I recently graduated from junior college. Throughout my days as a student, I have never utilised tuition to aid my studies as I disliked having to commit to a fixed regular session and commuting to another location weekly. Rather I preferred studying by myself as this gives me greater flexibility and saves time. When I had anything to clarify, I booked consultation slots with my tutors or sought help from my peers.
Last year, the government announced plans to expand the Singapore School Learning Space (SLS) initiative to include secondary and primary schools. The online learning portal boasts numerous different resources to facilitate students’ understanding of the concepts learnt in class such as videos, simulations and games to name a few. As a student, I can certainly see the new advantages this portal offers during students’ learning process.
Having the option to review materials at home in their own time can allow students to be more efficient learners as they can clarify concepts right away instead of waiting to see their teachers again the next day. Based on my experience, it will definitely help students in catching up with their work especially during peak competition and SYF seasons in which missing several days of lessons is common. In addition, the interactive nature of resources means it can present information and concepts differently from the traditional whiteboard or videos shown in classrooms, which can strengthen students’ understanding of a subject from another perspective. Of course, it is still up to students to be responsible for their own learning for this portal to have its intended effect.
With greater investment in e-resources in mainstream education, it is not surprising to see the tuition industry moving in this direction. I came across teachnlearn through my mother’s friend and had the opportunity to take an free trial online lesson. I would say the main advantage online tuition has over traditional tuition is how much travelling time we can save as all we need for a session is a WIFI connected laptop. As students have flexibility to book time slots based on their (and the tutor’s) availability, it is even possible to consult a tutor during your break in school.
For students who are already strong in conceptual understanding and less inclined to commit to a regular tuition schedule, it is also possible to book fewer, shorter sessions to clarify the few questions they have as there is no minimum number of sessions required for the online tuition with teachnlearn. Of course, some may still prefer traditional tuition for it’s more structured system and curriculum while others thrive better if they can reap the benefits of positive peer pressure in a group setting.
In conclusion, I believe e-resources can become a significant tool in facilitating and enhancing students’ learning process if they are sufficiently savvy and pro-active. Given its flexibility and ease of access, online tuition is also a viable alternative to traditional tuition. In choosing which system to subscribe to or whether to subscribe to any at all, my advice is to choose the one that allows the student to be most productive and that befits his/her style of learning most.
By Ang Xuan Han