How Online Tutoring Serves Adult Learners

Online education is expanding in higher education to accommodate growing numbers of adult learners. The demand for online tutoring has increased as online education has expanded. Like online education courses, online tutoring provides learners with easier access to academic assistance when and where they most need it.

Today’s adult learners—often described as nontraditional learners—dominate higher education. They are balancing competing priorities and making sacrifices to achieve their educational goals. In increasing numbers, they are choosing online degree programs that allow them to fit their classwork into their busy schedules. Having 24/7 access to support is not just nice to have; 24/7 access to support such as tutoring is a necessity.

Why is online tutoring becoming increasingly more popular with students of all ages?

There are many advantages to 1:1 academic support. The following are a few examples:

  • Convenience: Adult learners increasingly use online tutoring because it fits into their busy lives and demanding priorities.
  • Access: Internet-connected and mobile devices of all types are used to link tutors and students from a variety of places. Learners complete coursework when and where they find time, so mobile access is a must.
  • Personalization: Instructors are required to meet the needs of 20, 30, 40, or more students all at one time. There is little or no opportunity to personalize interaction. Tutors provide 1:1 support, allowing for customization based on the needs of each learner.
  • Anonymity: Online tutoring, in an anonymous and secure environment, reduces student anxiety and encourages self-disclosure of weaknesses. Students are more willing to disclose areas in which they need help if they know they will not be negatively evaluated.
  • Multiple modalities: Online tutoring platforms offer white boards, chat, video, voice, page upload, screen sharing, and more to meet students in the environment which they learn best.
  • Complement: Instructors choose curricula, create assignments, grade tests, and provide instruction. And, yet, even the best instructor appreciates having course information reinforced by a good tutor. Online tutoring complements rather than replaces regular instruction. It can be leveraged to fill in gaps and reinforce challenging concepts.
  • Online tutoring works: Students stop persisting in their coursework for many reasons—academic and nonacademic. About 50 percent of learners who drop out report poor performance as the reason they quit. Tutoring can address financial challenges when it helps a student to complete a program more quickly and either advance their careers or acquire a better job. Online tutoring can be the difference between a student passing or failing a course.

Click here to learn more about the outcomes achieved by college students who took advantage of online tutoring. is an Innovations 2020 sponsor and exhibitor.


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