At some point or another, every student will struggle in school. There’s no escaping it.

Whether it’s due to missing a foundational piece of curriculum or simply not being engaged in the material, every student will find themselves faced with the prospect of needing more help in the classroom.

Just five years ago, this could mean a plummeting GPA, with ballooning classroom sizes and slashed budgets making catching up almost impossible. But as online learning has become more prevalent, struggling students, teachers, and tutors are able to smooth out the GPA dips and maintain the peaks by taking advantage of online learning’s key benefits:

Identifying problems early.

Just several years ago, a teacher may not have known a student was struggling until it was too late. This was simply a product of the teacher not having timely information about his or her classroom until a completed test or quiz. This often meant that students went longer than necessary without assistance, and sometimes it was too late to go back and aid failing grades. However, with online education, teachers can track trends in class daily and know exactly when to intervene with a student who starts to struggle. And better yet, online platforms enable teachers to notice if an entire class is struggling with a topic, which can inform them to review the topic again or teach the subject in a different way.

Personalized curriculum.

Socratic lecturing has its place in the classroom, but every student learns at his or her own pace. Online learning provides differentiated instruction for each student and can be used either as a supplement or a replacement to traditional classroom lecturing. The broad strokes of a topic can be personalized for the student online and the teacher can detail the finer points individually. This benefit is also found in other online programs, like test prep, which can become targeted toward a students’ needs based on their performance on a practice exam. With a program that adapts to their specific needs, students can focus their energies on the greatest areas in need of improvement, without wasting time routinely going through problems that they already understand.

Extension beyond the classroom.

Online learning doesn’t have to end with the 7th period bell. Students can take what they have learned in class and receive the same level of personalized instruction from their desk at home. Teachers can monitor online activity from home and provide virtual “office hours” for homework help. Furthermore, teachers can know in live time what students are working on and the progress they are making from home.

Increased engagement.

Many online learning platforms have integrated “gameified” aspects to them that greatly improve student engagement with the material. When immediate rewards are given for completing problems correctly, students become increasingly motivated to succeed. Whether students are awarded points or competing against their friends, online learning fosters a more social experience and, ultimately, a greater understanding of the curriculum.

Students have access to the most effective tutors.

Many families seek out additional help for their students by hiring tutors. Tutors can help students fully understand material they have learned in school and ensure that they don’t fall behind. But often times qualified tutors are limited in a student’s area. By taking advantage of an online platform, students can find tutors without geographic limits and maximize their learning potential with a tutor matched specifically to their learning style and academic needs.

The idea of moving education online has been met with hesitations from many. But as online learning platforms are accepted by more educators and education companies, they are consistently disproving their critics and helping students succeed. Through this customized curriculum, availability beyond the school campus, and increased engagement from online learning platforms, online learning is reshaping the way our students learn and how our teachers and tutors teach.

Ramit Varma is co-Founder and President of Revolution Prep.  Mr. Varma and his business partner, Jake Neuberg, founded Revolution Prep in 2002.  The company started by holding SAT preparation classes at a local high school in Santa Monica and is now the nation’s largest provider of on-campus SAT and ACT prep.  Recognizing a similar market need for top quality test prep and academic tutoring, Revolution built a one-on-one tutoring business that now maintains a staff of more than 1,000 elite tutors and services more than 75,000 students per year in traditional and online classes and private tutoring.

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