Tutoring Program Designs Addressing The COVID Education Recovery

Jan 23, 2023 | EdTech, Students, Tutoring Industry, Tutors

Various tutoring approaches are being implemented across the US to address learning loss.  The most common are high-impact tutoring, on-demand tutoring (sometimes referred to as homework help), and a hybrid model in which certain students in a program receive scheduled high-impact tutoring and the general student population has access to opt-in on-demand academic support. 

High-Impact-Tutoring (also sometimes referred to as High-Dosage-Tutoring)

A high-impact-tutoring model optimally leverages the NSSA’s “Tutor Quality Improvement System (TQIS) and include “substantial time each week of required tutoring, sustained and strong relationships between students and their tutors, close monitoring of student knowledge and skills, alignment with school curriculum, and oversight of tutors to assure quality interactions.”  Although this model has strong examples that are grant based and self administered at the state or district level, it can also be outsourced to a tutoring vendor. 

On-Demand Tutoring (also sometimes referred to as Homework Help)

24/7 access to tutors via chat and whiteboard across all key subjects is the most popular style of on-demand tutoring.  On-demand homework help (or as-needed academic assistance) allows students to meet with tutors as needed, often in a short time frame (like 10-15 minutes) to discuss something they do not understand – usually related to preparing for a test or completing homework (often due the next day).  Curriculum or learning management systems are not usually required in this model, although tools aligned with specific approaches may be used. Most often, this model is outsourced to an outside tutoring company, but some examples of this model are found in community tutoring partnerships, such as Dakota Dreams in South Dakota. 

Combining High-Impact-Tutoring and On-demand Tutoring (Hybrid)

On-demand homework help and high-impact tutoring are combined in the final model. In the early stages of exploring this hybrid model, vendors are scheduling out high-impact tutoring as usual but also giving students the option to receive on-demand help in other subjects online. Furthermore, on-demand access is being explored across an entire district in the same environment where high-impact tutoring is taking place. 

Deciding on Your Approach

An effective tutoring program should not be developed based on a best guess or someone’s perception of what is possible.  The design of a successful tutoring program should be based on logic.  According to the National Student Support Accelerator’s (NSSA) toolkit for program design, any tutoring program should outline: needs, inputs, actions, outputs, and impact. 

Needs: what needs the program address?

Inputs: what goes into the program?

Actions: what actions does the program take?

Outputs: what happens as a result of those actions?

Impact: What are the benefits of participating in the program?

Based on the logic model and clear definition of each component of the model, stakeholders can design a program for the desired outcome.