Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ COVID Brief: Few Students Use Online Tutoring Programs

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

With the original story blocked behind a paywall (archived version) it's pretty easy to offer a slanted summary that people can't check. For whatever reason, The 74 wants people to believe online tutoring programs have been ineffective. As the article reports, "Less than 2% of the student body used an opt-in tutoring service... most of those who did log in used it for less than an hour — the median was 29 minutes." But this trend isn't universal; we also read (but not in The 74) that in another district, with a different provider, "From August to December, there were 8,500 tutoring sessions for the 10,000 students eligible to participate... and 200 college admissions essays were reviewed." In The 74 we read that "Opt-in services often falter because some students lack confidence, motivation or clarity about what they need, so they don't sign in." Maybe. But I'm less inclined to pin the blame on students, and to suggest that more important factors likely include how the service is presented, how it's integrated into other work, and how accessible it is.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Jul 22, 2024 09:20 a.m.

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