High-Dosage Tutoring Gets a Tech Boost

June 3, 2024

Key Takeaways:

  • High-dosage tutoring is the most effective way to address learning loss, but traditional programs are expensive and require a lot of staff. This creates a challenge for schools, especially with pandemic relief funds ending soon.
  • Saga Education’s high-impact tutoring model combines tutors with educational technology. This blended approach can reduce program costs by a third while maintaining the effectiveness of traditional tutoring. Students alternate between sessions with a tutor and time spent on a high-quality learning platform.
  • The study focused on pre-pandemic data, but the findings are promising. Students using the blended model achieved significant learning gains (1-2 years’ worth of additional math learning) which rivaled the traditional model. Further research is ongoing to see how the model works in a post-pandemic world.
  • This blended model offers several benefits for districts: Reduced costs, increased scalability to reach more students, and maintained effectiveness in learning outcomes compared to traditional tutoring. This paves the way for expanding high-dosage tutoring programs in a more cost-effective way.

High-Dosage Tutoring is effective yet limiting

School districts across the US are grappling with a crucial question: how to address pandemic-related learning loss for students. Recent research shows that high-dosage tutoring, with three or more sessions per week using a structured curriculum, is the most effective way to accelerate student learning. High-dosage tutoring is proven to accelerate learning. However, widespread adoption faces two significant hurdles:

  • Cost: Traditional tutoring programs are expensive, limiting their reach.
  • Staffing: Finding enough qualified tutors to meet demand can be challenging.

With pandemic relief funds expected to terminate this year, the outlook toward traditional tutoring programs could be more favorable. However, an alternative solution that combines tutors’ effectiveness with the affordability of educational technology exists.

A recent study by the University of Chicago Education Lab in partnership with Saga Education tested a blended tutoring model that combines in-person tutors with high-quality educational technology. This model offers a compelling solution for districts seeking to maximize learning gains while optimizing resources.

Saga Education’s High-Impact Tutoring Model

This innovative tutoring model Saga Education designed leverages tutors and educational technology. Here’s how it works:

  • Students alternate between sessions with a tutor and a reliable, engaging learning platform.
  • This approach reduces tutoring program costs by a third without sacrificing effectiveness.
  • Students in the study achieved 1-2 years’ worth of additional math learning, comparable to the traditional model.

Scaling Up for Post-Pandemic Recovery

The study focused on pre-pandemic data, but the findings are promising. The University of Chicago Education Lab’s ongoing Personalized Learning Initiative (PLI) builds on these findings. The PLI aims to determine which tutoring models are most effective for different student groups, ensuring more comprehensive access to this impactful intervention.

Reduced Costs, Uncompromised Learning

Saga Education’s high-impact tutoring model with technology offers a compelling solution to districts striving to bridge the learning gap and empower students to reach their full potential: accelerated learning at a lower cost. 

“Very rarely do you see such a large reduction in cost and no loss in effectiveness,” says Dr. Monica Bhatt, a senior researcher on the project. Scaling high-quality tutoring programs to reach more students has several benefits for districts:

  • Reduced Costs: The Saga’s high-impact tutoring model offers significant cost savings compared to traditional high-dosage tutoring programs.
  • Increased Scalability: By requiring fewer tutors, this approach allows districts to reach a wider range of students in need.
  • Maintained Effectiveness: The study confirms that the blended model delivers learning outcomes comparable to the traditional high-dosage tutoring program.

Saga’s Solution: Tutoring + Technology = Cost-Effectiveness

This study paves the way for expanding high-dosage tutoring programs with a cost-effective approach. The findings inspire further research to determine the best tutoring models for different student needs.

By combining technology with high-quality tutoring, schools can unlock the power of high-dosage tutoring for more students at a fraction of the cost. This innovative approach is a game-changer for accelerating student learning and closing the achievement gap.

This is just the beginning! Stay tuned for further developments in high-impact tutoring and its potential to revolutionize education.