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Most tuition will remain online for at least the next year, says major new survey

Teachers and tutors expect to deliver most of their lessons online over the next 12 months, according to a huge new survey by Bramble.

The poll of 2,060 UK and worldwide users of the Bramble live online teaching platform – the most comprehensive survey of its kind to date – reveals the wholesale shift in attitudes towards online learning since the pandemic struck.

Teachers who also tutor made up 17% of all tutor responses – 91% of them expected at least some of their classroom teaching to remain online over the next 12 months, while 87% expected live online teaching platforms like Bramble to have a role in supporting classroom teaching over the next 12 months.

The results come soon after the UK government announced a major role for tuition organisations in plans to help pupils catch-up on learning missed during the lockdown.

Before the lockdown 82% of all tutors surveyed said they did no online tutoring and just 6% were online only.

This figure has dramatically flipped following the pandemic – nearly every tutor (99%) say that at least some of their tutoring work will be online over the next 12 months, with 87% saying that at least half will be online. Of those, more than a third (35%) said that their tutoring would be exclusively online.

Tutors say online tutoring improves upon, or equals, the in person approach – 72% claimed it was more effective or as effective.

Their students are even more enthusiastic – 84% agree that online tutoring is just more effective or as effective, than being tutored in person.

Parents agree – 73% regard online tutoring as just as more effective or as effective.

Searchable lesson recordings are proving popular with students, with nearly three quarters (73%) saying that they were likely or very likely to use searchable lesson recordings for learning and revision over the next 12 months.

Parents see more flexible lesson scheduling, more relaxed and focused learning and searchable lesson recordings as the key benefits of online tutoring, with the safeguarding guarantees of lesson recording and a greater choice of tutors as other key benefits.

Of the 2,060 survey respondents, 60% were tutors and 28% students. Parents (7%) and tutoring organisations such as charities and commercial tuition agencies (5%) also took part.

Of these tutoring organisations, 71% believed that at least half of their tutoring would take place online over the next year. These organisations said the ability to reach more students, work with a wider pool of tutors and deliver more tutoring were primary benefits to them.

Tutor respondents included teachers who also tutor (17%), students who tutor (33%), part-time tutors (28%), full-time tutors (13%), retirees who tutor (5%) and volunteer tutors (4%) .

Will Chambers, Bramble co-founder, said: “The survey shows that the shift from in person to online tutoring is not just for the lockdown. It also dispels the myth that online tutoring is inferior. Online tutoring is now the most likely way tutors will teach their students for at least the next 12 months, and likely much further beyond that. 

“It’s a dramatic change that’s been driven by necessity but there is now a widespread realisation amongst tutors as well as students and parents that tutoring online is just as effective – and for many even more effective – than the in person approach that was so prevalent just a few months ago.”

Bramble – created for live online teaching by UK-based start-up Bramble Technologies – was made freely available to tutors and teachers worldwide in early March as the lockdown loomed. Since then it has hosted more than 280,000 hours of live teaching and learning in 123 countries – 21 times greater usage compared to a year ago.

Bramble is designed for teaching. It goes beyond videoconferencing to offer a superior learning experience. Lessons are focussed on a highly interactive shared whiteboard with lesson recordings augmented by artificial intelligence which turns the words spoken by teacher and student into powerful transcripts that can be used for revision and safeguarding. 

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