One of the topics that receives little, if any attention is the nature in which tutoring changes as students get older. Whilst its fairly obvious that a pre-schooler who needs help learning to read has different requirements to a GCSE students who’s working hard to master physics, there is a marked difference between the GCSE student who’s used to a structured classroom environment with the university student who’s gotten used to the unstructured and self-driven nature of tertiary education.
External tutoring at university level has been quietly growing over the years as attitudes have shifted. Gone are the days when university was viewed as an enjoyable sojourn between school and a serious minded career – Oxford was once described as a stopping point between Eton and the cabinet. It now represents a serious financial investment and crucial element of finding decent and well paid work. The stakes have been raised as most students look to achieve a 2.1 or better.
There was a time when students could refer to their university appointed tutor, but as the pressure on academic staff has risen and time available to students has reduced, students are looking outside the confines of the university for help. Its particularly true of students who’ve been used to using tutors at school or on their way through their academic careers.
University students are frequently looking for a different type of tutoring, something more ad-hoc and on demand to tackle particular problems or areas where they’ve gotten stuck. They aren’t looking for 20 week face-face tutoring. In fact they probably don’t want face-face tutoring at all, given that the current generation of students are completely web-native. This generation of students was hardly even at school when the first internet boom went bust in 2000.
There’s academic research to support how to tutor university students, but almost no discussion of how students want to receive that tutoring – how they want to consume it. So here at Tutorhub Towers, we’re taking a look at the demographics of tutoring on the site to look for ways to tailor tutoring for university and college-age students. We want to make it easier, more flexible and more engaging to use online tutoring to support your degree course.