Many of the online tuition relies on video chat applications such as Skype and Google Hangouts to communicate, and third party file-sharing tools like Dropbox to assign worksheets to students. The main idea is to reduce travel time, costs and parents anxiety or worry on the safety with their young kids commuting to tuition centres and back home. Other than that, many Singaporeans are also conservative in the sense that they would prefer not to have a stranger visiting their homes on a weekly basis. It is more acceptable today than 10 years ago where students are so comfortable or its second nature to them to learn or interact with technology and gadgets.
Many of these centres still charge the same price rates as if it were a face-to-face session. In essence, many parents would expect or prefer to enjoy cost savings through online tutoring. Perhaps the notion of a physical vs online tuition does give the impression of cost savings for the consumer i.e. the parent. In this article, we shall be focusing our lens on some of the Online Math Tuition providers in Singapore.
When it comes to online math tuition, there are a few types of modus operandi for providers in Singapore. First, there are live-streaming classes whereby students hop onto applications such as Skype or video-conferencing apps to “follow” the otherwise physical presence class. Second, there are pre-recorded online video lessons for students to watch at their own time and pace, expecting students to learn through one way direction. Third, there are online apps that embed game like activities with practices that promises to help students learn while they have fun. Fourth and lastly, there are the online consultation tuition sessions where students can ask questions on difficult math questions waiting to be answered and explained “live” by the Singaporean teacher.
A simple Google search on finding options to “Online Math Tuition in Singapore” would show you several of these providers and here we look at their offerings, including what potentially would be plus points and what could be improved on:
- 88 Tuition
Tenopy’s online classes has class sizes ranging from small groups of 4-6 to large groups of 15-30. Students log in to online classrooms from their homes and participate in live video, audio or text chat. The classes provide interactive online content and in-class activities to engage the student and track learning progress. Even now, they are preparing for holiday programmes and for 2020.
From what it describes, Tenopy’s experience would replicate a tuition centre classroom experience with groups of students. The upside would be that if your child is already used to tuition centre settings in small to big groups, then this may be an easy transition with potentially cost savings (this would depend on what and how much you currently pay your physical tuition centre. Students who have not paid attention in class can replay the past lesson, which is a good plus point - the only concern is if your child has an extra 1.5hours to re-watch what went on earlier. Plus point about Tenopy is that its catered for upper primary to lower secondary, more focused.
The downside is if your child is shy or not used to group tuition, he or she may find it awkward to raise questions. And if your child might need more attention or help, your child might have to be more pro-active or else would have to wait for the class teacher to ring alarm bells to him or her, as is always the case with group tuition. In terms of effectiveness it may take a hit if you are transitioning from 1 to 1 tuition to group.
From the class scheduled sessions, they are mostly evening sessions from 730pm to 9pm on weekdays, not sure if that is the timing when your child is most ready to absorb difficult math concepts or its preparation for bedtime and evening winding down. The less positive pointer is that they offer not only Math, but also Science and a few other subjects - may be thus, less focused on Math. Cost wise, parents have to sign up monthly lessons with commitments, so for those who are on a tight budget or thinking of scaling down costs, might not be the appropriate option you may pick in the short run.
They provide 1 to 1 online learning help, with no fixed monthly commitments and schedules, pay as you go model, even touting as low as $20 per half hour of tuition - from 9am to 6pm. Catering for P1 to S5 students. They also sell subscriptions for online applications such as learning software with games that costs $100 to $200 per year for P1 to 3 or P1 to 6 content.
From what it describes, the experience that students will take away from Ace-learning would be a replica of a 1 to 1 tuition from offline to online. Upside would be the easy transition for such students with a drop in tuition expenditure. However, the consultation hours seems to be from 9am to 6pm only, which may render themselves not of service to students who have after school activities and parents would not be able to join in the call if parents wish to assess tutor’s quality. Seems like there is a free trial available, however one would need to leave contact details behind for “follow up”.
The downside is that parents cannot choose their preferred tutors. They would have to input contact details and be contacted and match-maked later on. Usually for online tuition, parents would be more demanding on tutors qualifications and assurance that tutor is qualified and able to communicate in the way the child finds comfortable, since its remote and video call basis. Providing tutors’ details for direct chat would be an assurance for parents.
Superstarteacher provide mainly videos for students to self-watch, learn at their own pace and timing, while anchoring on their question practices from past year papers through online quizzes/questions and lastly providing limited access to students for consultation sessions with live tutors - through their 100 star tokens.
