Blog

        • icon of teacher

          Private Tutoring

          We provide one-on-one tutoring in a quiet and comfortable environment, allowing students grades to progress at their own pace with maximal attention given by a qualified instructor, ensuring improvement in the subject area as well as overall confidence.

          spaceship pencil icon personalized tutoring

          Personalized Tutoring

          Individualized learning for students in grades K-8 seeking enhancement or remediation in Math and ELA

          school bag icon

          Homework Help

          Our Homework Booster program is offered to help students K-12 with their daily homework assignments, and is available Monday through Saturday in the following subjects: Math, ELA, Science, Social Studies.

          book icon with pencil

          Essay Writing Help

          Writing is a skill that takes years to perfect, so let our tutors guide you through your toughest school assignments, papers, and personal statements. Whether it is a deadline you need to meet, ideas you need to put together, or just a quick proofread, our “Essay Drop-Off” service is just what you need!

  • Test Prep Courses
  • STEAM Camp
  • Clubs
        • About Us

          Here at Tip-Top Brain, we believe that every student has the natural ability to learn if given the opportunity to receive a quality education. With a safe, supportive, and positive classroom environment and upbeat, intelligent, and compassionate instructors to guide students throughout their educational journeys, we believe that all students can discover and unlock their fullest potential.

          contact us envelope

          Contact Us

          We're very friendly and responsive!. Visit our contact us page to fill out a contact form, get directions, or even find answers to questions students or parents like have asked us!

          experienced teachers at blackboard tip-top brain

          Meet Our Tutors

          Where should we start? There is so much we could say about our talented tutors. Read all about their unique personalities and academic backgrounds here!

          blog icon

          Our Blog

          There's so much to learn these days, don't you agree? Check out our blog here!

          NOW HIRING

          Love Teaching?

          Tip-Top Brain is growing and looking for talented individuals to help us on our mission to help students discover and unlock their fullest potentials.

Blog

Helpful or Harmful: Online Learning & Virtual Classrooms

Student doing her online learning from a laptop in a virtual classroom.
Virtual learning comes in a variety of ways. This past school year, students across the United States began pursuing their education in a virtual learning environment. The transition online has not been without sweat, and many of us have stopped and wondered: are students really learning in their online classes? Opinions on the matter can be polarizing, but a large meta-analysis from the Department of Education gives us three key reasons to be optimistic.

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on email

This past school year, to a varying extent, every student in America transitioned into online learning in virtual classrooms. For some, the transition has meant easier access to school, and impromptu training in working in the digital world. Unfortunately, that experience is not universal in the slightest. Many students feel left behind and adrift in the newfangled obstacles distance learning comes with. The question many parents and policymakers are asking is: does virtual learning work? Sure, most students can get comfy in front of their computer and attend class, but are students truly learning? More broadly, can they?

The answer to that question is hardly straightforward. We’ve all heard anecdotes of virtual classroom horror stories, if not lived one, but generally, students are adapting quickly. Although virtual learning environments have been developed and implemented over the past two decades, few reliable studies have been published on the efficacy of virtual learning for students K-12. In a lot of ways, the state of education in the United States is uncharted territory. Luckily, the relatively small collection of reliable, peer-reviewed virtual learning studies gives us good reason to think this younger generation of learners is taking well to virtual learning.

The U.S. Department of Education published the “Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning” back in 2010, which served as a meta-analysis of thousands of virtual learning studies. Ultimately, the analysts narrowed their sources to include only studies that specifically contrasted virtual learning with traditional classrooms and measured student learning outcomes. The results of this meta-analysis lead researchers to three key findings on the efficacy of online learning.

Students Learn (Marginally) More Online

As shocking as it may seem, students who received instruction virtually slightly outperformed those learning the same material in class. Intuitively, what might think virtual learners might be at a disadvantage in their digital classrooms. However, students tasked with online learning and the same curriculum kept up fine with those learning in brick-and-mortar schools. Furthermore, students learning virtually surpassed those receiving traditional face to face instruction in learning outcomes.

Of course, teachers and students alike want to be back in the actual classroom. However, it brings tremendous solace knowing that the days of virtual classrooms by no means condemns or limits students’ learning. All we’ve got to do is hang in there until we find our new normal! In the meantime, check out some ways to bring cheer to school days at home.

Online Learning Needs To Be Active

Virtual classrooms come in a few varieties. The course structure from one online learning format to the next is largely dictated by the institution hosting virtual classrooms. Virtual learning environments (fancy talk for virtual classrooms) can look quite different, but researchers concluded one of the most important facets of effective virtual classrooms was an instructor at the helm.

Depending on the VLE, students may receive instructor directed lessons, or students may not receive any lessons from the teacher themselves. In classrooms without teachers leading students directly, students may be expected to cover content on their own or click through web-guided lessons. However, students are far better served with attentive teachers to work closely with, akin to the course structure at Tip-Top Brain.

Most of the Differences Between Traditional and Online Learning Don’t Matter

The meta-analysis identified and isolated twelve variables across the studies surveyed. Ultimately, the only two variables that caused a significant difference in student learning outcomes were the aforementioned learning type (online or in-person) and teacher involvement (synchronous vs. asynchronous.) Whereas other variables, like the use of textbooks, or pedagogy seemed to have little to no effect on student learning outcomes.

In many ways, the debate over virtual learning efficacy isn’t quite over. The shift in schooling has been swift, and not without some growing pains. We’ll likely be watching the state of virtual learning evolve over the course of this coming school year, but fortunately, there is strong reason to believe virtual learning is extremely effective.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

More To Explore

Education Systems: What can we learn from schooling success abroad? (PART 2)

American schools are home to some of the most well-learned students, and qualified teachers in the world. However, countries like Finland, Denmark, and Sweden outrank the United States in education every year. What programs and practices does Finland, Denmark, and Sweden employ to reach the massive success they do? And which might be transferable here to American Schools?

Can An Old Dog Teach Your Child New Tricks?

Can An Old Dog Teach Your Child New Tricks?

Emotional intelligence is learned, not innate. As your child grows, they mature emotionally too, allowing them to have more fulfilling and meaningful relationships. Despite a language barrier, pets are remarkably good at helping children develop emotional intelligence. Check out 7 ways a pet can help your child develop emotionally.

Please complete this form and our program coordinator will reach out to you shortly.

Our response time is within 24 hours
glowing arrow

We're committed to your privacy. Tip-Top Brain uses the information you provide to us to contact you about our relevant content and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time.