- To what extent do you think the experience of physical presence of a tutor be replaced by a virtual tutor?
Online tutoring can be a very effective substitute for a physical tutor in most cases. Most of the time students need a tutor when they get stuck on an assignment problem or have not fully understood a topic that has been taught in school or college. There is very little difference between a virtual tutor and a physical tutor in this case. However, virtual tutoring is unlikely to ever completely replace in-person tutoring. A physical tutor can enforce discipline which can be important in the case of young children or students struggling to concentrate on their studies. Sometimes, being physically present also helps the tutor pick up on body language and other subtle cues to figure out how much the student has understood a particular topic.
- How are you planning to develop this concept in tier 3 cities of India?
MyPrivateTutor is an online talent platform which helps connect students to quality tutors in their area. In tier 3 cities students typically don’t have access to the quality tutors that their counterparts in metro cities have. Online tutoring can bridge this gap and help bring this access to Tier 3 cities. However, the thorny issue is that of internet bandwidth which is still quite patchy. To solve this problem, we have developed a virtual tutoring tool that works on low bandwidths as well.
- Are career opportunities a genuine prospect with virtual learning?
Today, it is possible to learn almost any subject in the world if one has access to a computer or mobile device with an internet connection. Mastering these skills will give an edge to any student over his/her peers. In my experience, I have seen most college students and recent graduates in India are barely learning the official course curriculum (which in most cases is outdated) so any student who is making the extra effort to master new skills.
- What kind of growth trajectory do you foresee for ‘My Private Tutor’?
Our current platform focuses on matching tutors to students locally. We are present in 10 countries with more than 200,000 tutors on our platform. We have built an online learning platform on top which will be our main engine of growth in the coming years.
- How do you make sure that the student learnt?
As a platform, it is very difficult to control the quality of the actual tutoring lesson. What we have done is to ensure that we provide as much details about the tutor’s capabilities to the student or parent so that they can make an informed decision to hire the best tutor for their needs. This includes information on the tutor’s experience, qualifications, previous ratings, reviews, video examples of the tutor’s teaching etc. We also provide a number of tools for the student to give immediate feedback on the tutor.