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Evaluation of the Online Tuition Pilot

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) have asked the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) to evaluate the Online Tuition Pilot. Our evaluation will help the EEF, tutoring organisations and policy makers to understand the most effective ways of delivering online tuition. We want to understand what helps learners to take part in online tuition, and how tutoring organisations, schools and learners can overcome any challenges and barriers that might make it difficult for them to engage.

Who is carrying out the research?

This research is being carried out by NatCen Social Research.

NatCen Social Research is the UK’s leading independent social research agency. We’re proud to have been carrying out research on behalf of government, charities and other organisations for nearly 50 years.

We are a non-profit organisation, completely independent of government departments and political parties.

What will taking part involve?

Learners

If you are receiving tuition through the Online Tuition Pilot, you will be invited to take part in:

  • Filling out a short survey.

You and your parent/carer might be invited to take part in one online group discussion each:

  • One discussion for you and 2-3 other learners from your school.
  • One discussion between your parents/carers.

Each group discussion will last up to 1 hour and will be led by one of our researchers.

In the survey and group discussions, we will ask you about:

  • What you like and don’t like about the online tuition sessions.
  • What makes it easy or hard to do the sessions.
  • What is helpful and unhelpful about the sessions.

Your tutoring organisation will also give us information about things like the number of sessions that you attend and how long they last.

Parents/carers

Your child will be asked to:

  • complete a short online survey about their views and experience of their sessions.

You and your child might be asked to take part in one online group discussion each:

  • One discussion between your child and 2-3 other learners from your child’s school.
  • One discussion between you and 2-3 other parents/carers from your child’s school.

Each group discussion will last up to 1 hour and will be led by one of our researchers.

Schools

  • NatCen will analyse attendance and feedback data collected by the tutoring organisations from May/June to September 2020 to understand how the pilot is working in practice. The data will be anonymised, and we will not report on individual schools’ or learners’ progress.
  • NatCen will also ask the lead staff member for the project at your school to complete a short, five-question survey every two weeks between June and early September 2020 (seven or eight times in total). The survey will ask about how many learners have been offered and taken up the online tutoring, any barriers they face and any support your school is offering learners.
  • NatCen might also invite this lead staff member to take part in an online group discussion with school leaders at other pilot schools in July 2020, to share your school’s experiences.
  • NatCen might also invite some learners from your school and their parents to take part in an online discussion with each other and one of our researchers. In this group we would ask about how they have found the tutoring and what has made it easier or more difficult for them to take part in the tutoring.

Tutors

  • NatCen will analyse attendance and feedback data collected by the tutoring organisations from May/June to September 2020 to understand how the pilot is working in practice. The data will be anonymised, and we will not report on individual schools’, learners’ or tutors’ involvement.
  • NatCen might also invite you to take part in an online group discussion with other tutors working for your tutoring provider in July and August 2020, to share your experiences.

What will happen to any information I give?

We will share findings from our evaluation activities with EEF and the four tutoring organisations on an ongoing basis throughout the pilot. At the end of the pilot, we will provide a presentation for the EEF, tutoring organisations and the DfE and a published report.

We won’t use any names, school names or any information that could identify individual staff or learners in any of the reports or presentations.

Contact us

You can contact the Natcen Research team on 0808 1640 397 or at onlinetuition@natcen.ac.uk.

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