Online Tutoring Versus High-Dosage Tutoring: What’s the Difference?


Laura Loughead

December 7, 2023

In recent years, online tutoring has gained immense popularity among students and parents. With the advancement of technology, it has become an effective and efficient way of providing academic support to students of all ages. But what is the difference between online tutoring and high-dosage tutoring? Can they be one in the same?

By definition, high-dosage tutoring is tutoring that takes place for at least 30 minutes per session, one-on-one or in small group instruction, offered three or more times per week, is provided by educators or well-trained tutors, and aligns with an evidence-based core curriculum or program. It is being viewed by some as the best solution for learning loss caused by the pandemic.

So, how does this differ from the standard online tutoring that has been gaining popularity? We know the general benefits of online tutoring:

1. Flexibility

One of the most significant benefits of online tutoring is flexibility. Middle and high school students often have busy schedules with school, extracurricular activities, and other commitments. Online tutoring allows students to schedule their sessions at a time that is convenient for them. This means that students can receive academic support without compromising their other commitments.

2. Personalized learning

Online tutoring provides students with personalized learning experiences. Every student has different strengths and needs, and online tutoring allows tutors to tailor their teaching methods to meet the needs of each student. This personalized approach can help students understand concepts better and improve their academic performance.

3. Access to a wider range of tutors

Online tutoring provides students with access to a wider range of tutors. With traditional tutoring, students are limited to tutors who are located in their area. However, with online tutoring, students can work with tutors from anywhere in the world. This means that students can find tutors who specialize in the subjects they need help with, even if they are not available locally.

4. Increased engagement

Online tutoring can increase student engagement. Traditional tutoring can be intimidating for some students, and they may feel uncomfortable asking questions or admitting that they do not understand a concept. However, online tutoring allows students to ask questions in a more relaxed environment, which can increase their engagement and participation while teaching them self-advocacy skills.

5. Cost-effective

Online tutoring is often more cost-effective than traditional tutoring. Traditional tutoring can be expensive, and the cost can add up over time. However, online tutoring can be more affordable, and students can save money by not having to travel to tutoring sessions.

6. Improved technology skills

Online tutoring can help students improve their technology skills. In today’s digital age, technology skills are essential for success in many areas. Online tutoring requires students to use various online tools and platforms, which can help them become more proficient in using technology. But how are these similar or different from high-dosage tutoring? All of the benefits of online tutoring are also benefits of high-dosage tutoring, but think of high-dosage tutoring as more intensive. Students are engaging one-on-one or in a small group with a tutor at least three times per week for a minimum of 30 minutes per session. A recent article on high-dosage tutoring indicates that some schools are starting to incorporate this option for their students to combat learning loss, but it hasn’t been a widely adopted concept due to cost restrictions.

High-dosage tutoring that is conducted online can give students benefits of both tutoring methods and can prove to be the most cost-effective AND academically-effective method of tutoring for students who have fallen behind in school. At Holston Academy, we offer on-demand, high-dosage online tutoring to our students and encourage students to participate in as many sessions as needed to help them achieve their very best academically. To learn more about our programs, visit:

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