Live online tutoring is a relatively recent concept, originally pioneered by NetTutor in and popularized by the live online tutoring platform Tutor. It has developed alongside far more widespread asynchronous online tutoring and learning experiences, in turn popularized by organizations such as Khan Academy , universities and other educational institutions with the introduction of Massive Open Online Courses MOOCS.
These efforts were aimed primarily at people without local access to appropriate teachers and tutors, in an attempt to remove geographical barriers from education. However, lack of certain key technology such as reliable remote video and audio communication, and a lack of widespread stable high-bandwidth Internet access, prevented these early efforts from including a significant live component in their offering. In most contexts, online tutoring was thus fundamentally different from face-to-face tutoring, more closely resembling correspondence teaching than sitting in a classroom.
Today, there are hundreds of companies and academic institutions based around the world offering live remote learning in a huge range of subjects, both in the context of academic learning and industrial training.
Existing live online tutoring services frequently include the following features to connect students and tutors:. The overall environment aims to reproduce the level of interaction present in a face-to-face session, and is fundamentally different from software packages and services for screen-casting and videoconferencing such as WebEx , where the focus is on one-way transmission of information.
Live online tutoring has several advantages over face-to-face tutoring, although suffers from shortcomings in ease of non-verbal communication. With the development of wearable technology, in particular smart headsets, richer interaction will become possible as companies work to mimic face-to-face interaction more closely.
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