Sankar N Krishna is a teacher and VP – Product Development at BYJU’S. Sankar has a PhD in Life Sciences from Northwestern University and came back to India to pursue his passion for teaching. At BYJU’S he teaches Biology and Chemistry for Higher Grades and Science for Grades 6 to 10 on the BYJU’S Learning App. He also leads teams that craft learning experiences, designing curriculum and products across new initiatives at BYJU’S and sister organisations.
Like most of us, students and parents in India have primarily viewed accessibility and proximity of tuition centres as the key driver of choosing one. However, the pandemic has served as an inflection point, coupled with the phenomenal pace of internet penetration in India, meaning that students can now learn from the best tutors across the country through various edtech platforms right from the comfort of their homes.
The phenomenon of after-school tutoring has become an integral aspect of nurturing a student’s overall academic development. Tuition centres, coaching classes, tutorials — everybody is familiar with some variant of the terminology attached to after-school tutoring.
While it helps students reinforce the concepts introduced to them in their school classroom, tutors also guide students towards bettering their academic performance with the help of their defined expertise in the subjects. In addition, after-school tutoring is particularly effective in improving students’ academic grades and confidence due to being smaller in size than a typical classroom.
Building the bridge between students and learning
Studies show that one of the biggest reasons students feel alienated from learning is poor interactions between students and teachers. However, with online after-school tuition, there is more emphasis on a personalised style of education that benefits the student tremendously as they respond better to a teacher tailored to their academic requirements in terms of temperament and tutoring style. Finding the right tutor, one that can engage and inspire, can make a big difference for the learner. Students and their tutors can work much more closely and help each other understand and solve potential pain points.
Today, after-school online tutors offer carefully constructed and psychometrically sound tutoring programmes that reinforce concepts during the teaching-learning phase and keep them locked in the students’ minds by designing creative quizzes and tests. Additionally, individual students benefit from smaller class sizes as they can work much more closely and develop stronger relationships than would otherwise be possible in a larger class.
Going the extra mile to provide students with after-school academic care, BYJU’S new online tuition offering, BYJU’S Classes, has launched a unique two-teacher feature. With this, students are taught by an expert teacher who uses strong visuals and storytelling to explain topics in-depth to ensure conceptual clarity, while a second teacher solves instant doubts, pays individual attention and makes the sessions interactive and engaging, thus closely simulating the offline classroom environment.
The future of learning is one that allows teachers to use their creative skills to provide opportunities for students to learn by incorporating new technologies into their lessons. This new blended method combines classroom and online approaches to education, offering more flexibility to teachers and a richer experience for students—proactive steps like this in the online tutoring segment help in building the bridge between students and learning.
Helping students explore new learning styles
The most crucial aspect of after-school tutoring is to ensure students learn new concepts and utilise their time constructively without feeling overburdened or facing academic burnout. After-school tutors can help avoid this by using innovative teaching materials and newer learning styles that promote interest amongst students while expanding their mental prowess and providing them with a challenge. With online tutoring, there is the added benefit of using technology and audio-visual techniques to reinforce a concept in a student’s mind, making learning more permanent as students use more than one sense to absorb new information.
Students who attend online tuition classes are in a conducive learning environment as the lessons are often customised to suit their academic pace. They are also provided with timely quizzes to assess their understanding of the subject matter to gauge their retention of concepts.
One of the most significant advantages of online after-school tutoring is the varied learning styles offered to students. Each student is unique and so is their method of retaining information. In addition, because students work so closely with their tutors, it is easy for them to understand the pace of their students and offer them a way of learning that is best suited to their pace.
Another critical aspect of the teaching-learning process with online after-school tutoring is homework. While homework and practice sheets are integral to a student’s sustained academic growth, it is one of the most challenging aspects for them to fulfil. Here, a tutor’s help can prove invaluable as they can help keep the students interested and motivated to engage with the subject matter.
Varied learning styles can help students overcome difficulties faced while grasping new concepts. In addition, technology-led offerings and a close student-tutor relationship also help students become more knowledgeable as compared to traditional one-to-many offline tutoring experiences.
An opportunity for tutors
The shift to the online mode of communication brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic induced lockdown has been a massive change for both students and teachers. Over the last few months, teachers have adapted to their changing roles as mentors and communicators. Teachers have become digitally empowered and have transitioned to the online teaching mode almost overnight; they have genuinely embraced technology as they help their students navigate this pandemic through a virtual medium.
This has led to steady growth in the online tutoring community. Countries like India have a large talent pool of teachers, especially qualified women, who have been largely underemployed. With online-tutoring growing, these tutors now have the opportunity to reach millions of students. Additionally, new tutors bring fresh perspectives that can help students develop greater conceptual clarity — an aspect that constitutes the core of after-school tutoring.
The importance of home-based after-school learning has now come to the forefront and digital learning is seeing increased adoption. Newer dimensions and different and dynamic elements to teaching and learning are helping bridge learning gaps for students.