Since the outbreak of Covid-19, I have been giving online tuition lessons over Zoom to my students. Even after Singapore has entered phase three, the students have not requested to return to physical lessons.
I think there are two reasons for this: 1) My online tuition rates are lower than my physical tuition rates, accounting for the transportation cost saved and the time spent commuting; 2) My students have found that online tuition is as effective, if not more, than face-to-face lessons.
With students all having to do home-based learning during the initial phase of the circuit breaker last year, I think most students have gotten used to learning online. Also, I find that online videos and articles (which are shared over Zoom) give students a nice change of pace. Surprisingly, I also find that with online tuition, students are more forthcoming with their questions both during and outside of the official lessons.
Nevertheless when I inform parents of this option of online lessons, I often sense hesitancy on their part. The question I most commonly get asked if whether online lessons are suitable for their child.
The rule-of-thumb I use is that online lessons is more suitable for upper primary students and up. In general, I find that older students have more self-discipline and are able to focus on the lesson even without the teacher (me) being physically present in the room. I have also found that students are generally more focused when they have major examinations coming up. Therefore, online lessons are definitely suited for last minute O level oral examinations prep for example.
For parents who are still on the fence, I do often suggest that we have the first lesson be an online lesson. I can then assess from that lesson whether or not that particular student would require physical lessons.
If you have more questions about online lessons and what they entail, do feel free to reach out via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will do my best to reply to you as soon as I can.