University student

Are UK Students & Institutions Ready to Embrace EdTech?

Only 20% of students are considering deferring their university start dates despite moving to online classes. Leading EdTech firm MyTutor explores the benefits of online learning and tutoring during a degree.

The impact of Coronavirus has forced universities and schools to close their doors and increase the scale of their online engagement. New data shows that, despite many university institutions planning to continue online lectures at seminars – with Cambridge University even going as far as to suggest that their classes will be moved online for another full academic year, until September 2021.

Despite this, a new survey shows that only 20% of students are even considering deferring their university start dates – with only a very small proportion actually opting to do so – suggesting that pupils are ready to embrace online learning.

Online class

The use of EdTech was steadily on the rise in university environments before the pandemic, and now the education community is heavily reliant on online platforms to continue their studies. MyTutor – the UK’s online tutoring service – have three case studies available who have felt the benefit of online services at university.

Lucy Liddicoat, tutor and History graduate from the University of Exeter

Why would you recommend tutoring at university?

“I think it can really help people to adjust to the step up from A-Level to university. The first-year student that I tutored said that I was actually clearer than her professors – because sometimes the language they use, and the way they explain things, takes some getting used to. She found it helpful that I could put certain things into plain English for her. I definitely saw her confidence  increase, so by the end of the year, she didn’t need me – and she’d gone from a high 2:2 to a solid 2:1.

I also think, especially if you study a subject like History where you’ve got barely any contact hours, having a tutor adds an hour of structure, versus doing a day of work at home. For example, in my third year, I only had 4 contact hours – so adding an hour of tuition on top was actually a really big percentage! Aside from the pure academic side of things, uni can sometimes be isolating as well. So having some face-to-face time with someone who can help you can be really reassuring.”

Mike Rothwell-Williams, tutor and Chemical Engineering graduate from the University of Manchester

How long have you been tutoring?

“I have been teaching a broad range of science subjects for the last five years. Around a year ago or so I decided to include university topics into my subject list, mainly Chemical Engineering and Chemistry.”

Why should uni students get a tutor?

“I tend to tutor university students for short stretches of time, when they’re struggling with a particular topic, for example thermodynamics or solid fluid systems. Most of the time, students don’t need support for the full length of their degree, but they might have a specific hurdle that they’re looking for help with.

When you’re struggling with a subject, if you get tuition, you’re ultimately going to be able to understand it much better. It also gives you valuable one-on-one contact time.”

Anna Wijngaard, tutor and fourth-year Medicine student at the University of Edinburgh

How can tutoring help at uni?

From a personal point of view, there have been plenty of times in my degree where I’ve struggled to understand or memorise the content – and I’ve often wished someone would sit down with me for an hour and tell me how it’s done, so I don’t have to spend the 20 hours looking into it myself!

That’s the big benefit of having a tutor in my opinion, as well as the advice and life skills they can share. Because of the Coronavirus situation, my uni has recently arranged for us to get group tuition from sixth year medics. And the tips they can give us, because they’ve gone through an extra few years, are so useful. There are so many things I wish people had told me in my first or second year, which you can’t get from a textbook! And that’s really what a one-to-one tutor can give you.”

Photo by Becca Tapert on Unsplash

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