Looking for a different approach to education? Get in touch to see how we can support your home-ed journey. Arrange a free consultation One question we are frequently asked is whether or not we record our tutorials. After a great deal of thought, we decided that we wouldn't, although we know that a lot of other providers offer recordings (some at no extra charge). We also know that our decision not to jump on the bandwagon is very different from what everyone else is doing. But we have good reasons. Our philosophy is about being different and really thinking through what is actually best for our learners - not just doing what seems to be useful on the face of it. Because scratch below the surface, and you'll find that recording lessons is not necessarily all that positive. Reason 1. To avoid reducing interaction (and create the freedom to make mistakes) Imagine for a moment that I ask you to do something you find challenging. Maybe it's something mathematical, to do with spelling or some form of skilled physical activity. You would rightly feel a bit uncomfortable. It's ok though, because as a tutor I will reassure you and let you know it's ok to get things wrong. That is, after all, how we learn: through making mistakes and trying again. Now let's imagine that I am going to record you as you attempt this difficult activity. As you attempt it, you are conscious of a red light blinking on my camera and your sense of having to get it 'right' increases. Your hesitancy is further compounded when I tell you that this recording will be available for others to watch as many times as they want. Do you think you would feel as able to attempt this activity? Would you prefer to just sit it out? It would be understandable if you would rather avoid it. This is how interaction begins to disappear. Young people are already highly sensitive to the opinions of their peers, so asking them to interact in tutorials is challenging enough for them to begin with. Recording them only makes things more difficult for them. And this becomes even more problematic for those learners who experience anxiety. 2. To support learners who have anxiety Many learners come to us because they have not been well-supported at school. They may have not have felt sufficiently challenged, or perhaps they just didn't get along with an increasingly out-dated and archaic school system. But some learners come to us because they have anxiety. For these learners, the thought of being in a room full of their peers may feel genuinely frightening, and the thought of being put on the spot to answer questions is even worse. Because many of our learners have had this experience, it makes sense for us to take steps to keep triggers for anxiety to a minimum. There are many ways we do this that is woven in to our teaching practice, but keeping our groups small and not recording lessons is a big part of this. Both Tutor Andy and Tutor Dave (founders of Tutor Led Learning) have experience working in mental health, and also in schools, so they understand that there is often a gaping chasm between the support that children need at school, and the support they actually get. Tutor Led Learning exists to support our learners' mental wellbeing as well as their education. 3. To avoid giving 'lectures' Tutor Led Learning's small group tutorials are not designed to be lectures, which could easily be recorded. Instead, the focus is on creating interactive moments, asking students for their ideas and allowing students to complete tasks and receive almost instant feedback. The style to create successful recorded lessons has to be different. You respond less to students in the moment and stick more to a script. This may work for some less confident tutors, but responding to the shifting dynamics of a group of learners and their evolving mood as tutorials progress is at the heart of good teaching. Ploughing on through lesson content because it is being recorded is no way to effectively support the learners who are in that group. In fact the main goal is no longer about supporting individual students, but ensuring that you don't 'slip up'. Therefore tutors avoid engaging with learners in case they say the 'wrong' thing or as difficult questions. At Tutor Led Learning we want learners to ask us challenging questions, we want them to think outside the box and test out new ideas, we want to create an environment in our groups that allows this to happen and recording the tutorials would simply not promote this. 4. To live in the moment For some learners, knowing that the lesson will be recorded can be a reason to not engage with the lesson as it happens, or perhaps not attend the lesson at all. If it will simply be available for them to watch later on, why bother to be in the lesson? The reason that being in the lesson matters is because our learners are learning together. They get to discuss concepts and questions as they arise and bounce ideas off each other. They also learn the art of speaking in a group - knowing how and when to jump in with their ideas, learning how to disagree in a respectful way, and learning how to persuade others of their point of view. Simply watching back lessons that have been recorded may seem like it is the same as being involved, but it really is not. In fact, it can become isolating and create the sense of being an outside observer, rather than a participant. Furthermore, it doesn't allow the tutor to help the learner there and then - one of the most powerful ways a tutor can help a learner is to give feedback in the moment. This can't happen if the learner isn't present or engaged with the tutorial. 5. To provide better alternatives: Discovery packs You may now be wondering how learners who miss our tutorials can catch up. The answer is that we will help them! Many tutorials have content that can be accessed online and we are happy to email over work with explanations when needed. Because we run tutorials rather than large webinar-style lectures, we can take the time to help students catch up and respond to the questions they have. We also believe there is a better alternative to just recording lessons: Our Discovery Packs. Discovery Packs are self-paced, tutor-guided (but independent) learning journeys. These are designed from the ground up to be fully interactive and engaging online learning experiences. Rather than passively watching videos, Tutor Led Learning Discovery Packs are professionally created to help learners explore topics that take learning off the beaten track. A mix of expertly curated videos, downloadable and printable worksheets, online resources, and quizzes and assignments mean that learners can continue to enjoy learning outside of live lessons. Summary -Tutor Dave Be different, together.