Online Tutoring vs. In Person Tutoring

Online Tutoring vs. In Person Tutoring

December 4, 2020
online vs. in person (1)

Are you trying to decide between online tutoring and in person tutoring? What are the pros and cons of each one? How do you know if online or in person is the better option for your child? Keep reading to learn all about online vs. in person tutoring, the pros and cons of each, and how to decide which one is the best option for you!


Online Tutoring

Before we get into the the pros and cons of online tutoring, let’s take a look at what it is first.


Because online tutoring is fairly new, there are a lot of different ways and approaches to it. Sometimes online tutoring is one-on-one and other times there is one tutor and multiple students. Online tutoring happens through tutoring websites, virtual learning environments provided by schools, as well as platforms like Google+Hangouts and Zoom. You can set up online tutoring through schools, professional tutoring companies or hire them privately. Online tutoring is often done in real time, but can also come in the form of prerecorded lessons .

Pros and Cons


While there are several positive elements of online tutoring, the biggest one is probably the flexibility and convenience. Because it is online, tutors and students can have more flexibility in when and where they schedule tutoring sessions. It doesn’t matter if someone is out of town, or just got home, online tutoring can happen anywhere there is an internet connection (This has been especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic).

Another good aspect of online tutoring is the fact that it is usually quite cheaper than in person tutoring. For real time online tutoring sessions, tutors typically charge less than in person because there is no need to travel or spend money on transportation. You can even find free online tutoring lessons on several different platforms. Websites like Khan Acadmey offer lessons in an abundance of topics and they are all completely free. While you can find free in person tutoring, it is much more difficult to do so.

The last pro of online tutoring we’ll talk about is the fact that is is much faster to find an online tutor or online tutoring platform and to get started than it is with in person tutoring. You can look up online tutors or tutoring services in your area and find a list of qualified instructors. You can contact many of them quickly to see if they are a good fit (check out this blogpost for help with that) and get started right away. If you go with online lessons from somewhere like Khan Academy or Mastery Genius, you can pretty much start as soon as you sign up!


While there are a lot of great things about online tutoring, there are a few things that aren’t so great that you should take into consideration.

First, students in online tutoring can become more easily distracted. This can happen whether it is a real time online tutoring session or an online lesson. Since the student is already on a device, the temptation to look at something more fun is a lot bigger and easier to get away with. Students can play a lesson while looking at another website or their phones. Even with real time sessions, students can look at other websites during the actual session.

This brings us to the second con for online tutoring. There is no in person interaction or relationship. While you can still build a relationship online, for many people it is easier and faster in person. An in person tutor is also more likely to be able to keep students focused on their work. It’s a lot harder to start looking at other websites or your phone if your tutor is sitting right next to you.

And third, the student’s actual improvement and understanging of the topic can be harder to identify in online tutoring. Online prerecorded lessons often allow for questions in the comments, but it’s not the same as having someone there with you. Even real time online tutors can have difficulty judging where a student is at because they aren’t there with them. Mastery Genius has overcome this. There system of lessons is designed to find out where students are academically and not moving on until they have mastered that particular topic.

In Person Tutoring

Keep reading to find out just what in person tutoring entails and about its pros and cons


In person tutoring is what most of us think of when we think of tutoring. The tutor helps the student(s) learn more about a certain subject or topic, and/or helps students understand certain content better. In person tutoring can be done one-on-one or the tutor may work with a small group of students. Tutors may be provided by schools, work for a tutoring company or work for themselves.

Pros and Cons


The biggest positive element of in person tutoring is just that…that it’s in person. Some students need in person interaction in order to learn and focus. In person tutors can often build rapport with students faster. In person tutoring also lends itself to several different learning and teaching styles that online tutoring cannot.

Going along with having the actual tutor there with you is the issue of focus. We mentioned this in the con section of online tutoring. In person tutoring is better at keep students focused and engaged beause the tutor is literally there next to you. Students can’t just grab their phones or switch to a different screen and look at something more fun. An in person tutor helps the students to stay focused on their work.

Compared to most online tutoring options, in person tutors can often see and judge the work and improvement of their students better. They have more interactions with them and can watch them do their actual work. Of course, this is especially true when compared to online recorded tutoring sessions. Because of this, in person tutors can more easily tailor the sessions to meet the needs of the students.


Just like with online tutoring, in person tutoring isn’t perfect either. Below we’ll go through a few things to keep in mind if you’re thinking about in person tutoring.

In person tutoring does not offer much flexibility. Dates and times can usually be worked out, but once they are set, that’s pretty much when you need to meet. It’s harder to change schedules because people are meeting in a physical location. It also adds more to the tutor and students’ schedules because they need to plan for transportation and commute time.

In person tutoring is also usually much more expensive than online options. Although you can find some free tutoring services through schools and community organizations, most in person tutors charge upwards of $50/hour. If a student is really struggling, this can add up quickly.

Finding an in person tutor and scheduling the first session also takes longer than signing up online. Coordinating schedules and interviewing tutors means that your first session could be a couple of weeks (or more) away.


Online Tutoring vs. In Person Tutoring

So, how do you choose? Still unsure of where you stand in online tutroing vs. in person tutoring?

The truth is, there is no clear winner in online tutoring vs. in person tutoring. Either option will probably help the student to a certain extent. However, closely examining the pros and cons of each, and the particular needs of your student will help you make the best choice.

If your child really struggles with staying focused, an in person tutor might be the better option. If you need a flexible schedule and to get started right away, online tutoring will work great!

If you looking for a compromise (affordable, individualized, flexible and with proven results), your best bet is Mastery Genius. They offer online sessions designed to meet the unique needs of your child. They can be accessed at any time and the lessons don’t move on until the student has proven mastery of the topic.


If your child is struggling with a subject, or is ready to learn more and be challenged, tutoring is a great option! Whether you choose online or in person tutoring, we hope you find the help you are looking for!

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