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In-person only tutoring “least favourite option” for tutors, students and parents – survey

The age of tutors teaching exclusively in person is finally fading into history, according to the largest UK survey into the state of live online tutoring.

The pandemic triggered a huge shift in behaviour in spring 2020, and these changes have been cemented into place over the past 16 months, according to the second annual State of Online Tutoring Survey conducted by Bramble (@bramble_io), which polled 2,700 tutors, students and parents in June 2021.  

The survey revealed that 80 per cent of tutors want their tutoring to be either solely online or part of a mixed approach over the next 12 months.

When Bramble asked tutors how they delivered their tuition before the pandemic almost 80% said that they had never tutored online, with just 5% saying that it was online only.

It is a similar story for students and their parents. Almost three-quarters of students surveyed said they wanted either a mixed or exclusively online tuition approach over the next year. Although some parents are keener on a return to in-person only tuition (37%), the majority (63%) prefer a mixed or an online-only approach.

Will Chambers, Bramble co-founder, said:

“This survey shows that the dramatic shift in attitudes towards online tuition that came in at the beginning of the pandemic is becoming entrenched. In-person only tutoring may have been the default option for tutors, students and their parents before spring 2020 but it is clear that it has now become the least popular option since they’ve all experienced the many benefits of live online tutoring.”

One of the key findings from Bramble’s inaugural 2020 survey was that students overwhelmingly found online tutoring to be more effective than the in person alternative. Tutor and parent attitudes have shifted further in that direction in 2021: nearly 80% of them find online tutoring to be more effective, or as effective, as the in person alternative. 

Tutors, students and parents agreed that flexible lesson scheduling, a more relaxed and focused atmosphere and searchable lesson recordings were the primary benefits of online tutoring.

The survey was carried out online in June 2021. Of the 2,700 respondents, 61% described themselves as a teacher or tutor, with 32% students, 5% parents and 2% representing an organisation. Respondents represented 35 countries but the overwhelming majority (90%) were from the UK.

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