From what it describes and from navigation of their website, the experience that students will take away would be video lesson watching on various topics with examples of questions and how to solve it, with each video lasting around 20 minutes or so, with a teacher illustrating in a pre-recorded video. The upside would be students can scroll to topics they need help with and watch repeatedly to help themselves. The reverse may also happen where students do not know where they are weak in or need help, hence the effectiveness of this in helping their grades improve may get impacted. They do have a free trial that you can try watching a few of their videos (pre-recorded) to see if you like the quality and your child can understand that format of teaching.
Downside of this is that if students have
questions on the spot of watching and after rewatching the videos, they still
do not get it, they may forget the part when it comes to utilizing their star
tokens. Past year questions could be bought from elsewhere, thus the value may
not be the highest. Given that the promo
package costs $628 to $1298 from P1 to S4, per year, it might be
quite a lot to parents who are not used to paying for tuition. For parents who
pay $200-300 per month for tuition may find it cheaper, however the 1 to 1
asking of questions facility is reduced to the 100 star tokens. The information
of how many star tokens to exchange for a consultation is not provided. Locked
in commitment for a year is needed. They not only provide Math, but also other
subjects, hence if you’re looking for a more focused Math tuition provider in
Singapore, you may want to look at them in more detail.
About 88 Tuition:
88 Tuition is quite similar to Superstarteacher as they also provide mainly videos for students to self-watch, learn at their own pace and timing. Their pricing is kind of cheaper than Superstarteacher, but their package does not have live tutor consultation option. They cover four main subjects from primary to secondary.
From what it describes and from navigation of their website, the experience that students will take away would be video lesson watching on various topics with examples of questions and how to solve it. It might be more suitable for students who are already great performers hence they need lesser of 1 to 1 live tutor explanation/consultations, at a cheaper cost.
Downside of this is that if your child doesnt
learn through such examples with videos running, but your child needs human
explanation especially in primary levels, this might not be that effective,
although it looks cheaper on the surface. If you have not been sending your
child to tuition, it might be quite a bit to pay for on a lump sum basis,
even though its for a year.
Tutopiya is quite similar to Ace Learning as they provide “One-to-One Tuition for Students Aged 8-18” and promotes savings of up to 50% OFF from standard Home Tuition Rates. They cover many subjects and levels even until tertiary levels.
From what it describes and from navigation of their website, the experience that students will get will be 1 to 1 live tutoring sessions, which is good for slow learners transitioning from face to face to online.
Downside of this is that tutors selection
cannot be easily found and one has to purchase bulk hours of learning
hours/consultation sessions to start off with. For parents who are
more cautious and keen on trying step by step, bit by bit, they may find
resistance here. Perhaps one hour or 30 minutes session without commitment of
buying bulk hours would be an easier entry to gain parents trust. Their website
also is not updated since 2018, not sure if everything is still running as
Numberskill is quite similar to Superstarteacher and Tenopy as they provide live stream classes, videos and worksheets and subscription bundle to lesson hours. But they focus more on JC and upper secondary Math.
From what it describes and from navigation of their website, the experience that students will get will be primarily to watch videos, for fast learners. Hardcopy notes will be delivered to your house if you subscribe for a year. 10 courses for $88 per month subscription for math topics. They do have a free preview to try and much lower subscriptions with of course lesser resources.
Downside of this is that students have to pay
additional for 1 to 1 live tutoring sessions. If you are not the
type of learner that thrives by figuring out answers yourself, you may not find
this effective. Apparently the courses are split into topics, hence you might need all
the topics which may then cost a bomb.
iMath is more similar to Ace Learning as live tutoring is their main priority. The current offerings is catering to the needs of parents who need tuition but may not be able to afford a fixed monthly commitment. Hence iMath offers 30 min consultation starting from $15 only.
From what it describes and from navigation of their website, the experience that students will get is to gather all their questions and consult with the tutor during the 30 minutes. Getting all the difficult concepts out of the way, pay when you need only. This way significantly changes the impression that tuition is expensive and not sustainable for most families.
Furthermore if you only have 1 or 2 questions, you do not need to spend on consulting a live tutor if you are not in a hurry to get your questions answered - simply post it in the community wall section and tutors “taking care” of the wall will answer your question for free - albeit might take several hours.
In addition, parents can browse through available tutors and chat with them before trying them out. The whiteboard feature also makes it easier for students to interact and respond on the app. It operates on mobile app, so tablets or smartphones make it convenient.
Downside of this is that students have to prepare their difficult questions ahead of time to make best use of the consultation time. Which in a way is good as it forces both parent and student to bring the difficult questions together to be addressed at one go. This helps in concept understanding better too.
If you are looking for online Math tuition
from Singapore tutors only, then you should consider iMath, as its only focused
in Math - currently for Primary and Secondary levels. No fixed monthly
commitment, thus your total investment is kept low while you assess the tutor
you are consulting with before deciding on future engagements.