How Baccalaureate Classes Is Helping IB & IGCSE Students Through Its Online Tutoring Program During COVID-19 Pandemic:

Baccalaureate Classes is a beacon of hope for students and parents who, overnight, have been tasked with the responsibility of homeschooling their children amidst closures of educational institutions. Although Covid-19 has certainly disrupted the lives of young minds, the online tutoring platform is raising the bar for e-learning in the times of the pandemic.

The novel Covid-19 brought the world to a screeching halt two months ago, and gradually, all the sectors, including the education industry, took a big hit. Citing the situation as “unprecedented”, Cambridge and IB decided to cancel the May/June exam series for IGCSE, O Level, AS and A-Levels, and IBDP. The announcement came as a huge blow to the students who were looking forward to starting college in the fall. From missed farewells and tournaments to trips and graduation, a lot has been put on hold for them. In these uncertain times, many students are turning to our online IB tutors and IGCSE tutors to keep up the human touch of learning during this period of self-isolation.

At Baccalaureate Classes, we offer much more to our students than just video conferencing. Our online IGCSE tutors and IB tutors, who navigated various pitfalls to switch to the virtual teaching mode, have come up with several smart ways to make the transition as smooth as possible for both the educators and the learners.

Real-Time Tutoring by IB Online Tutors

By sticking to synchronous lessons, we endeavour to encourage our students to follow the original schedule as much as possible, therefore giving them a sense of routine amidst the looming unpredictability. Our IGCSE online tutors and IB online tutors routinely share free reading material with the children so that the latter can make the most of their time in lockdown and strengthen their self-learning skills. Conferencing platforms like Google Hangouts and Skype also enable our educators to utilize a bevvy of collaborative and interactive tools to keep the students engaged throughout the session. For instance, interactive polls, whiteboard, Google Forms, Padlet, Flipgrid, and Kahoot have reduced the amount of unidirectional learning happening in our lessons to a great extent. Our IB tutors and online IGCSE tutors have taken a limitation and turned it into an opportunity by burning the midnight oil to design and share differentiated assessments and assignments with students that cater to their specific needs and take their weak areas into account.

Maximising Interaction by Online IB Tutors

To help our students ace the Individual Oral Commentary, our online IB tutors and IGCSE online tutors set up brief speaking activities for them and record them while they speak. Then, we ask them to self-assess the recording by engaging critically with the use of language, pronunciation etc. This way, we maximise the interaction between us and the child. We also integrate the chat box in our online classrooms to reinforce instructions for students who’re struggling or simply get them to share their ideas, answers and opinions. Providing children with the opportunity to write on the whiteboard is another great way to keep them engaged and motivate them to brainstorm ideas. When the learner takes the lead, our observation has led us to believe that they’re able to identify their errors a lot easier.

Setting Clear Expectations by IB Online Tutor

Although it is tempting as teachers to upload worksheets for children to complete and return, students suffer over time because of lack of interaction and innovation. Online classes shouldn’t be an excuse for teachers to burden students with work. Instead, the classes should help them clear their foundational concepts. We recommend that teachers break the units into smaller chunks or chapters and not share the entire unit with the student in one go because that may overwhelm them. Instead, focus on one concept and build your way up gradually. Our IB online tutor makes sure that they provide frequent and immediate feedback to the kids through comments on Google Documents and knowledge checks via oral assessments. Moreover, when we set a task, we share our requirements in advance so that students can anticipate how long it will take them to complete the said work and set deadlines for themselves. This helps the kids stay motivated and encourages them to move forward.

Addressing Emotional Toll of Young IB Students

Our exclusive one-on-one classes allow us to check in on our students from time to time to see if they require someone to talk to or any other help, for that matter. The privilege of being able to hear a human voice on the other end can be extremely comforting for outstation students who are stuck in the city miles away from their parents. Taking the first five minutes of the class to socialise will ease the burden and break the ice between the child and you. The next time, the student may even feel comfortable sharing the actual reason why they are submitting their work late. Be flexible with students and approve their request for a deadline extension; not every family has a laptop for every person and is equipped with high-functioning broadband. The student will be grateful for your assistance and will be more receptive in class.

Our tutoring platform has, in the past, offered flexibility to students who either have packed schedules or live far off by tutoring them online and helping them save on commute time. Therefore, our transition from face-to-face teaching to taking virtual lessons was nothing but smooth. What worked in our favour was that our IB tutors and IGCSE tutors were well-prepared beforehand to deal with taking lectures online in case a situation like this arose.

The Coronavirus outbreak has shown us that blended learning is the new normal. So, instead of pitting teachers against technology and engaging in useless debates on whether the former will be replaced by robots in the future, it is time for educators to experiment with non-traditional, virtual instruction models for providing children with a multi-sensory learning experience. This is the reason why we started Baccalaureate Classes in the first place: our students deserve the best possible education we can offer them, and it is our responsibility to give it to them.

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