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Tutoring is the support offered to students to enhance their learning. Most students are enrolled in tutoring programs to complement their normal class learning. Some people see tutoring as avery efficient remedy for academicdeficiencies, while others think it isdetrimental to the academic success of the students.
Types of Tutoring Programs
There are a variety of tutoring programs available for college students today. These include peer, professional and online tutoring. Most colleges havepeer tutoring programsconducted by student tutors to enhance their students’ academic performance. The tutors assist students in understanding subjects that are difficult for them.
Usually student tutors are supposed to be diligent and be able to balance between their own course work and the task of tutoring. Before they are accepted as tutors, theyare supposed to meet minimum conditions, for instancethey should be full time students of good character andhave nocriminal record, and they should also have done the course that they are tutoring on.
Peer tutoring is mostly preferred by many students. This is because the tutors clearly understand the difficulties that the students are facing since they also went through them. Students also feel freer to fully express their problems to a peer tutor as opposed to professional tutors. Peer tutoring is also cheaper compared to other tutoring programs (Topping 4).
Challenges of peer tutoring include lack of sufficient time to conduct the sessions. Students may be forced to miss some activities like games or lunch in order to attend the tutoring session. They may also miss other classes if they conduct the session during class time.
Professionaltutoring services are available outside the colleges. Students enroll in these tutoring institutions and attend sessions during their free time, for instance on weekends and in the evening. Advantages of professional tutoring are that they can help in subject matters that are too difficult for peer tutors. These tutors also have a lot of experience.However these services are expensive.
There are also online tutoring programs.These programs are especially helpful to students who are taking on-line degree courses. They assist those students who are inhibited by distance, time and mobility. Most of these services are available every day for 24 hours. The students need to be connected to the internet and have the right equipment, for instance, a microphone and speakers. The tutoring sessions can also be done through web conferencing, email and chat.
Online tutoring has several advantages. Firstly, the student and tutor do not meet at a place for the tutoring session, so they save on time and travelingcosts. Online tutoring also overcomes any distance boundaries as the student and the tutor can both be separated by long distances.
Another advantage is that the internet contains a lot of information which enhances the success of the tutoring session. It is also convenient as students and tutors can do it anywhere,even in the comfort of their homes. The students also have the freedom to choose the tutors who are best suited to their needs and the most affordable (MacDonald12).
However online tutoring poses several challenges. For instance, somestudents need direct interaction with the tutor in order for productive learning to take place. Theycan not learn effectively in an online session. The students must also have excellent computer skills in order to engage in a tutoring session. In addition, they must have a computer, internet access and communication equipment. This limits those who are not computer literate and others who have no access to the necessary equipment.
Advantages of Tutoring
Tutoring has several benefits. Some of them include improving the academic performance of the student and changing their attitude towards certain subjects.In addition, tutoring gives the students a structured and individualized learning experience. It also improves the understanding of difficult concepts.Moreover, tutoring enhances the positive interaction of the students. It also helps to reduce racial and ethnic barriers because students from all backgrounds interact during tutoring.
Tutoring also benefits the tutors by increasing their understanding of the study topic. It also enables them to manage their own strategies of learning.In addition, ithelps them to raise their thinking levels (Carnell and Lodge 58).
Disadvantages of Tutoring
Tutoring has some negative impacts. These include students over-relying on the tutors to assist them even with their homework and assignments.Some students no longer see the need of attending classes because they feel confident that they have paid a tutor to help them pass their exams.
Others fail to report to college and attend tutoring sessions throughout, especially when the exams are around the corner. On top of that, tutoring denies the tutors and the students enough rest because they have to coordinate between normal class work and tutoring sessions. They get fatigued and this may affect their learning and ability to concentrate and grasp concepts (Bray30).
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Tutoring is very efficient and research has shown improved academic performance after enrolling in these programs.However it presents some challenges in the learning environment. Students andtutors need to schedule their time well in order to engage in tutoringwithout getting exhausted.
Students should also understand that tutoring sessions are only supplementary and can not substitute normal classes. Students and tutors therefore need to strike a balance between their normal classes and tutoring sessions in order to reap the full benefits of tutoring programs.
Bray, Mark. “Adverse effects of private supplementary tutoring: dimensions, implications and government responses.” Unesdoc,2003. 21 Oct. 2011.<https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000133039>
Carnell, Eileen, and LodgeCaroline.SupportingEffective Learning.Great Britain: Sage, 2002. Print
MacDonald, Janet. Blended Learning and Online Tutoring: Planning Learner Support and Activity Design. USA:Gower Publishing, Ltd., 2008.Print
Topping,Keith.The Peer Tutoring Handbook: Promoting Co-Operative Learning. Great Britain:Taylor & Francis, 1988.Print