When schools closed their doors during the pandemic, it was education-as-usual for online high school and college students. However, in-person students encountered far different experiences. Many students successfully transitioned to temporary online classes and Zoom lectures. Survival strategies included online pandemic tutor programs and virtual counseling services. Many students did whatever they had to do to continue their education. Local school districts and universities have once again settled into in-person learning. However, as many students fell behind, they needed tutors to help bridge the knowledge gap that grew during their absence. Some schools are experiencing difficulties staffing their post-pandemic tutor programs, but plenty of online tutors fill these roles are available.
Whatever it takes…
A Brookings Institution article, “COVID-19 has thrust universities into online learning?—how should they adapt?” discusses higher education during the pandemic. The article compares students’ pandemic experiences to a mother flying with a young child. To survive a flight, mothers often bring out toys, treats, and digital devices. They abandon their high parental standards, doing whatever it takes to survive the flight. They do whatever it takes. To get through the pandemic, schools, colleges, universities, and their students followed this advice. Schools sent students home and transitioned to online learning because they had no other choice. Some students zoned out on their online experiences. The more determined students attended regular online lectures and classes. They embraced online tutoring while waiting for their on-campus and in-classroom lives to resume.
Post-Pandemic Tutor Programs
School districts in Chicago, Illinois; Dallas, Texas; Providence, Rhode Island, and other locations are attempting to recover from their extended classroom breaks. They are trying to build massive, school-based tutoring programs. In the process, they’re dealing with several challenges, primarily a shortage of qualified tutors. As restaurants and retailers have increased their wages, schools compete for qualified tutor candidates. Unfortunately, some teachers who would provide tutoring expertise are suffering from pandemic burnout. School districts are offering alternatives to get their tutor programs up and running. Oklahoma is willing to pay retired educators $50 per hour. New Mexico promises a stipend toward future college tuition. Some states are using coronavirus relief funds to fund tutor programs.
Online Programs Help Fill the Need
Widespread internet access has allowed online learning to grow over the past decade. For example, National Center for Educational Statistics data for 2019 shows that 7,313,623 American college students (37.2% of all students) attended online/distance classes even before the pandemic. In addition, recent NCE data documented 478 virtual elementary and secondary schools with 289,614 virtual students. Tutoring and related services have also used the internet to increase their reach. During the pandemic, they provided critical educational support for online and in-person students. Online tutoring became vital to students’ drive to do whatever they needed to do to survive. These programs offer a range of services.
- 24/7 tutoring services
- Tutoring on-demand or by appointment
- Essay reviews and plagiarism checks
- Tutor matching based on class subject
- Group tutoring
- Textbooks (rental or purchase)
- Question submission
- Test prep
Pandemic Tutor Programs: Options
University Peer-to-Peer Pandemic Tutor Programs
Many universities provide peer-to-peer tutoring services for their students. These programs pair struggling students with stronger classmates. While many schools offer peer-to-peer tutoring in person, they also provide online tutoring during pandemic-related university and college lockdowns.
Tutor Referral Services
Online services such as UniversityTutor.com and Tutordoctor.com work with tutors across the country and, in some cases, around the world. They provide tutors for students of all ages and education levels.
Educational Service Corporations
Educational corporations like Chegg combine tutoring with a variety of additional paid services. Varsity Tutors provide similar services. They also offer “Starcourses,” online learning events hosted by celebrities. Course Hero is a subscriber service with tutoring, 24/7 homework help, videos, and other student services.
Reaching Students That Need Help
Many students returned to the classroom in need of assistance. With multiple online tutor options, the internet might be the key to providing the tutoring services these students need.