A Tutor’s Perspective: Q&A with Geraint Sibley
We speak to Geraint Sibley, Mathematics Tutor, about how he and his students are using Blutick. Geraint holds a first class degree in mathematics, a postgraduate certificate in education and is a member of The Tutors’ Association.
What was your first impression when you entered the Blutick site?
It definitely matched what I thought it might be, I did not sign up straight away as I wanted to make sure that it was the best system for my needs and was value for money, so I went and completed further research before committing.
Was there anything that almost stopped you from using Blutick?
In fairness no, once I had finished my research I knew it was the one I wanted to go with. The comparison chart on the home page highlighted all the extra features that were available with Blutick and it was clear what I was getting.
What are your top three things that you like about Blutick?
1. Ease of setting homework tasks.
Before Blutick I had to go and find questions for students, the student had to write them down, I had to remember where these were every time with every student, find the questions again for the next lesson to look at the answers, then go through the questions. Now it is much easier, it’s all automated and is much less time consuming, I save so much time doing this that I can’t imagine going back to my old way of providing homework.
2. Lines of working.
Blutick makes my students write out their lines of work as they go along and identifies immediately as they work through the problem if they have gone wrong instead of waiting until they have put in the final answer and then telling them that it is wrong.
It’s much better than the student having to go back to the start of the question in order to figure out where they have gone wrong as this can be discouraging and frustrating. This also encourages the idea of writing down all of their workings, which is important for maths exams. The AI maths teacher is also fantastic at providing extremely relevant feedback and suggestions when a mistake has been made.
Before I began using Blutick my students would never contact me outside our lessons. Now if they require help with a topic, because of the safe system and official method of communication, they can let me know when they are struggling with a topic or question and I can help them out. Now when it comes to our next lesson they have already completed the work that they were undertaking.
Is there other functionality that you would like to see us build?
I started out tutoring for KS3&4 but now have expanded to KS1&2, so expanding the curriculum would be of great benefit to me personally. I also think a counter telling me how many licenses I have left would be helpful.
What do your Students like about Blutick?
My students like many of the different aspects of Blutick, including the AI teachers, consistent topic structure with different levels, the ability to see their progress and what they have completed, the quizzes and that they gain a score at the end, the short but concise videos for every topic and the ability to message a linked account for help.
What do they dislike?
A curriculum tagging system would be of great use for the students that want to work on tasks outside those I have set, as some students want to self learn extra tasks for a certain topic. A filtering system where they could pick their Key Stage, exam board and level would be amazing.
How user friendly do your students find Blutick?
Once students have set up their account and have begun completing topics, very user friendly. They find it consistent in terms of layout and easy to use.
Do your students progress faster with Blutick than with traditional methods?
Yes, it’s interactive, making it more engaging. Considering how students are increasingly more interested in the use of technology and grow up using technology, I believe it is now a go-to form of learning.
What other resources do you use in conjunction with Blutick?
I use the HWB and WJEC websites to ensure that the work and homework tasks that I set my students lines up with the Welsh curriculum.
Any final thoughts?
Yes, I like the ability to request a topic that I can’t find on Blutick. The other element that I think is fantastic is the AI teachers and how they distinguish within a provided answer exactly where the user may have gone wrong and provide incredibly useful feedback. The fact that your system can do this is fantastic. It is so helpful in terms of understanding the topic being completed, I can’t compliment that feature enough.
Now that you’ve been using Blutick for a while, how likely would you be to recommend?
Highly likely, I’m a big advocate of the system and want to support its further development as much as possible.
If you’ve read Geraint’s Q&A and you’re ready to try Blutick, you’ll find it quick and easy to register. We can also help you get your tutees set up in minutes! Find out how in our quick Getting Started Guide for Tutors or get in touch.