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How Expert Tutoring can help you with your SCAT Scores

The SCAT has been in existence since 1985, when the John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth started identifying talented youth in the elementary grades using this test – The School and College Aptitude Test otherwise called the Scholastic and College Ability Test.

The test is now being conducted by ETS (Educational Testing Service) and is used to benchmark students of a particular grade with students of the same grade as well as grades above them.This test is an above grade level test and requires great preparation.

SCAT Test Prep

There are three versions of the SCAT and they are:

  • Grade 2-3 Elementary SCAT meant for 3-6 graders and this is the elementary stage.
  • Grade 4-5 Intermediate SCAT meant for 6-9 graders and this is the Intermediate stage
  • Grade 6 and above which is the advanced stage meant for 9-12 graders.

Why do you need expert tutoring to ace the SCAT?

A comment on level of the test is essential before we go further into this discussion.

To be able to perform well in the SCAT your child / ward will have to be prepared to answer the most difficult questions on the test which will be at a much higher level than they would be currently. There may be chances that your child would have to make a guess of some of the answers. While incorrect answers will not get negative scoring on SCAT it is imperative that your child has an increased probability of selecting the right answer by the process of eliminating the incorrect one. The skill needed for this is deductive logic and this is a skill that will benefit in many areas of life.

An expert tutor who has been handling and empowering students to take the SCAT will be able to provide the necessary and sufficient guidance to your child in these areas.

Verbal and Quantitative Ability Tests in SCAT

The SCAT is also a measure of the verbal and quantitative ability of students in the age group of 8 and 17 years. This is normally a comparison of performance of students in different classes and also an excellent way of detecting diversity within classes. It is an estimate of a students’ ability and his / her potential in areas related to academic strengths, achievement in the areas of verbal and numeric capability etc. The SCAT has the uniqueness of testing the student’s ability to learn rather than their knowledge at a specific grade level. This being the case the student surely needs the additional tutoring expertise that will enable him to be on par with students at higher academic levels as well as exhibit prowess at greater standards if needed.

What would an expert prepare the student for?

The SCAT has two separate parts – the verbal, which consists of analogy questions measuring the students’ vocabulary and the second being the quantitative measuring his knowledge of basic numeric operations through comparison of quantities. In the latter case the student needs to make a comparison of two mathematical quantities and choose the right answer and make the right decision in comparing the quantities. In all areas of the SCAT we see that there is a greater emphasis on insight and ingenuity rather than on traditional questions. The results come in three sections – verbal, numeric and a combined score. This tests the student to the greatest extent and the expert tutor with the ability to guide the student in exactly the manner in which he / she is going to be questioned is a great boon to the parent as well as the student.

An expert tutor can analyse and identify your ability based on your strengths and areas needing improvement and provide you with a customized course that will include lessons, practice tests, worksheets, and full length tests too. Highly qualified expert tutors can help you score better in SCAT with their systematic approach and proven methods.

Role of E-Tutor in Education

The role of the teacher when engaging in e-learning undergoes constant change. The role played by online tutoring and its importance has been considered as a vital factor in the provision of E-learning solutions. This being the case, identifying the role of the tutor and ensuring that the necessary skill sets are available is paramount to the success of the e-learning platform. The E-tutor plays a crucial role as the chief representative for delivering the course content and as the main and crucial support to the learners.

E-Tutor in Education

The E-tutor should therefore not only be equipped with the skill sets and the appropriate subject matter expertise, they should also fit into four main roles that can be defined under social, managerial, pedagogical and technical. The E-tutor also needs a combination of skills that would encompass IT expertise along with expertise in using online learning resources, communication technology, and in providing the right environment to the learner. There have been different names assigned to the tutor in online interactioncoach, tutor, leader, facilitator, moderator, mentor, mediator, motivator, so on and so forth. Nevertheless, the names that are in vogue and seemingly appropriate are tutors, experts and learners. We can look into the academic tutors as those who provide support to the students throughout their learning process. When educationists and tutors evaluate their roles as academic tutors, when familiar face-to-face teaching does not seem to work in an online teaching environment we see that professional practices are changing.

The role of the E-tutor is generally not very different from the traditional teacher but all the same there are subtle differences. The responsibility of the E-tutor is at both the technical and educational level. There are three categories – the organisational, intellectual and the social.

