Face to Face vs Video Tuition

The recent 9pm Channel 8 drama by Mediacorp: Crescendo has been quite an interesting one as it shows the struggle of local business in the music industry.


One advertisement I kept seeing is the so called “superstarteacher” whereby I believe students can go watch video clips of lessons by the “super” teachers and the advertisement mentioned “there is no need to go to tuition centres”.


That got me thinking: will watching video clips be a complete replacement of face to face tuition? I think it is unlikely. Here are the reasons:

1) Watching video lessons is just a 1 – way learning whereby the kid has to follow the methods taught through the video. If the student has any question he cannot ask the video to answer or explain in another method can he?

The advantage of face to face tuition is that the tutor can provide immediate answers to the students’ questions or adjust the teaching method / pace according to the students’ needs.


2) The video cannot provide the students’ help in their homework, so the students have to try out the exercises provided before going back to homework, that may just add to the pile of work the students have to do.

Face to face tuition will be more beneficial in the sense that the tutor can check through the student’s work and point out any mistakes the students make. Sometimes a more efficient way to improve is not to do 1001 questions and make mistakes 1001 times (nobody is there to correct the mistakes!), rather doing 5 times and correcting the mistakes along the way.


3) Most of the time students are distracted during their revision due to electronic gadgets and the last thing I wish my students do is to use the computer and then these devices caused diversion of their attention. While having a tutor physically present will give some “pressure” to ensure the student is focused on the work for 1.5 or 2 hours.


Don’t get me wrong: Having video lessons have their advantages but the question is whether it can be as effective or not is another issue to be pondered.

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