Online Learning: An Interview With Tom Ehlers, MTP President

Method Test Prep President and Founder Tom Ehlers has lots to say about the evolution and benefits of online learning. Watch his interview with Guided Path’s Cyndy McDonald within this video blog!

Below are some of the benefits of online ACT/SAT learning as outlined in our recent blog post on the topic.

  1. Greater student engagement in classroom settings. Anyone who has ever taken a high school class knows that getting students to participate––a key element of constructive learning––can be akin to pulling teeth. Much of this difficulty stems from peer pressure: students are afraid of looking silly or stupid in front of their cohorts. But when students take an online course, they’re doing so in a comfortable environment (usually their own home), and don’t physically see the other students (though they can interact through a live chat). In this way, many students become less sheepish and more willing to volunteer answers, even if they frequently get things wrong. Other features of online classrooms––such as interactive anonymous polls––help students gain comfort with volunteering answers.
  2. Recording the sessions. When an in-person session wraps up, that’s it: students walk away with whatever they have written down or internalized. This leaves a lot to chance. Online classes, however, may be recorded and shared. In this way, students can always go back and reference something that wasn’t clear the first time, or review to absorb things they may have missed the first time around.
  3. Convenience. If you’ve got a computer and internet in your home, you don’t need to leave the house to learn online. No traveling means more time to devote to learning, and no cancellation due to things like inclement weather or car breakdowns. Even students who are under the weather and would have canceled the session to rest may feel okay with meeting online, as they don’t have to leave the house. No traveling can also mean greater scheduling flexibility, especially for those families and tutors with very busy schedules.
  4. Access to the best instructor for you. Geography can be a limiting factor when seeking just the right tutor or course. Online sessions remove the barrier of location, linking students to great tutors and course instructors no matter where they are in relation to one another.
  5. Enhanced interactivity. Because online sessions can involve sharing any screen or app, tutors can quickly cycle between a document (such as a sample ACT), a blank whiteboard, a picture or figure, and a graphing application. Furthermore, students can be given the controls to draw and manipulate figures. This increases engagement and enriches the learning process.