There are generally four main e-tutor roles which can be enumerated as follows:

The Pedagogical or the intellectual roles are by far the most important whereby the E-tutor has to probe and question the student regarding critical conceptions, ideas, principles and skill sets. This role particularly involves tasks such as bringing focus into relevant content and opening up discussions, promoting interest and productive conversation, ensuring that the students are guided well while maintaining the student’s involvement in deliberations, debates, discussions and summarising apart from the vital task of interpreting on-line discussions.

Social roles would encompass ensuring a friendly and comfortable social circumstance and environment whereby the student feels comfortable learning. This role is generally considered as the critical factor for success in on-line learning. This role, in, particular should ensure opportunities for participants to get introduced and identification of and dealing with students who are reluctant to participate. This role is also one where the E-tutor has the additional task of ensuring that the right communication takes place whereby the social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds of the students are taken into consideration. The task of minimising offensive, humoristic, troublesome, disruptive and unruly behavior falls on the E-tutor, in this case. Establishing code of conduct and the right etiquette for interaction online in a learning environment also falls on the E-tutor.

Managerial / Organizational roles would incorporate the setting of learning goals and objectives and establishing the agenda to ensure these set objectives are met. This particular role as an E-tutor would also involve clarification of guidelines, directions and decision- making norms. As part of this role, the E-tutor has to remain patient, respond appropriately to student’s comments / contributions, encourage participation of the student community with comments, etc.

The most difficult part of the role would be the Technical aspect where the E-tutor is expected to familiarise himself and become comfortable with ICT systems and software that make up the e-learning environment. This would also mean ensuring that the students become comfortable with the ICT by providing technical guidance by offering study material, guidance, directions and feedback on al technical problems while enabling learning among members of the online groups etc.

From the above-mentioned four areas we see that the role of the E-tutor differs from that of the traditional face-to-face delivery in many ways such as:

  • Greater need for written skills
  • Requirement for monitoring multiple conversations happening simultaneously
  • Being equipped to teaching at specific times online
  • More of focus on student learning and student – student interaction and learning
  • Teachers have to be equipped to provide more encouragement to participants
  • Teachers required for accessing the worth of online contributions

Is Online Tutoring Right for Your Child?

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.”

–Plutarch

American schools are losing their credibility with higher fees, lack of expert educators and larger classrooms. Globally the recognition of American schools and universities is slipping. As a consequence, private tutoring is finding more acceptability, and specifically, online tutoring.

Why is Online Tutoring Popular

Why is Online Tutoring Popular

Online tutoring has found increasing acceptance because it is a perfect match for the young competitive, technology-savvy, future global citizen.

The young generation leverage technology for almost all aspects of their life at school and home. Therefore, education delivered on the internet, with the flexibility and ease of virtual lessons anytime, anywhere, is an obvious medium of choice for the children.

The parents are also secure in the knowledge that while they are busy, the additional tutoring is delivered through the internet and not in a possibly risky situation at home. Their children are being groomed by experts to ace school tests and prepare for competitive admission exams to colleges through a medium they are familiar with.

This secure learning environment has found increasing acceptance as parents witness the result in the scores of their children.  The tremendous cost-savings over commuting to a physical tutoring class or effort saved on arranging a study area for a home tutor is an additional silver lining.

One of the biggest advantages of online tutoring for busy kids is its sheer flexibility. One can schedule classes for the evenings or weekends, around their school hours, music or baseball classes and family time.

The Elements of a Good Online Tutor for Your Child

While there are many outfits that have mushroomed in response to the need for online tutoring, many struggle to deliver on the right tutoring content or approach. To be effective, the online tutoring providers should be:

Live! No recorded or animated topic can replace the benefit of having a live qualified tutor explain the concepts in depth to the student. Virtual one-on-one sessions where the students are free to clarify any concept at their own pace, is critical to student success at school.

Quick and personalized feedback is another advantage of having a live tutor at hand.

Right instructional approach:

The online medium necessitates certain tweaks to the delivery of content, with adjustments for ‘class’ practice and worksheets. The content must be designed in such a way that the student can complete online interactive exercises that capture the concept in-depth. Worksheets further reinforce learning and help with assessment of their progress.

Customized pace:

The greatest benefit the right tutoring service can offer you is a pace of study and work plan customized to the student’s capabilities and progress. In contrast to the classroom where the general study schedule is defined, in the tutoring sessions one can spend more time on weaker concepts to reinforce them.

Technology leverage:

An effective online system is based on real-time audio and/or video sessions and thus the back-end must be robust. High-end technology helps deliver smooth audio and video experience for disturbance-free sessions.

