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Survey: Younger Students More Confident in AI Tutoring

A survey from the tutoring company Superprof found differences among students, parents and tutors in their optimism — or lack thereof — about the future capabilities of artificial intelligence.

Illustration of a robot wearing a headset and working on a laptop while surrounded by four chat bubbles with different people in each one. Light blue background.
Younger students may be more open to artificial intelligence tutors and online education tools than their tutors or parents, according to a recent survey by the tutoring company Superprof.

Collecting more than 1,500 responses from tutors and more than 300 from students and parents regarding their summer learning experiences, the survey found skepticism toward the future capabilities of artificial intelligence overall, but high school students were more likely to be optimistic. While 74 percent of tutors, 78 percent of parents and 67 percent of adult learners said AI would never be good enough to overtake human tutors, 60 percent of high school and college students said the same.

Further, students preferred human tutors to AI by a strong margin, and online courses to educational apps. When asked what resources would be most helpful for achieving their summer learning goals, 60 percent selected tutoring sessions. Online courses and tutorials were next at 21 percent, followed by educational apps or software at 10 percent.

Concerning the need for tutors in general, the “vast majority” of Superprof tutors, students and parents who took the survey said traditional education systems are failing to prepare students for real-world challenges.

All three groups reported that self-directed, flexible learning opportunities with regular check-ins are most effective for summer learning, when students reported struggling with time management and lack of motivation. Superprof tutors said they track improvement by monitoring participation and engagement, providing quizzes and assessments regularly, seeking feedback from students and parents and tracking assignments.

Surveyed tutors also reported noticing gaps in foundational knowledge that may influence students’ performance in school. The most prioritized subjects were math, English language arts and foreign languages.

In May 2023, a different survey of 801 students and parents by found that those who used both ChatGPT and in-person tutoring preferred the AI chatbot. That study found 85 percent of students and 96 percent of students and parents believed studying with ChatGPT was the preferable or more effective method for improving grades. In addition to ChatGPT, online resources such as Quizlet and Course Hero have added AI features to assist users with learning goals.