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Varsity Tutors' New Teacher Assigned Tutoring Platform Puts Educators in Charge, Connects Classroom Challenges to Sessions

Online tutoring provider Varsity Tutors today unveiled a new service that puts teachers in charge, enabling them to “prescribe” sessions to their struggling students, communicate with each tutor, ensure the extra help is focused on the topics students are struggling with in class, and monitor each student’s progress post-session.

The new Teacher Assigned tutoring platform allows teachers to request and schedule sessions, view and share progress insights, share instructional materials and learning goals with tutors, and get real-time updates on individual students as well as entire classrooms — all within one virtual platform.

In a demo shared with THE Journal this week, Varsity Tutors illustrated the easy-to-use dashboard designed for teachers and the tutors’ reports that educators can see following each session. The platform allows teachers to schedule the 1:1 sessions during the school day, such as during the intervention blocks for their classroom, or for after-school hours.

Teachers can view a recording of any tutoring session, read the tutor’s notes post-session, and view the “exit ticket,” which shows results of a 5-question lesson-mastery quiz a student completes at the close of each session. Other reports available on the educator dashboard include session engagement, overall attendance, each student’s overall progress pegged to exit quiz results and trends, and overall progress by classroom.

Varsity Tutors developed the Teacher Assigned Tutoring platform after many educators told the company that while online tutoring is helping some students, it often fails to align with the lessons and challenges they’re currently facing in the classroom.

“Teachers are always in the best position to identify the specific challenges and opportunities where tutoring can help,” said Varsity Tutor’s Anthony Salcito. “District leaders told us that putting classroom educators in the driver’s seat could not only benefit students, but provide critical support to teachers who are feeling overworked and burnt out.

“To fulfill its potential, tutoring that schools provide to their students can’t be an add-on disconnected from the classroom. It has to be deeply integrated with the priorities and values of schools and districts.”

The latest research from Brown University’s Annenberg Institute shows that to have the most impact on learning outcomes, tutoring programs must be “connected to the classroom, aligned to curriculum and standards, and provide consistent tutor relationships,” the company noted.

Each student using Varsity Tutor is automatically matched with a tutor using Varsity Tutor’s algorithms based on 100-plus student and tutor attributes, as with Varsity Tutors’ existing On Demand tutoring service and the High Dosage “concierge” or managed tutoring service, the company said. Classrooms subscribing to the Teacher Assigned service also will have access to the On Demand service features such as 24/7 chats with tutors and always-on enrichment courses for small groups.

All three tutoring services will be available for schools this fall, Varsity Tutors said.

Learn more at Varsity Tutors is owned by online learning company Nerdy.

About the Author

Kristal Kuykendall is editor, 1105 Media Education Group. She can be reached at [email protected].