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Bramble’s third annual survey shows further growth in online tutoring

Female teacher with male student

Teachers, tutors and students want to keep the vast majority of tuition online because they see it as being as effective or more effective than the traditional in-person approach.

That’s according to Bramble’s third annual state of online tutoring survey, carried out in summer 2022.

A total of 2,262 people took part in the survey – 43% of respondents were tutors, 29% teachers and 21% students.

The survey reveals that online tuition has become firmly entrenched since the pandemic saw most tutors switch from in-person to online.

In the Bramble survey more than half (51%) of all tutors said that their tuition was exclusively online during the past 12 months, with just 3% saying that they were now tutoring exclusively in-person.

Most tutors (84%) found online tutoring as effective or more effective than in-person tutoring – an increase from just under 80% in the 2021 survey.

A minority of tutors (14%) want to return to purely in-person tuition. Nationally, almost half (48%) said they would prefer a mix of in-person and online tutoring, with 39% wanting to remain exclusively online – a 7% increase from the 2021 survey.

Being able to tutor from anywhere was the chief benefit of online tuition for tutors, with more flexible lesson scheduling, reaching more students and lesson recordings other key benefits.

The appetite for an online/in-person mix is greatest amongst tutors in the East Midlands: 64 per cent of tutors in that region prefer this mixed approach. In London it was an even split between online only (45%) and mixed (45%).

More than half (54%) of Yorkshire and Humber-based tutors didn’t want any return to in-person tuition. A similar proportion of North East based tutors took the same view. 

The number of students who find online tutoring as effective or more effective than in-person also continues to grow – from just under 80% in the 2021 survey to 86% in 2022. Students report that the main benefits of online tutoring are that they feel more relaxed and focused online and that searchable lesson recordings aid their learning and revision.

A third of teachers (33%) said that they had used external tutoring support for their school, with the vast majority of that tutoring (88%) being delivered online.

When asked to compare online tutoring to in-person tutoring, 80 per cent of teachers said that it was just as effective or more effective due to students being more relaxed and focussed, every lesson being recorded and searchable, and because it is easier to track progress.

81% of teachers said that external tutoring support had had a positive impact on their students: 53% said it had improved attainment and 57% said it had improved student confidence. Almost a third (29%) said that tuition support had reduced the attainment gap for disadvantaged students.

The proportion of teachers using external tuition varies according to region – 43% of teachers in the West Midlands said they had used external tuition support compared to 27% in London. Teachers in the north west (58%) were most likely to say that this external tuition had improved attainment.

Will Chambers, Bramble co-founder, said:

“These survey results show that live online tutoring has become increasingly embedded as a teaching and tutoring tool in the past 12 months and continues the trends that first emerged during the pandemic and its immediate aftermath.

“Certainly, it shows that teachers, tutors and pupils rate online tutoring as an effective alternative to the in-person approach and that they see is as a highly effective way of delivering tuition. The future of tutoring is likely to be a mix of online and in-person and our survey provides growing evidence that online is seen as the go-to option for tutoring.

“This trend is only heading in one direction. With the development of increasingly sophisticated technologies that enable students to bank and sort their online tutoring content for later revision online tutoring will be seen as the key way for students to gain the maximum impact from their tuition.”

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