Experienced tutors:

And not the least – a qualified team of educators who are trained to deliver online learning specifically is critical to any online system. They are accessible between sessions on email or personal messaging systems too.
If one takes the effort of ensuring these basic specifications for a good online tutoring service, then the benefits that the student receives is many times greater than the investment.

Go ahead, schedule yourself or your child a free trial online session that most e tutoring sites offer, and make the most of learning in the new age!

How Adopting Technology for Education has Improved Quality of Learning

Technology has become an integral part of education today more than ever before. The outlook of students on education has been radically shaped by technology. Technology has been sculpting the entire educational system since its first use in the 1950s. The following major trends are speculated in the educational pedagogy as the impact of technology

  • M- learning or Mobile learning
  • Self-Directed learning
  • Personalised and self-paced learning
  • Possibility of new developments in e-learning enabling it to become the primary mode of learning
  • Plentiful online learning resources and more efficient search engines
  • Use of Big Data Analytics to support e-learning

M-learning or Mobile learning

Mobile-Learning

Technology has always been an enabler providing the convenience of learning without the barrier of time and location. M-learning enables the student to learn using mobile devices like handhelds, smart phones, tablets and notebooks at anytime and anyplace. These devices are great resources for networking, for sharing interactive applications and videos, podcasting or webcasting lectures and educational videos live or recorded and student-teacher interaction especially in e-learning.

These mobile devices have become the primary mode of learning for distance-learning students and help in one-on-one interaction between students and the teacher. They also help in giving instant feedback, regular and systematic assessment, interchange of information among students and teachers, providing constant updates about any information related to the course etc.

Self-Directed Learning

Self-Directed Learning

Equipped with the best possible tool called technology, the onus rests on the students to carve their way to their destiny in the world of education. The students now have access to a whole lot of relevant information through efficient search engines like alta vista. Education has taken a new creative and exciting form through gamification and educational mobile apps. The students of today are the leaders and are responsible for directing their career path, making full utilization of the abundant resources offered to them by technology.

Individualized and self-paced learning

Individualized and self-paced learning

Personalized learning is a new concept with an extensive scope in e-learning. It is one of the much sought-after innovations in e-learning. It is still on debate but it is a well-known fact that if individualized and self-paced approach can be adopted, the GPAs are sure to rise enormously. Personalized learning can undoubtedly nurture the student’s sense of ownership over education, motivate them and help them put the right amount of effort to achieve their career goals.

Scope for new breakthroughs in e-learning enabling it to become the primary mode of learning

Technological breakthroughs like Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) are learning platforms through which information, tools and resources are exchanged among the teachers, students, parents and others involved in education. Personalized learning support is one of the major developments to be made in the near future to facilitate the student in choosing their own pathway of learning. Now, 46% of US college students opt for online learning. This percentage is deemed to increase significantly, owing to the major technological breakthroughs predicted in e learning.

Plentiful online learning resources and more efficient search engines

Thanks to technology, there is an overflow of information available online for students to access. Plenty of open online educational resources like Open Ed which is the largest online resource library, enhance the student learning experience. Efficient search engines like Blekko.com and AOL.com are evolving and developing day by day to assist students in finding the right information without having to browse through a lot of unwanted information.

Use of Big Data Analytics to support e-learning

With more students switching to e-learning courses, Big Data Analytics can offer great support not only in the evaluation of student’s performance but also in tracking the student’s performance throughout the course. This can ultimately help in personalizing the learning for the student. With students streaming in from various platforms and various backgrounds into e-learning, Big Data is the only solution to all the issues caused by the overwhelming number of e -learners.

STEM education by President Barrack Obama can be undoubtedly quoted as an instance for the successful blend of technology and education. Technology has and will continue to enhance the quality of learning for eternity.

E-Learning is Here to Stay

The invention of internet has modernized the manner of retrieval and exchange of information. It acts as a treasure house of knowledge providing information about almost anything in the world, as a social interaction platform with social networking possibilities, a market place with eCommerce opportunity, a virtual workplace with telecommuting options, and a place for learning with e-learning capabilities.  The value and the scope of internet based activities are constantly growing due to their steady success rates. E-learning is probably the foremost of these activities with the greatest potential benefits.

E LearningThanks to the array of smart devices, innovative learning styles and interactive multimedia components, e-learning methods have evolved as more efficient, structured and scalable education systems than the traditional methods.

