History of Distance Learning in Australia
Australia has a long and successful history of delivering distance education. Back in the 1900s, correspondence schools were set up to enable students living in remote communities to keep up to date with their schooling. Distance learning also appealed to itinerant families and parents who chose to home school their children.
Since the information technology revolution of the 1990s, distance education has rapidly progressed to the stage where most lessons are now delivered over the Internet. Teaching resources are usually available online and lessons are supplemented with the help of an experienced online tutor who is an expert in their field of study.
Impact of Coronavirus on Tutoring
Due to the social distancing rules brought about by COVID-19, many tutors, who previously only provided in person tuition, have now switched to online tuition. This is done for the tutors protection and for the safety of their students and families.
How Online Tutoring Works
Depending on the subject and learning platform available, online tutoring works in the following way:
- Student logs in from home and connects with a qualified tutor in real time.
- Basic setup is a computer, a reliable Internet connection, and in some cases a webcam and headset.
- Most lessons can be provided using popular apps like Skype, Zoom and Google Documents.
- Standard features allow students to:
- Exchange past papers, essays or documents with tutor.
- Share screen with tutor and show them your work in real-time.
- See and speak to tutor live through webcam just like you were sitting right next to them.
- Some agencies use a paid or proprietory platform with more sohphisticated whiteboarding and videoconferencing features.
Tutor Finder and Online Tutoring
Tutor Finder has hundreds of experienced tutors offering online lessons. Each tutor's profile provides a description of their qualifications and tutoring experience, plus reviews from their previous students. Some points to consider with online tutoring:
- There is no travel time involved for students and tutors.
- Online lessons can often be cheaper than in person lessons because of reduced overheads.
- Lessons can be scheduled for a time that suits the student and tutor.
- Online tutoring allows students to keep on top of their school work and stay motivated.
- Generally tutors would prefer their students to have a regular lesson at a set time each week.
- Some tutors may be prepared to offer a one-off lesson when a student needs help to complete urgent homework or prepare for an exam.