5 Questions to Ask When Choosing an Effective Online Tutoring Program

In a previous blog, Does High-Impact Online Tutoring Live Up to the Hype? we discussed how students could expand their learning beyond the classroom and experience accelerated math achievement. High-impact online tutoring offers a wide range of benefits for students from all walks of life. And plenty of research points to the efficacy behind high-impact tutoring, not to mention its transformative potential to address educational inequities. 

Not all online tutoring programs are equally effective, so it’s worth asking the right questions when considering which works best. Read further to see what questions you should ask when determining the best tutoring program for your students.


Who Needs Tutoring? 

The first answer that might come to mind is: students who have been most impacted by interrupted learning. However, the reality is that all students can benefit significantly from tutoring, wherever they are on their academic journey. Every student is also different in that they require unique support tailored to their learning.

Having foundational grade level skills and improved self-beliefs—as an integral part of a student's participation in an online tutoring program—can remove unnecessary barriers to getting them back on track.

How Much Tutoring and How Often? 

Here's where the high-impact part comes in. Online tutoring is most effective on a consistent schedule, 3 to 5 times a week. A single tutoring session can last between 30 to 60 minutes. Tutoring sessions can also be one-on-one or in small groups of 3 to 4 students.

Does it Matter Who the Tutor is?

Tutoring wouldn't be as effective if the student didn't feel fully supported or connected to their tutor. It's a relationship-based dynamic, which is why students need to work with the same tutor for most, if not all, of their sessions. As a result, students not only improve their educational experience and achieve academic success, but they have a consistent mentor who can also provide the social-emotional support we now know is so crucial to learning.

When Should Tutoring Take Place? 

Setting students up for online tutoring during the school day is another excellent way for teachers to ensure they're fully engaged with the program. Students can still get that one-on-one time with their tutor in the middle of class. Research has found that high-impact online tutoring during the school day can elevate the student's understanding of the material since it's easier to engage students while they're at school.

Do Teachers Need to be Involved?

If online tutoring occurs during the school day, teachers can play an impactful role if they’re involved in the virtual tutoring process. This can take the form of assigning the student a tutor if the teacher notices any signs of struggle with the material. Rather than waiting for test scores that may indicate a student has a difficult time learning, teachers can use their judgment to have students work one-on-one with a tutor before grades start to drop.


High-Impact Online Tutoring is the Answer to Pandemic-Related Learning Loss 

In high doses, online tutoring can very well be the answer to disrupted learning. In the past few years, we've seen ample evidence that high-dosage online tutoring can result in more robust and effective learning outcomes. 

Intensive tutoring, whether one-on-one or in small group settings—and addressing most, if not all, of the questions above—has proven to boost learning for all students largely because of its flexibility and accessibility.

Online tutoring not only works, but it is also the best alternative to traditional learning interventions to get academically struggling students back on grade level. If it's consistent and personalized (and relationship-based), online tutoring can increase student achievement, especially for students from low socioeconomic backgrounds

High-impact online tutoring is currently the most popular strategy to combat learning loss, and there's a reason for that. Many schools and districts have invested robustly in tutoring—especially as they received COVID-19 federal relief funding—and the impact on student learning is significant.


ST Math Tutoring Powered by VIPTeacher

At MIND, we can’t emphasize enough how high-impact online tutoring is the optimal way to accelerate learning. 

With over ten years of experience, serving over 1.3 million K-12 students globally and delivering over 20 million tutoring classes, VIPTeacher has partnered with nonprofit organizations and schools to ensure students have access to high-quality tutoring. VIPTeacher provides 60,000 state-certified educators for tutors, offering one of the best solutions to interrupted learning and reversing the learning loss due to the pandemic.

VIPTeacher has played a significant educational role in ensuring students don’t fall behind. Now, in partnership with VIPTeacher, the visual instructional ST Math program can further accelerate student learning through high-impact, grade-level online tutoring. Students can access lessons leveraging ST Math puzzles to help them develop a robust conceptual understanding of math concepts.

Between VIPTeacher's years of expertise and flexible solution in meeting the requirements of students and schools, and MIND's science-driven approach to learning math, students can accelerate their learning to restore—and perhaps exceed—their pre-pandemic achievement levels. Keeping students on grade-level content is more important than ever, and dispelling the myth that some students are “not math people '' can make a major difference in propelling them toward academic achievement.

Learn more about our online, high-impact math tutoring solution by visiting the link below.  


Key Ingredients of Effective High-Impact Online Tutoring

Interested in learning more about high-impact tutoring? Visit the link below to watch the latest edWebinar recording with our very own Dan Tracy of MIND Education and Yannai Segal of VIPTeacher as they take a deeper dive and discuss the key ingredients of effective high-impact online tutoring.

Watch the Recording

Victor Nguyen

About the Author

Victor Nguyen is MIND’s Content and Community Specialist. Victor is a passionate storyteller with a penchant for creative writing. In his free time, you can find him engrossed in books, going on long hikes, or trying to meditate.


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