The key enablers of the growing success of e-learning are:

 

Affordable costs

Affordable costs

E-learning systems provide value added education services at reduced costs. The widespread uses of smart devices and internet have made these systems easily accessible to all. The course fees of online programs are more affordable when compared to the conventional courses.  As the result of multiple structuring of course subjects into different levels, a student has more options to make a choice based on the purpose of learning.

 

Accessible at all times

Accessible at all times

The greatest advantage of e-learning courses is their accessibility. The course materials are accessible literally at any time of the day and from any part of the world. This feature has not only saved time and effort of commuting to the universities and institutes, but also enabled self-paced learning.

 

Flexible learning

Flexible learning

The online learning methods offer flexibility in selection of courses, fixing their schedules, duration, and learning styles. Due to the use of portable devices and virtual platforms, e-learning is possible even during travel or leisure time. Hence it enables working professionals and students of other regular programs to easily organize the learning process without allowing it to affect their daily routines.

 

Simplified content

Simplified content

The implementation of novel learning approaches like micro-learning and gamification have simplified the learning of complex concepts to a great extent. The systematic planning of content in innovative formats like storyboards, infographics, audio instructions and video presentations has made learning quick and easy.

Enhanced learning through live teaching sessions

live teaching sessionsThe invention of online communication channels like web conferencing and Voice over IP has boosted the power of e-learning with enhanced capabilities for live teaching known as online tutoring. The students of e-learning programs can interact with online tutors for obtaining help whenever they need it. Their self-learning efforts get augmented by the real-time assistance and inspiration provided by online tutors. The possible information overload and difficulty in understanding complex concepts are eliminated by the help of an online tutor.

 

Invoking interest

Invoking interest

Education combined with interactivity creates wonderful results by making the learning more effective and enduring, especially for the younger learners. The delivery of course content in various multimedia formats has made it easy to perceive and understand the material. Children are fascinated to learn using online programs due to the interactive way of presenting the content in the form of games, puzzles, quizzes, storytelling and animations. It kindles interest to learn newer concepts in a fun-filled manner.

 

Improved course control

Better course control

E-learning programs enable a customized learning pace providing room for easy tracking of progress by the instructor and provision of timely feedback and suggestions. They are also made scalable and adjustable according to the individual proficiencies. The better manageability of course flow is the unique benefit of online learning.

Inquisitive learning by means of online tutoring

There are some unique challenges involved in e-learning that are absent in class-room learning. They include increased time and effort due to self-learning, tendency of losing interest owing to solitary learning and lack of social atmosphere and the need to adopt a more mechanised process of learning. However, these challenges can be tackled more effectively by online tutoring methods. Online tutors play a vital role in meeting the above challenges by means of one-on-one interactions, virtual discussion boards and e-mail feedback. They promote interest in learning by humanizing the learning sessions as seen in the traditional methods of learning. Kindling interest is essential in keeping the focus and momentum of students and enabling inquisitive approach towards learning. The impetus obtained through online tutoring has a tremendous impact on the success of e-learning programs.

 

Conclusion

E-learning methodology has all the benefits of traditional methods of learning with many added advantages as discussed above. These immense benefits of adopting e-learning in education have made it the fittest way of learning to survive. E-learning methods are well-established to take a leading edge over the conventional methods of learning in the years to come.

E-Learning Trends to Follow in 2015

E-Learning Trends to follow in 2015While examining what are the key e-learning trends to be seen in2015, we discovered the following which will be of interest to our readers.

 SAAS ( School as a Service)

SAAS ( School as a Service)

This is a trend that has impacted the academic sector to a great extent with more enterprises vying for a foothold in this sector. As we are aware companies are now their own publishers and producers – similarly they will begin their own schools and colleges whereby they will own and market their online degrees and certificate program. While this will be a huge profit centre there are issues such as the skill-gap that would need to be dealt with. The result would be that these SaaS initiatives would try to attract, train and retain employees with skill sets of a high order in the areas of programming, mobile application development, financial services, oil and gas, cyber security, and biotech. With a shortage of skilled workers the manufacturing sector will approach this issue by employing a hand-on approach, using mobile smart-watch learning.

 Gamification is the next big word in e-learning

Gamification is the next big word in e-learning

This is the approach where game mechanics and game design is employed to engage and inspire students to achieve their goals.

Gamification is now seen as a problem solving tool rather than just a tool to enable and enhance learning.

