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Online one-to-one tuition: Designing for effectiveness

By Claire Whitehouse


In this review, one-to-one tuition is assumed to take place outside the hours of mainstream formal schooling and involves teaching carried out by one tutor, an adult, with one learner to supplement learning in the classroom.

There are three measures of the effectiveness of tuition commonly in use: improvements in educational achievement; improved classroom behaviour, encompassing attitudes towards subject matter and levels of participation in class; and, increased confidence.

Educational achievement is measured using either national tests (national curriculum tests in the UK) or standardised tests designed to assess aspects of literacy and numeracy. Measures of improvements in classroom behaviour include the completion of attitudinal questionnaires by learners and the recording by teachers of the frequency of participative behaviours in class. Reports of learners’ levels of self-confidence are usually anecdotal in nature.

This reviews the available literature on the effectiveness of one-to-one tuition for learners in Key Stages 2 and 3 (7-14 years old), and how the online environment may influence this effectiveness. The report also offers a checklist of what represents good practice in one-to-one tuition in the offline and online environments for learners aged 7-14 years.

How to cite

Whitehouse, C. (2011). Online one-to-one tuition: Designing for effectiveness. Manchester: AQA Centre for Education Research and Policy.


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