The nationwide adoption of high-dose online tutoring after the pandemic was expected to address deepening educational disparities. In addition, it has attracted attention for its ability to provide high-quality education in areas with inadequate teacher supply, particularly in advanced STEM education.
However, by 2023, the effectiveness of high-dose tutoring has gradually declined due to low student participation rates and education authorities’ skepticism about the impact of high-dose online tutoring on actual learning. Some school districts have opted for high-dose individual tutoring. So is the low effectiveness of high-dose tutoring simply online?
To answer this question, it is critical to examine the conditions that enable online classes and how EdTech technology can help address educational disparities and teacher shortages in our education system.
Currently, most online high-dose tuition services do not provide students with the same quality lessons as in-person lessons. To effectively implement high-dose learning, teachers must not only explain and repeat, but also find new ways to help students understand difficult concepts, including encouraging students to take a central role, solve different examples on their own, and explain their understanding to the instructor . effective in terms of education. Diagnosing what they don’t know through a variety of questions is especially important for low-achieving students, because students themselves often don’t know where they need to improve.
However, attempting to do this kind of “high-level communication” with only flat-screen video or showing pre-made lesson slides via screen sharing can inhibit student engagement and make it harder to achieve lesson objectives. So what additional elements are needed to achieve problem-solving communication in online education?
Throughout history, people have used various mediums, such as stone, wood, paper, and tablets, to explain and learn abstract concepts and complex knowledge. Blackboards are often used by teachers to illustrate concepts, but they can also be a tool for students to stand out and try to solve problems to ensure they understand. In one-on-one tutoring, blank notes between teacher and student serve as a substitute for a whiteboard. Even students who don’t ask questions because they don’t know what they don’t know can be encouraged to reveal their true abilities to the teacher or classmates by explaining what they have just learned or trying to solve a problem. In this way, teachers can help students achieve lesson objectives by providing more varied examples and problem solving.
During the recent pandemic, high-dose online tutoring was not embraced by teachers, students, and parents for a number of reasons. Teachers had to rely on their voices to attract students’ attention and adapt to unfamiliar distance learning methods to motivate students who only appeared on video. However, despite the teachers’ efforts, the students remained passive participants and could not actively participate in the lessons as in a physical classroom. Observing these apathetic students, parents began to think that offline lessons would be more effective.
In other words, the whiteboard function is not optional but essential to achieve the same quality of online learning as offline. This board should not be a rudimentary feature where you can only draw rough underlines and lines with the mouse. It should provide a writing experience similar to using pen on paper or writing graphs and equations with chalk, capturing the feeling of taking notes offline. Only then can online education achieve the same quality as offline.
You might think that popular video conferencing solutions already have whiteboard functionality. However, the default whiteboard feature is more geared towards aiding business meetings than having a classroom whiteboard feel. There are clear differences between educational and business boards.
According to operational data from Pagecall, which provides whiteboard functions to education companies, teachers and students enter about 20,000 contact details in an average 60-minute online lesson. Unlike business whiteboards, which simply draw underlines and circles on presentation materials, educational whiteboards must synchronize and graphically present large amounts of rapidly generated input between participants in real-time. In addition, implementing real-time communication and graphics rendering functions on tablet devices, which have lower hardware capabilities than PCs and suffer from battery drain and thermal issues when performance limits are reached, poses a considerable technical challenge. However, only when teachers and students can effectively communicate with each other in this way, similar to offline learning, will the quality of online education improve.
Recently, Seoltab service has developed significantly in South Korea, which is one of the most competitive countries in the world for educational services. It has no video features and uses only audio and whiteboards for communication between teachers and students. Still, it has attracted thousands of users across the country and continues to grow. Seoltab has grown as a favorite online education service for students and teachers because they have tablet devices with stylus input, which allows them to communicate effectively in a non-face-to-face environment, much like explaining on a meeting sheet. in person.
Frustrated with high-dose online tutoring, some school districts are trying to return to offline methods. As it becomes more difficult to find teachers who can adequately cover the subjects and class hours that students demand, the disadvantages of online learning will slowly diminish and lead to a shift in focus to online education. This transition will be accelerated by advances in artificial intelligence technology, widespread adoption of digital textbooks, and the emergence of vertically integrated super programs for edtech solutions. However, the starting point of this change will be the digital transformation of the blackboard, which has been a staple of education for thousands of years.