Gamification has expanded its horizon beyond e learning and training. Gamification in the future will ring forth applications that will help in new product development and complex problem solving. With gamification evolving companies will have their entire organization including engineers and scientists, involved in problem solving. This has been seen to happen in cases where gamers have solved complex problems, like the mystery of the HIV enzyme which had perplexed scientists for decades. Gamification takes the elements of games and finds application in the learning environment. Gamification gets into the basic craving and yearning / desires of the user and thereby their status and achievement.

How does gamification help and what is its importance in learning?

Research has proven that learners recall just about 10% of what they read, and 20% of what they hear. Where the material has visuals, we have seen that the learning is enhanced further. The percentage increases to 30 and with someone carrying out an action or demonstrating with action, the percentage further increases to 50. More than all these, if the learners execute the job by themselves then they remember 90% even when the job is done in simulation mode. Around 80% of people responding to surveys feel that they would be much more productive if their own work were game like, while 90% of users experience that competitions online are fun.

 “Wear what you learn”

Wear what you learn

Wearable e-learning will be the next big thing. What do we mean by this? When looking at eLearning trends the “watch” is the thing you need to watch. If this needs to be incorporated in the eLearning environment radical design changes would be required for the mini screen (the watch). Although the micro screen may not be suited for all types of learning, it will find application in student performance enhancement and alerting students of their poor performance or when they tend to perform a task incorrectly.

We will continue to provide a broad understanding of the many trends in eLearning. Watch out for more in this space.

Can you Achieve Excellence in Academics using Online Tutors?

Academic excellence is the primary goal of education. A person with good academic background gains more self-esteem and achieves professional success. The process of developing this merit needs to be initiated by parents, right from the early years of education. Though schools provide the platform and training to impart academic knowledge, parents have a special role to play in converting the acquired knowledge to brilliance.

Children learn better in the comfort of the home environment when their parents provide additional support to their studies. Individual attention and close monitoring of the progress are essential for ensuring that the children are in the right track towards meritorious achievements. Parents are finding it increasingly difficult to devote more time for this purpose due to their busy work schedules. This challenge can be well-addressed by embracing online tutoring methods.

Here are some of the reasons why online tutoring is the best supplementary education method in facilitating academic excellence:

1. Personalized attention

Personalized attention
Courses can be designed based on the individual needs of the students. A personalized tutoring package can be planned according to their performance levels in different subjects. Teaching methodologies can also be customized in accordance with the individual learning style of the students. The subjects of interest of the students or the subjects where the student need more emphasis can be selected by the parents and included as the core subject in the course.

2. Choice of experts

Choice of experts
The advantage in adopting online tutoring is the availability of expert teachers. Tutors with excellent skills and proven success are carefully selected by the online tutoring institutes to offer the virtual teaching services. The profiles of these tutors can be further compared and the tutor best suitable for the learning demands of their children can be chosen by the parents.

There is also the possibility of appointing different tutors for different subjects. This specialized expertise in each subject will prove extremely beneficial to enhance the performance of students. It may not be affordable in case of conventional tutoring.

3. Convenience in learning

Convenience in learning
Online tutoring model offers flexibility in learning to students. Scheduling of classes can be based on the student’s availability. Due to the availability of special learning materials and guides online, the students can study at their own pace and time of convenience in advance. They can get their queries answered quickly during the online tutoring sessions.

If a specific subject seems overwhelming or monotonous to the students, they can choose a different subject for learning and come back to the complex subject at a later point of time. They can also record the teaching sessions for reference.

This method is convenient for parents as well because the need for commuting to a tutoring center is eliminated thereby saving valuable time and enhancing the knowledge acquisition process.

4. Interesting and interactive

Interesting and interactive

Online learning is more interesting to the student as it is interactive. As major part of their learning in schools include online methods like videos and presentations, online tutoring will ensure the consistency in the use of learning tools.  The visual information of the digital course materials will help students to learn more effectively and remember concepts easily. Research has proven that with learning aided by videos and presentations, students tend to retain more than 90% of what is being taught. As students prefer to use tablets and laptops, they will be more willing to learn using e-learning methods. They rarely get bored when online tools are used for learning.

5. Scope for assessing the tutors

Scope for assessing the tutors
Due to the possibility of recording the online sessions for review, parents have the ability to track the performance of the tutors and reassess the extension of their services periodically. In case of unsatisfactory teaching performance of a specific tutor, they also have the option of choosing different tutors.

With great flexibility in learning, the professional guidance by the best educators, and the smart learning methods, online tutoring will provide that extra edge to the students to excel academically and achieve unlimited success in this competitive world.