The benefits of a personalized, online approach to learning math
Engaging in quality personalized learning that incorporates one-on-one mentorship and mastery learning is the single best way for a student to improve academic performance (our CEO, Dave Frey, wrote an in-depth piece on this in EdSurge). However, the way in which personalized learning is so effective changes depending on the specific subject. When it comes to math help for example, how does personalized learning work? Which aspects of teaching and learning math make a one-on-one environment effective for this particular subject? Why should a student or parent elect to enrol with an online math tutor?
Focus on the areas of math that the student needs to focus on.
Mathematics is composed of a number of sub-subjects or areas of math. Examples of these include geometry, algebra, trigonometry, and calculus. While some students excel in all areas of math, other learners grasp some areas with ease, but face difficulties in other areas of mathematics. Personalized learning with a dedicated mentor, or online math tutor, allows students to work through math at an adjustable pace: the tutor may spend less time focusing on an area the student is quick to master and more time focusing on an area that the student takes longer to be fully comfortable with. This type of adjustable course pacing in combination with the ability to focus on select specifics of math are not possible within the traditional classroom model.
Customize the online math tutoring experience to fit the student’s learning style.
Different students learn in different ways. VARK learning styles include visual, aural, reading/writing, and kinaesthetic. Some students learn best when their math lessons are delivered using a teaching strategy that caters to one of these learning styles. For example, a visual learner will benefit most from a math session that uses plenty of diagrams. Other students may be multimodal learners; this means the tutor may incorporate a balance of teaching strategies that stimulate more than one VARK learning style. No matter the student, personalized learning in the online classroom can be tilted to suit his or her learning style. With tools that range from HD video, to voice communication, to a shared whiteboard, to a space for written interaction, any or all of the VARK learning styles can flourish learning math in a one-on-one, digital environment.
Eliminate the frustration that can come with learning math.
For some students, learning math can, at times, be a painfully frustrating experience. Sometimes it’s easy to see the the answer to a problem, but understanding how to get there – and showing your work along the way – can be challenging. It’s also common for students to get hung up on one step of a chapter or formula, so that in a traditional classroom they’re behind the instructor and a chunk of students for the remainder of the lesson. Personalized learning curbs frustration by embracing mastery learning: the instructor can coach the student through each concept until it’s understood in its entirety. Further, top end tutors will ensure that sessions end with positive reflection so that the student is aware of his or her progress. Rather than feeling frustrated, students should be revitalized and confident when going to class, working on math homework, and entering their next personalized learning session.