What are the two major branches of online tutoring, and which is right for you?

An Introduction to Online Tutoring

January 4th 2016

What are the two major branches of online tutoring, and which is right for you? Our private tuition specialists break down the basics to help you decide...

We are an online community – we bank online, we shop online, we keep in touch online, we do business online, we play online. Increasingly, we learn online too, with the rise of MOOCs and online courses being one of the distinguishing factors in education development in recent years.

Hand in hand with online education developments, we’ve also seen an increase in online tutoring. A tutor no longer need be in the same room – or even the same country – as a student. Online tutoring has grown along two distinct lines: tutoring on demand portals, and individual tutors building long term online relationships with students and families.

Pay as You Go Online Tutoring

Portals such as Tutor Hub act as an online tutoring marketplace, where students can find tutors to match their needs. This is a cost effective solution for a student who just needs occasional help, as students only pay for the minutes they use with a tutor.

Although cheaper than face to face tutoring however, casual online tutoring can have its drawbacks. The tutor you use may adopt different methods to those your child is expected to use in school. They may not be working from the same textbook, or be fully familiar with the syllabus for your child’s exam board.

With tutors available 24/7 pay as you go tutoring is flexible and simple, but most of the tutors working through freelance services such as this are part time tutors – perhaps recent graduates filling in time while they job hunt, or university students earning some extra cash. If your child would benefit from long term tutoring, there are better ways to build the student-tutor relationship.

Professional Online Tutoring

Education consultancies in the UK are seeing a rise in the number of clients requiring ongoing online tuition from the same professional tutor.

It’s an affordable tutoring solution, as you are paying solely for the tutor’s time and expertise, without having to cover travel expenses too. Flexible hours can be arranged more easily than if the tutor has to travel to your home.

For language students, online tutoring can have obvious benefits, with mother tongue speakers available to tutor from their base in their own country.

Steve Spriggs, MD of William Clarence Education, has noticed that this kind of tutoring particularly suits families who travel a lot. “Many of our client families have business which takes them around the world,” he says. “Online tutoring means that their child can keep the same tutor they had at home and our tutors will fit in with time zone differences, scheduling lessons at times to suit the family, wherever they may be.”

Overseas families hoping to benefit from Britain’s world class education system are also lining up to take advantage of online tutoring. A British education counts for a great deal still around the world, and online tutoring means that families not resident in the UK can still obtain the best for their children.

Online tutoring can be as simple as a Skype connection and a webcam, or as complex as an online lesson delivery system where tutors can work with many students at a time. As technology advances still further, remote tuition is one area which is set to keep growing.

Whether you choose pay as you go tutoring for occasional help, or ongoing online tutoring from a full time professional, there’s a tutor out there who can meet your family’s needs. “Top quality tutoring is now available to all, at the touch of a button,” says Steve Spriggs. “That has to be a good thing for educational standards across the board.”




William Clarence Education is the leading education advisory and consultancy service in the UK. With an unrivalled reach into the UK Schooling and University network, we help and advise families from around the world to reach their maximum potential and gain access to the very best of British education.  

William Clarence put the student’s needs and welfare at the centre of every programme of study we deliver with a focus on integrity and discretion.  Services include UK School and University Placement, Residential Tutoring, Oxbridge Application, US College Admission and Homeschooling.

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