Tips To Make Group Tutoring A Success


Call it shocking, unbelievable, disgusting, or shameful the fact remains the same. According to the National Science Foundation data, 65% of fourth graders read below the grade level. Reading is a fundamental skill, needed to learn any other subject including Math. Overcrowded classrooms, overworked teachers, and parents unfamiliar with the American education system are a few reasons for the poor reading achievement level.

Left to fend for themselves, by the time these children graduate out of high school, 74% of them scored below the grade level in math.Some of these students enter higher education, carry the legacy and result in a higher college dropout rate. Many who directly enter the work force perform poorly, leading to productively loss.

“Time is a precious commodity, once lost can never be recovered.”

Many schools take steps to improve the reading and math proficiency by offering after school tutoring, some for a fee or free. For some reasons, many of the deserving students do not accept the extra help offered by the schools. Outside the school system, many freelance tutors, local tutoring companies and large national companies offer tutoring help. This fierce competition offers families a choice.

Now they have the option to choose:

  • private tutors to come their house.
  • To meet in a public space such as a library, coffee shop or school foyer.
  • To go to a local tutoring center or
  • online tutors.
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The local tutoring centers may offer one-on-one private tutoring or group tutoring. Naturally, one may expect one-on-one tutoring to be expensive, and the group tutoring offers an economical option. An experienced tutor can manage to provide individual attention. However, this potential problem grows in relation to the size of the group being tutored.Below we have compared and highlighted a few key differences between individual one-on-one tutoring and group tutoring:

Individual Vs Group tutoring

  • 100% of the time is devoted to one student.
  • Tutor adapts to the student’s learning style.
  • Students have an opportunity to actively participate in the session.
  • Students’ should actively participate in class sessions.
  • Tailor made content.
  • Many students compete to grab the tutor’s attention.
  • Individual attention takes a back seat in group sessions.
  • Students must conform to the tutor’s guideline.
  • Students’ can avoid direct contact with the tutor (to their peril).
  • Content is created taking into account the rest of the students’ ambition.

As you can see, individual tutoring has many natural benefits, while group tutoring requires a more conscious leadership role on the part of the tutor. The primary advantage of group tutoring (and disadvantage of individual tutoring) is the potential for the sharing of a variety of views and information. Groups also demonstrate cooperative attitudes and work skills in contrast to individual tutoring, which is more self-centered by nature. This runs counterintuitive to hiring a private tutor, because, parents seek private tutoring primarily to enhance the academic achievement.

10 Simple Quick Tips for Successful Group Tutoring

The following are some basic group tutoring guidelines which may enhance group learning. Remember that these guidelines (and skills) require conscious leadership on the tutor's part.
  • Keep in mind, in a group session, students expect you to provide them with learning resources that enhances their learning.
  • Be on the move. If you sit or stand in one corner, student may ignore you. Instead, be present in the class. Create an environment that encourages interaction among the group members.
  • Give time and space for the students to develop and formulate their responses. It allows high-level thinking. When faced with challenges, point to the resources to find an answer.
  • Be non-judgmental. However trivial it might be to you, encourage students to ask all types of study related questions. At the same time receive all responses in a non-judgmental manner.
  • Always ask open ended questions and rephrase it, if they do not elicit any response. Always follow it up with probing questions.
  • Don't allow a few students to dominate class participation or discussion. Try to involve everyone in the learning activity. Device strategies to encourage non-participants to the class activities.
  • Don't interrupt when a student is answering. Group tutors should provide a comfortable environment to students to practice any newly acquired skills. To check for understanding, ask several students to describe a recently learnt concept in his or her own words.
  • Humor is a useful weapon to defuse any tense situation. So, use it wisely.
  • Match the session goal with the groups learning speed and abilities. Avoid irrelevant arguments. You have a deadline to meet.
  • Always end the session with a positive note. You can do this by asking the students what they learned during the session, what they still need clarification on, or what they would like to cover in the next session. Finally, assign homework, ask them to read upcoming session topics and come prepared to ask clarifications, and summarize the ideas presented in the session.
These little tricks will keep group tutoring a rewarding experience for both the tutors and the tutee.