Calling all teachers and tutors: even if times are difficult now, study after study suggests that perseverance does have a good payout. New research suggests that High School students become more self-motivated to excel in academics as they age.

Researchers at Ohio State University followed more than 1,600 students across various grades over a two-year period. Over time, more students began to demonstrate different kinds of motivation, including internal motivators like love of learning and external motivators like desire to get a good job after school.

“Our results point to a more hopeful picture for students who start out with lower levels of motivation – they tend to shift toward more adaptive profiles with better motivational characteristics over time,” Kui Xie, lead author of the study told Ohio State News.

The research also suggests that two experiences contribute to motivation: academic success and a sense of belonging within the school.

Tutoring and Academic Success

We’ve previously written about how student academic performance contributes heavily to motivation to continue post-secondary education.

Student academic performance contributes heavily to student dropout rates. The CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (not connected to the Ohio State study) found that low grades are the reason for 45% of dropouts in the first and second year of university, and thirty-six percent of dropouts in the first three years (Stinebrickner & Stinebrickner, 2013). Students with a first-year postsecondary GPA of 60% or lower were 3.57 times more likely to drop out of postsecondary education than students with a GPA of 90%, 2.22 times more likely to drop out of postsecondary education than students with a GPA of 80%, and 1.92 times more likely to drop out of postsecondary education than students with a GPA of 70% . When a student’s grades are falling, support is needed to help them remain in school.

Low grades are the reason for 45 percent of dropouts in the first and second year of university, and thirty-six percent of dropouts in the first three years

Above: Student self-assessment on utility of tutoring services (Colver & Fry, 2015)

Tutoring has a significantly positive impact on students’ academic performance. An extensive study published in the Journal of College Reading and Learning compared tutored and un-tutored students who had to repeat a university-level class due to poor grades. Compared to students who did not receive tutoring, those who received tutoring demonstrated a higher increase in their overall grade from their first attempt to their second. Both groups of students did see an overall increase in grades, however, the increase was significantly greater for the students who received tutoring. (Colver & Fry, 2016). This article then went on to demonstrate that students who received routine tutoring in their first attempt at a course also achieved higher grades than students who did not attend. In a self-assessment of the reflections on tutoring, students also said they felt tutoring helped them improve on assignments and made them more confident in their courses (Colver & Fry, 2016)

Tutoring does not only benefit those who seek help. A study completed at the University of Salford found that peer tutoring helps both the student as well as the tutor. In this study, final year students of the undergraduate Sports Science program at Salford provided tutoring services for two hours each week to second year students in the same program. After 12 weeks of the program, both tutors and tutees performed better academically (measured as the ability to accurately explain and demonstrate a range of dynamic resistance exercises) than students not part of the tutoring sessions (Comfort & McMahon, 2014).

Tutoring has plenty of benefits, including increasing student’s grades as well as increasing the likelihood that they will graduate their chosen programs. Tutoring does not have to be an expensive venture staffed by only professionals – with just a little training, senior students can also be effective tutors and will also benefit from the sessions themselves. This could not be more important in a university setting, as pressure on students continues to increase.

The Nimbus App can make connecting student with tutors easy and flexible. Let us show you how by visiting https://nimbuslearning.com/partners/

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