In October 2022, Ontario released the results of the Education Quality and Accountability Office provincial tests. Fewer than 50% of Grade 6 students met the provincial standard in math. It was the first time since the start of the pandemic that the tests were administered. The data also showed that the most recent provincial results aligned with student scores from 2018. In 2021, slightly more than half of Ontario students in Grade 9 math met the provincial testing standard. This decline is also reflected on international student assessments where Canadian high school student scores in math have been falling over time. Many students still require support to recover from the academic toll of COVID-19, the most significant disruption to K–12 education in history.
Students who find math difficult struggle for different reasons. Some may lack confidence, have trouble focusing or staying on task, lack understanding about correct strategies, or are affected by other factors such as reading difficulties or language impairments. Others may have deficits in cognitive processing skills that influence math ability, such as processing speed or working memory, which can make it difficult to process information quickly and retrieve it. Students require a solid foundation of math knowledge on which to build higher-level understanding.
Math skills increase in complexity over the school-age years and are cumulative. For example, if a student skips fractions, they will have a difficult time in high school when they begin to learn algebra, which is grounded in fractions. Higher-level math frequently requires fundamental knowledge about underlying concepts that are necessary for success in sequential courses. The math trajectory includes some grades that are more critical than others. For example, in the years leading up to Grade 8, students transition from arithmetic into algebra.
When students don’t get enough practice with math concepts and skills, it can also make it harder for them to learn. Research has shown that if students don’t understand basic math concepts taught in elementary school, they may have trouble with math in high school. At Evoke, our high-dosage math tutoring program helps students who are behind in math by giving them extra time to learn and address their learning challenges. This helps bridge the gap and ensures that they don’t fall further behind.
Of all academic interventions, tutoring has been shown to help students gain academic ground the most rapidly. A recent meta-analysis reviewed studies of tutoring interventions that have been evaluated by randomized controlled trials in the past few decades and found that, on average, tutoring increased achievement by an additional three to 15 months of learning across grade levels. Tutoring also offers significant spillover effects, including greater school engagement and higher grades in other courses.
Current research has also shown that the most effective tutoring interventions involve three or more sessions per week with sessions that last for about 30-60 minutes. This type of tutoring is referred to as high dosage. Studies have found little evidence that once-a-week tutoring is sufficient to generate meaningful gains. A recent meta-analysis found that high dosage tutoring was 20 times more effective than low dosage tutoring in math.
Rigorous research provides strong evidence that high-dosage tutoring can produce robust learning gains for students, including those who have fallen behind academically. High-dosage tutoring is an excellent strategy for addressing Covid-19 learning loss and accelerating a student’s progress.
The most successful approaches to closing learning gaps and improving math proficiency require explicit instruction and intense and targeted intervention. Evoke’s tutors build foundational skills while making connections to the content students are learning in class. Their instruction is supplemental and focused on acceleration, not remediation. Sessions are held a minimum of three times per week for a minimum of 10 weeks and during this time, student data is used consistently to understand their strengths and challenges and to build sessions that focus on the student’s needs.
Evoke’s high-dosage math tutoring program begins with a diagnostic assessment that allows us to pinpoint the specific concepts and curriculum expectations with which a student is struggling and specifically what has been creating a barrier to their understanding of current grade content. The information collected from the math diagnostic is helpful in guiding our tutors so that they may effectively and efficiently develop a student’s skills and build fluency. The information from the math diagnostic monitors the progress made from the intervention program so that instruction is strategic and adjusted as necessary.
Current studies have found that interactive online math tutoring results in learning and achievement benefits for underperforming students (Beal, Walles, Arroyo, & Woolf, 2007; Chappell, Nunnery, Pribesh, & Hager, 2011; Nguyen & Kulm, 2005). Tutoring online allows for more than just instructional support. Evoke’s tutors can connect with students from busy families, those living in isolated areas that do not have access to local tutoring support, and students who prefer the privacy of online tutoring. In fact, a meta-analysis of out-of-school-time math tutoring indicated that organizations offering online math tutoring were more effective than those providing only face-to face services (Chappell et al., 2011). A study by Beal et al. (2007) revealed that students showed significant improvement on math problems after receiving online interactive tutoring. These findings suggest that students benefit from consistent, online, real-time math tutoring (Nguyen & Kulm, 2005). In fact, studies also show that students struggling with math achievement benefit the most from online tutoring (Maloy, Razzaq, & Edwards, 2014; Beal et al, 2007).
