Video Tutoring Improves Textbook Learning

Q&A: Video Tutoring Improves Textbook Learning

By Sarah Cargill of

Textbook Tactics matches 10-15 minute videos and assessment questions to high school and college course textbooks. Tutors can harness the platform to deliver select playlists for students, meeting their learning needs anytime, anywhere. Shawn Cox, the founder of the video-tutoring platform Textbook Tactics, joins us today to discuss how parents and students can leverage technology to receive faster, cheaper and more effective tutoring instruction.

Q: What sparked the idea for Textbook Tactics?

I have tutored high school and college students in math and science for about the last seven years. About two years ago I was helping a student prepare for his math final and realized that he was struggling with the same problems that I had seen previous students struggle with in the past. It was then that I realized that to some extent I was simply repeating myself to a different generation each year and if I tutored 30 students a year for the next 30 years of my life I would only end up helping 900 students in my lifetime. Each month my videos on Youtube average more than 300 hours of time viewed which means I’m teaching twice as many kids as I could have before when I was tutoring 40 hours a week.

Q: Why did you choose to offer the program for free?

We are offering Textbook Tactics for free for a few reasons. The first is that we would like to be adopted by as many schools as possible. Most schools right now can’t afford to purchase access to a site like this. The second is that many families are strapped for cash now as well and looking for inexpensive or free tutoring resources. Most importantly, we wanted to help kids. And feedback from our three-dozen pilot students told us that making it free and quick to sign up was the best way to go.

Q: You mentioned that the level of social interaction has decreased in the online platform. How has tutoring online improved the focus of students?

The discoveries that I made in online tutoring were a little bittersweet. As a tutor I come to see my students as my kid siblings and I get to develop a relationship with them, which means a lot to me. However, because of that relationship, students often want to talk about what’s going on in their lives during tutoring sessions and I have to work hard to keep them on task. As it turns out, online tutoring cuts out most of the social interaction. Kids sit down with their textbook and computer in front of them and headphones in and they want to just jump right into the lesson. There are fewer distractions, which has been a tremendous help to improve their focus.

Follow the link below for the rest of the interview Interview with Textbook Tactics