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Online Tutoring vs. In-Person Tutoring: Which is right for you?

[revised 9/10/2021]

You’ve made the decision to finish your GED. Congratulations! You’ve already taken a huge step, but things have changed — probably more than a little — since you last attended school.

And Seeds has changed, too. 

Adults now have two incredible options to consider in order to pursue their high school equivalency at Seeds of Literacy: 

  • in-person tutoring in our physical classrooms and 
  • online tutoring in our Virtual Classroom. 

 But which one is right for you? For some people, the decision might be easy (if you live out of state, for example.) But for others, you’ll have a choice to make and some factors to consider. 

Same Great Program

The Seeds of Literacy program model is the same for both in-person tutoring in our classrooms as it is online tutoring in our Virtual Classroom. That includes:

  •  Free tutoring, study materials, assessments, and official practice tests
  •  One-to-one tutoring with 200+ caring, trained volunteer tutors  
  •  Flexible schedule, come when you can: 4 days a week, as often as 3 times a day
  •  Individualized learning at your own speed
  • Ongoing program with no set end-date
  • Graduation ceremonies each year

Picking Online Vs. On-Site

With so many similarities, it’s hard to imagine there could be much difference between the Virtual Classroom and on-site learning.  But there are some notable distinctions between the two. Consider the following to help you make the best decision for your education. 

Where You Live

If you live outside of Northeast Ohio, the Virtual Classroom is for you. It gives you access to the unique Seeds tutoring program that Clevelanders have enjoyed for decades. 

Using the internet and Zoom, students and tutors can participate in the Seeds program from anywhere in the world. All you need is an internet-enabled device. (We recommend a computer, but many students are tutored by phone.)

If you live in Cleveland or a surrounding area, pick the Seeds location nearest you for in-person tutoring.

Both classrooms are located along major bus routes. Attend in-person Orientation and tutoring at one of our locations. 

  • Seeds West (W. 25th & Clark)
  • Seeds East (Kinsman & 139th)

I am local to Seeds. Can I use BOTH the Virtual Classroom and the Physical Classroom?

The Virtual Classroom’s primary purpose is to serve students outside of Northeast Ohio, as well as those that are unable to be vaccinated for COVID-19. However, there may be circumstances when students who normally study in-person may need to use the Virtual Classroom for a limited time. The Virtual Classroom allows for that flexibility.

COVID-19 Precautions

Our physical classrooms are open to fully-vaccinated students, tutors, and staff only. Masks will still be required until further notice. 

If you’re not vaccinated, that’s ok! We don’t need to know why. Everyone has different reasons for their vaccination choice. We welcome you in the Virtual Classroom where masks aren’t necessary.

Other Considerations

Reliable, Affordable Transportation

The Virtual Classroom eliminates the barriers of travel time and cost for transportation. However, if you think you might make it to the physical classroom sometimes, please chat with a staff member about which option is best for you. We always prefer you attend in-person.

Technology: Access & Comfort

To participate in the Virtual Classroom, you need to have regular access to the internet and an internet-enabled device. Some students use private rooms at the library to log-in to the Virtual Classroom if they don’t have home computers.

Virtual Classroom students tend to be more comfortable using technology. They find Seeds while searching online, register online, and “attend” tutoring exclusively online. Study materials are pdfs sent via email, and assessment tests are taken online. 

Many adults in the Cleveland area don’t have access to affordable technology and the internet, and haven’t grown up using it. If you’re uncomfortable with technology, on-site learning would be a better option for you.

The physical classrooms have labs for students to learn more about using a computer, and staff and tutors are available to help students navigate the internet, open and save Word documents, and access their email.The study materials, however, are printed packets that students can write on, and take home for additional study time.

Life Situations

Virtual Classroom students may have outside disruptions, such as children, pets, spouses, and other household activities to distract them during tutoring. The tv or radio may be on, or the dog could be barking.  

Students with large or busy households might prefer the structure that the physical classroom provides.  

For some students, the idea of getting kids to school and then hurrying to class, or rushing home to feed the kids before heading off to class is a lot.  For those students, the convenience of being able to join the Virtual Classroom from home or work is a lifesaver. 

Social Interaction

The same social interactions that some students may find distracting are often necessary for other students who thrive around others. On-site classroom students become familiar with many members of the staff, interact with more tutors, and can enjoy the comradery of being around other adults working toward the HSE. 

Being on-site also provides the opportunity to participate in supplemental clubs, like Book Club, between tutoring sessions.

The VC provides only moments of interaction with a limited number of people. Virtual students are quickly paired with a tutor and sent to private Zoom breakout rooms. There isn’t as much interaction with other students or tutors as there is in the physical classroom.  There also may be fewer tutors available in the virtual space.

How to Get Started

Virtual

Adults intending to study in the Virtual Classroom must register online in advance. You’ll receive an email with a link to join a one-hour orientation on Monday. Orientation is every Monday (except holidays) so you pick the week that works best for you. After Orientation, we’ll email you an assessment to complete before you begin tutoring. 

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE VIRTUAL CLASSROOM

In Person

Local adults should attend a weekly orientation in-person at Seeds East or Seeds West. Registration and assessment testing will be completed during the two-day orientation.

Two-Day Orientation is offered at 12:30pm and 4pm (your choice):

  • Mondays AND Tuesdays at Seeds West
  • Wednesdays AND Thursdays at Seeds East

Tutoring days and times vary, so check the schedule.

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Still have questions? Call us at 216.661.7950.