Students are falling behind.
Some school districts are offering their students free on-demand tutoring services.
Here’s the interesting reality: Students aren’t using the tutoring programs. Here’s why these promising tutoring programs are not delivering lasting results.
On-demand tutoring requires more work than students are willing to put in. Opt-in tutoring programs allow students to log on and directly work with a tutor within or outside of school hours. While this flexibility sounds great, most students aren’t taking the initiative to use it. Especially when it requires students to meet with a tutor outside of the classroom.
Schools have little control over whether students are using the programs or not since it’s up to students to meet with tutors when they feel like they need help. A study was done with 7,000 middle and high school students who were given free, unlimited access to an on-demand tutoring program for the spring semester. Of the 7,000 students, only 1,330 (19%) of students logged on to the program.
This study tells us that there is simply too much responsibility on students to seek outside support, especially the students who lack motivation and drive that need it the most. Just telling students about a tutoring program is not enough to make them use it.
Younger elementary and middle school students may struggle to use the programs without the help of a parent or teacher. If younger students are unable to log on, or don’t have support at home, they miss out on all the benefits.
Lack of Interaction
With most on-demand tutoring programs being offered to school districts, students are paired with a random tutor based on their problem area. Schools found that students were logging off before solving their problems.
When students lack personal interaction with a tutor, they quickly become unengaged. On top of a lack of interaction, students also struggle with explaining what exactly it is that they need support with to a randomly paired tutor.
Pairing a student with a tutor who doesn’t know the student’s learning style or topics they have struggled with in the past isn’t going to help a student efficiently learn. This lack of personal knowledge makes learning difficult, which is the opposite of what tutoring should be doing.
High-dosage Tutoring Makes a Difference
Tutoring works best in a controlled environment, like the classroom. High-dosage tutoring takes place in a small group setting three to five times per week during class time. These groups meet more often than typical tutoring sessions and are grouped by skill level, helping students build comfort by interacting with their peers in a controlled environment.
Studies have shown that the effectiveness of programs does not rely solely on frequency, but also through working with the same tutor, using clear lesson plans, and offering support during school hours.
Why Intervene K-12?
Intervene K-12 is a high-dosage tutoring program sold to school districts that is monitored by teachers and takes place within the classroom and during the school day. Students don’t have to opt in and are able to build a trusted relationship with their tutor. By implementing Intervene K-12 into a school district, the responsibility is taken off of the student ensuring they only gain the benefits from tutoring.