Online VS Face to Face Tutoring

For the past few months, I’ve taken on a tutor for math and more recently chemistry as well. However, with Coronavirus spreading like wildfire, almost everyone around the globe has been stuck in their home. Unfortunately, this also include myself and my tutors eliminating face to face sessions. Fortunately, with the power of the internet, we can continue our lessons through Skype and other similar software. In todays blog, I’ll be talking about the differences between face to face and online.

To start off, I’ll begin taking about the positives of face to face and negatives of online sessions. The first positive to this type of tutoring is crystal clear communication. Unlike with Skype, there is no lag or other forms of interruptions. In addition, you’re also able to use paper or hand gestures to help describe your thought process. Of course, you can hold up a piece of paper to the camera or adjust your camera respectively. However, it is much easier to have the person you’re talking to you in front of you. Another benefit of face to face session is the ability to take notes. With recent sessions, I find myself and the tutor referencing the textbook more often than we previously did. I think the reason for this is because it has become much harder for the tutor to give me notes. When we conducted previous math lessons, she would write notes on a blank piece of paper and reference the textbook only when necessary. I can still write down notes and take screenshots, however it’s just not the same.

Alternatively, there is also online tutoring. Despite the negatives of online learning, there are also quite a few positives. One of them being the ability to conduct lessons on the fly. Unlike face to face sessions, it is really easy to schedule sessions on both ends, especially with current world events as they are. There is no travel time, thus no time wasted if a lesson is suddenly cancelled or pushed back. Another added benefit of online sessions, is accurate time management. During face to face sessions, you need some sort of timer to keep track of time. Without an accurate way to keep track of time, the session may end a bit early or go over. However, with a call, you easily look at how long the lessons has taken.  

Out of these two, I honestly prefer face to face lessons. Despite the amount of effort it takes to plan those sessions, I find I get more information out of them. I also find looking at paper notes rather then a bunch of screenshots much easier. For example, just a few days ago, in my math lesson we’ve moved on to graphing. As one would expect, graphing involves drawing graphs. However, it’s quite hard to see what’s happening on a white board through the lens of a camera. In the end, the tutor and I just ended up using the textbook for learning about different types of graphs. Regardless, I really miss the detailed examples and notes. 

Overall, there are benefits and negatives to both forms of tutoring. I prefer face to face conversations and note taking, while others may prefer a more hands off approach. In any case, this Coronavirus has let me experience both worlds of tutoring. However, not in the way I would’ve liked. Regardless, this virus still doesn’t look like going to be going away any time soon.  

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