Learn Physics Better Under the Guidance of an Online Tutor

12/11/2013

Some students in a physics overview class feel they've found home. Others have to keep plugging away and operating on sheer determination – and curriculum requirements – before physics principles begin to fall into place and actually make sense. Physics study can be frustrating for those to whom it does not come naturally at first, but perseverance always pays off. An online tutor can be invaluable. Online tutors make themselves available for a variety of reasons. Some closely identify with the confusion of early physics study. Others love to teach and have special talent for effective teaching. Whatever an individual online physics tutor’s motivation is for teaching, students and potential students can be certain that the tutor is there by choice.

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From the student’s perspective, there are several benefits of using an online physics tutor. The online environment allows more flexible scheduling than a teacher's office hours in a local school. This is particularly true for adult students who have their own jobs and have to work during all available office hours. Other students benefit from learning with online tutors who take different approaches to teaching that may work better with students’ individual learning styles. Finally, every student can benefit from exposure to a broader perspective online than a single instructor can offer. Exposure to a variety of teachers increases the numbers of ways that the student sees the same information or principles presented or taught.  

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Convenient Scheduling 


Students attending classes on campus according to a set schedule is still common, of course, and particularly in a course like physics that generally requires some laboratory work. Online instruction has been trying to find its niche in the field of education over the past decade, however. Whether the student is enrolled in an applied physics class that requires lab time and lab reports or is studying physics in more general terms that does not require that level of application, he or she can be certain to benefit from the convenience that an online physics tutor brings. By the way, Physics Forum is one of the good places to learn physics online.

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Online, it makes no difference if the student cannot squeeze some time during standard business hours. The student’s online tutor can be located in the same time zone or not, and can be at home literally on the other side of the globe. Some online physics tutors work in real time, but most communicate with students by means of email or blog postings on a website that may or may not be available to other students seeking the help of an online tutor. 


Different Approaches to Teaching 


Just as physics students have different learning styles, teachers also have different approaches to teaching. The most excellent teachers seek to present instructional materials in diverse ways so they are not unwittingly favoring one group of students over others in terms of their students’ learning styles. Many teachers currently grapple with increasing class sizes and less time, however, particularly in public schools and colleges. Even teachers who want to present the same material in three or four different ways often do not have time to do it. 


It is important to recognize and heed different learning styles. The primary learning styles are visual, auditory and kinetic, and nearly everyone’s personal learning style is a combination of some of all three types. The individual whose predominant learning style is visual generally learns best by watching demonstrations, diagrams, slides, videos and other visual forms of instruction. Auditory learners learn best by listening to lectures, discussing with the teacher and other students or following audible instructions. Kinetic learners are those who learn best by actively doing some physical task. Kinetic learners do well in physics lab but may have little patience to truly learn underlying physics theories. 


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No one is solely visual, solely auditory or solely kinetic in how they learn. Yet everyone has a predominant style. Most teachers unwittingly favor auditory learners in their use of the lecture format. Others understand that heavy reliance on the lecture approach favors auditory learners at the expense of visual and kinetic learners but are powerless to alter the constraints of their physical classes. An individual online tutor has the luxury of being able to assess a new student’s preferred learning style and teach directly to the style for that student. 


Broader Perspective 


Every teacher has his specialty and his own perspectives. An online tutor may have a teaching background similar to a school instructor’s – or one that’s very different – yet have a very different approach to teaching. The combination can be quite beneficial to students. This is the less urgent reason to hire an online physics tutor, but it is still one of the most important ones. 


Lifelong Learning

A pamphlet originally published in 1949 titled How to Study Physics encourages learners to keep on learning. The 1955 edition exhorts students to welcome the math portion of physics study and to learn to derive formulas rather than simply memorize them. The author writes in defense of understanding concepts, “most of the technological information you have when you leave college gradually will become obsolete. If all you have learned in college is the end result, you, too, will become obsolete.” (Chapman, 1996 [1955]) This is why you need to take lifelong learning, and the best way to learn after you graduate from school is to go online.


This statement was true in 1949, when there were no computers, no online courses and no online physics tutors. It has never been truer than at the present time when technology changes so quickly. Cessation of learning in today’s business or academic environment is the precursor of failure and often is attributed to stagnation of the individual. Find a good online physics tutor and make full use of the resource. 


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