Tackling Unfinished Learning: Tutoring Options to Beat Learning Loss 

Four years post-pandemic onset, educators and families remain deeply concerned about learning loss. Since the return to normal classroom instruction, high-dosage tutoring has emerged as a game-changing supplemental strategy to turn the tide on learning loss.

In this blog post, we explore the optimal conditions necessary for effective tutoring and pinpoint the ideal candidates for tutoring roles to supplement learning and mitigate the pandemic’s educational impact.

Optimal Conditions for High-Dosage Tutoring

High-dosage tutoring consists of at least three sessions of 30 minutes or more each week and is characterized by tutors’ ability to build relationships with students in 1:1 or small group settings. This personalized approach accommodates diverse learning styles and enables ongoing assessment, ensuring tailored instruction for every student.

To maximize the effectiveness of this type of tutoring, the timing and location of delivery are crucial. While various models for tutoring services exist, research suggests scheduling tutoring sessions during the school day yields optimal results, ensuring students receive vital support when it’s most conducive to their learning.

Key reasons:

At School – Conducting tutoring sessions on school premises leverages existing resources (e.g., staffing, technology, materials, etc.) and fosters a familiar learning environment for students. It also facilitates better coordination between teachers and tutors than tutoring done elsewhere.

During School Hours – Embedding tutoring within the school day ensures that all students receive the help they need. Making this option available may entail pulling students out of their regular classes to receive tutoring during their normal schedule, or, as some schools have begun doing, shortening class periods by a few minutes to carve out an additional period specifically for tutoring.

Regardless of how it is operationalized, this approach ensures that no student misses out on essential academic assistance, regardless of their schedule constraints.

The Best People for the Job

Ensuring that the right individuals as tutors is another vital component for the success of high-dosage tutoring programs. Among the top candidates for these roles are folks who are already familiar with classroom instruction, who are assisting in the classroom, or who have a genuine desire to help within their communities.

Certified Teachers – Teachers contribute their professional training, classroom management skills, and a profound grasp of curriculum standards. Their experience enables them to identify and address learning gaps effectively and to adjust their instruction according to students’ individual needs.

Paraprofessionals – Classroom aides and other paraprofessionals can also make excellent tutors if they receive the right training on effective tutoring strategies. These individuals often have a good rapport with students already, as well as a practical understanding of their needs.

College Students/Teachers in Training – College students majoring in education or subject-specific fields can serve as enthusiastic and relatable tutors. They often bring fresh perspectives and a passion for teaching.

Retired Teachers and Committed Community Members – Individuals who have already worked in education or those who are committed to supporting worthwhile causes can also be excellent tutors. These folks may have the time and a desire to dedicate themselves to supporting students in need of assistance.

Alternatives are Not Always Effective

Virtual tutoring is an effective model when used with properly trained tutors and under the supervision of adults in the classroom. Nevertheless, when offered outside the classroom setting, virtual tutoring often falls short of its potential. Despite the accessibility of resources, many students fail to engage with such programs, rendering them less effective than their in-person counterparts.

After-school tutoring, whether conducted on-site or at alternative venues like tutoring or community centers, offers valuable supplementary support without interrupting the regular class routine. However, its effectiveness is limited by accessibility. Students lacking transportation or operating on conflicting schedules, along with those juggling post-school responsibilities, inevitably miss out on these opportunities, irrespective of their location.

While it may seem logical to recruit potential tutors from a wide pool in an effort to address the urgent need for these roles, hiring less qualified candidates can have a variety of negative consequences for students. These individuals may lack the training, experience, and passion to deliver consistently high-quality tutoring that keeps students motivated and engaged, which can unintentionally widen the learning gap.

High-dosage tutoring offers a powerful solution to tackle unfinished learning and mitigate the educational disruptions caused by the pandemic. By leveraging optimal delivery formats, strategic timing, and qualified, well-trained tutors, we can provide students with the targeted support they need to overcome learning losses and thrive in their educational journey. HeyTutor is ready to provide these solutions.

ogpr team