. 
The student and tutor communicate via video chat or other collaboration features on the Internet. Through customized instruction and feedback, online tutoring allows students to sharpen their knowledge and enhance their grades. 

How effective is online teaching?

For students of all ages, online tutoring offers much more freedom than typical in-person tutoring in these ways. The time required for e-learning is 40-60% less than traditional classroom time. As students realized online learning is a better form of education, 98% of universities have had online classes since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Other benefits of online tutoring are:
In online tutoring, students do not need to travel to a physical venue or keep to specified meeting times. They can learn from their homes or any other location that suits them. 
Many online tutoring programs are built with adaptive technology, offering in-progress feedback and performance tracking. 
Online tutoring is cost-effective compared to in-person tutoring.

What factors should a student consider when choosing online or in-person tutoring?

Mainly two factors decide whether to study in person or online. 
Your learning style: 
Try a free demo session of any online tutoring platform and mark the output. Compare it to your in-person tutoring performance. Get ahold of your learning style and plan accordingly.
Convenience: 
Besides, the tutor’s availability, cost, and quality of experience also count. The timings of the tutoring session must suit your commitments. For in-person tutoring, the teacher should be close to your home or local geographical area. Finally, the study cost should fit your budget.

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