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One-on-One Tutoring vs. Group Tutoring

Updated on May 10, 2014

One-on-one and group tutoring have their advantages and disadvantages. The best choice depends on the situation including the material that is being taught, the student, as well as cost and time constraints. Continue reading to learn about the key advantages and disadvantages of online and group tutoring.

One-on-One Tutoring

Below are some of the advantages and disadvantages to consider when evaluating one-on-one tutoring.

1. Personalized Attention - One-on-one tutoring can be advantageous for students who have great difficulty in a subject and would likely benefit from the personal interaction with a tutor that this type of tutoring provides. Some students who need tutoring need more one-on-one time with their tutor so that they can master the concepts they are trying to learn, whether that involves improving their reading comprehension or learning how to apply mathematical concepts consistently and accurately.

2. Student Comfort - Working with a tutor one-on-one can also help to decrease the embarrassment that struggling students may feel when they have to work in a group setting; this can, in turn, help to increase their feelings of success when they begin making progress. If a student needs 15 minutes to work through one problem in this setting, they can have it and can benefit from it.

3. Pacing - Students learn at different rates, so one-on-one tutoring can be beneficial to students that may learn slower than other students. Instead of making them feel like they are always struggling to keep up, one-on-one tutoring allows them to learn at their own pace.

4. Price - One-on-one tutoring is almost always more expensive than group tutoring because the tutor's earnings are coming from only one student instead of being spread over a group os students.

5. Interaction - A disadvantage of one-on-one tutoring is that students do not have the benefit of interacting with and learning from their peers and the fact that they do not get to see how their more successful peers solve problems and improve skills.

Group Tutoring

Below are some advantages and disadvantages of group tutoring.

1. Interaction - Group tutoring is an experience that can benefit many students, including those having difficulty with a specific subject or skill and those who have the ability to help their peers. Instead of only having the benefit of learning from and interacting with their tutor, students in group tutoring sessions have the ability to work together to build skills and solve problems. In a group tutoring session, for instance, the tutor could have students work together to solve math problems that might be difficult for the students to work on individually. Working in groups could allow them to learn from one another, ask each other and the tutor questions, contribute their skills to the group to solve the problems, and demonstrate to the whole group how they solved the problem, including the methods and processes they used.

2. Learning from Peers - Students can often benefit from the questions asked by other students. They may not have thought of the question and can learn the answer when the teacher responds, or if they understand the answer they may be able to reinforce their knowledge by explaining it to the other students.

3. Energy Level - although a good tutor can make a tutoring session fun for an individual student, it's sometimes easier to raise the energy level of a tutoring session with a group of students. A higher energy level makes the experience more fun and enjoyable and can be beneficial to learning.

4. Affordability - Because group-tutoring spreads the costs of a tutor across more students it is cheaper for each student compared to one-on-one tutoring. This can make more tutoring sessions more affordable and may provide better value than one-on-one tutoring.

5. Personalized Service - The one disadvantage of group-tutoring is that the ability to personalize it for an individual student is difficult. Group tutoring will work best when all of the students in the group have similar levels of education and learn at approximately the same rate.

If you are a tutor, which type of tutoring sessions do you prefer?

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