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The Difference Between Online Tutoring and Face-to-Face Tutoring

Posted : 11/30/2015

No matter how much is done to advance online tutoring, it will never be the same as face to face instruction. This is not a bad thing, since having a wide variety of learning methods helps students retain what they are learning better. However, there are some aspects of online tutoring that can be a problem if not dealt with early on.

Someone using an online tutoring service will sometimes feel isolated from the tutor and any other participants in the tutoring sessions, if it happens to be a group as opposed to one-on-one. The lack of another human sitting in the same room can make the person being tutored feel alienated from the education professional and the other students. There may also be problems in relation to misinterpretations of text, since you cannot see a smile, a frown or a shrug over the internet.

The main way to address these possible pitfalls of online tutoring is to allow for "socialization" time. If everyone gets to know each other through discussion, misunderstandings will be kept to a minimum. Even when it is just one tutor and one student, comments can be taken the wrong way. What takes a short time face to face can take weeks online, so it may be necessary to continue getting to know your tutor and any other participants over a long period of time.

One of the differences that makes online tutoring so popular as opposed to face to face tutoring is the fact that it can be done anytime. Face to face tutoring requires much more scheduling than online tutoring, as you need to pick a time and a place. With online tutoring, the college student can have the help they need right in their own home or dorm room, so long as they have internet access, anytime they have a spare moment.

The best thing to remember when using online tutoring instead of face to face instruction is to be open to almost anything. It will take a great deal of time and effort on everyone’s part to create a group identity and a positive, open relationship. Leave those expectations that are unrealistic at the sign in page when you log onto your online tutoring session.


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