Learning through the internet have been around even before the Covid-19 pandemic has begun. Khan academy, coursera and several well-known universities like Harvard have online platforms. Since the government implemented the closures of tuition centres on March 27th, many tuition centres like Learning Lab, Mind stretcher and Aspire Hub have turned to online classes and New Dawn Learning Studio is no exception.
Many might feel that online lessons would dilute the quality of the lesson as the tutors are not physically there to ensure that the students are focusing on their work. However, students who attend New Dawn’s lessons are likely to be mature enough and are responsible for their own learning. Secondary school and junior college students are mostly capable of identifying where they have gaps in their understanding and would know to voice out their questions. Moreover, the tutors would periodically check on students by asking sample questions to ensure that every student have a good grasp of the subject and correct any possible misconceptions that students might have.
Some may also feel that the study environment might no longer be conducive for their lesson and hence might not find studying online worthwhile. New Dawn has invested heavily to make the place as conducive as possible, but I am sure that no environment would beat the comfort of home. Additionally, you would also be removed from the distractions from other students in the room and thus discussions within the lesson would be purely academic. Moreover, you could attend the lesson at a location where you usually study, such that you would be in your `studying mode’ and be more focused over the study material. As a result, online lessons preserve the conducive environment of New Dawn, ensuring that no one loses out on the quality of lessons, be it H2 math, A Level physics or chemistry lessons.
Online H2 math tuition also allows better interaction. There are discussion platforms that students could use to discuss different methods of tackling questions and also help each other understand the content that is being taught. This method of learning has been used by top schools like UCL to facilitate learning from peers and self-reflection of the material, allowing students to better internalize the material. Fret not, such platforms could be supervised by tutors to ensure that the right concepts are being delivered and dispel misconceptions that students may have. Tutors could also leverage on digital resources like the use of Graphic Calculators (GC) on the computer so that students would better know how to use their GC to tackle difficult H2 math chapters. Additionally, some students might feel more confident behind and dare to ask questions that they would otherwise be too shy to ask in a classroom, thus allowing the tutors to better know what the student does not understand and more effectively explain the concepts to the student. Students are also encouraged to turn on their web cam so that tutors would know when they are troubled and would be able to attend to their queries immediately and thus, not lose the `personal touch’ that usual classes possess. Though online lessons face greater physical distance between student and tutors, the more critical interaction may even be strengthened.
Additionally, online lessons allow more resources to be employed to better facilitate the learning. As notes are increasingly written on computers, previously handwritten notes can be easily taken and shared online. Now, while attending the lessons, students can simultaneously jot down the important pointers and create notes on digital software, thereby reducing the hassle involved. Moreover, if students wish to know more about certain concepts that are being taught in the lesson, they can immediately google it during the class and save the tab for reference after the lesson, leveraging on the wide knowledge of the internet to further their learning. Digital copies of physical resources are also easily accessible when you attend online lessons at home. Having no data booklet or MF26 would no longer be an excuse to not answer H2 physics, chemistry and math questions anymore. In fact, online lessons allow more resources to be employed and hence can make lessons more effective.
All in all, the closure of tuition centres does not reduce the effectiveness of the delivery of the lesson and might even improve the lesson quality through the effective usage of varying resources and enhanced tutor-tutee interaction. Good tutors will be able to bypass the physical barrier and maintain the critical connection with the tutee.