A March 2023 study conducted by the Annenberg Institute at Brown University highlighted that virtual learning offers the potential to provide stronger matches between student needs and tutor skill sets by expanding the potential supply of tutors, and that online intensive tutoring programs improve academic outcomes, effort, and the aspirations of participating students. These students also benefited from significantly increased standardized test scores and end-of-year math grades. In terms of non-academic outcomes, online academic math interventions also contribute to improved student self-reported effort and aspirations. The study highlighted that online tutoring programs can be provided to any student with an internet connection, including those in remote places where traditional tutoring programs are harder to deliver. A finding from the Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance at Concordia University highlights that there is “no empirical evidence that says that classroom instruction benefits students (compared to alternatives) from a learning achievement perspective.”
Evoke’s math tutors are well-qualified and well-trained teachers and paraprofessionals who have completed pure math programs at the university level and have experience working with neurodiverse learners. Some of them have completed postgraduate degrees and are very knowledgeable about math content and provincial math curricula. This allows them to teach using a variety of explanations and representations to develop mathematical understanding. Our tutors are skilled at relationship-building and understand when and how to press students, which resources to use, and how to employ strategic questioning in lieu of providing answers. At Evoke we understand how important it is to cultivate positive relationships with our learners. Ensuring that our students have a consistent tutor over time facilitates productive student-tutor relationships and a stronger understanding of the student’s learning needs. When students have a positive, caring relationship with their tutor they become more motivated and develop a more favourable mindset towards school. Evoke pairs each student with a consistent tutor for the duration of their math tutoring program so they can get to know the student’s strengths and weaknesses.
Evoke uses research-informed approaches and cognitive science in our programming and instruction. We believe there are barriers to learning and situations that hold individuals back, and that it is our job to understand their needs, identify those barriers, and help students address them. We believe in the science of learning, and that it takes time and requires effort and practice. Evoke’s approach to tutoring includes the use of effective research-informed methods for supporting and improving the performance of neurodiverse learners, such as explicit instruction when teaching specific concepts, procedures, strategies and rules, and reciprocal teaching. The student’s neurobiology is considered when creating their individualized learning plan to ensure students with reduced working memory and processing speed are supported and the student’s overall cognitive load is reduced.
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Evoke’s high-dosage math tutoring program begins with a diagnostic assessment. This helps us identify the precise concepts and curriculum areas where a student is facing challenges, and it highlights the specific obstacles affecting their grasp of current grade material. The insights from this diagnostic guide our tutors in crafting a tailored approach to bolster a student's skills and enhance their fluency. Furthermore, by referencing the diagnostic data, we can track the progress resulting from our intervention, ensuring that our instruction remains targeted and is adapted when needed.
At Evoke, we maintain a one-to-one student-to-tutor ratio in our online math tutoring program. This individualized approach ensures that every session is completely tailored to the unique learning profile of each student. By focusing on individual needs, we can offer a more personalized and effective learning experience, ensuring that every student gets the specialized attention they deserve.
This tutoring has been a game changer for my son. The staff are fabulous; kind and patient with him and his learning needs. Highly recommend! And we love Lea!
My son was diagnosed with ADHD-Combined, and we were very fortunate to discover Evoke Learning. Over the past 1.5 years, Evoke Learning has been instrumental in helping my... read more
I worked with Richard at Evoke over several months and he was immensely helpful. Besides being professional and effective, Richard was very compassionate and empathetic. During my time working with... read more
My son was diagnosed with ADHD plus an LD and he was having difficulty with his high school classes. After searching for tutors for my son and coming up... read more
Our experience with Evoke has been fantastic. Everyone from the administrative staff, to the assessment staff to the tutors are incredible professional, and knowledgeable. The virtual experience was great, my... read more
My name is Jessica and I’ve had Richard as my academic coach for the last 1.5 years. I am completing my Master’s and as someone with ADHD, I was very... read more
I went to Evoke for several months for ADHD counselling. I had Richard Comeau, who was unbelievably helpful with improving my work ethic, organizational skills, motivation, and note taking/studying strategies.... read more
The reading program at Evoke helped me feel empowered and strengthen my reading. This program truly has impacted my life in such a positive way. This program not only helped... read more
I had the chance to work with Richard this year on improving my learning skills and over that time I've become a different person with a completely different mindset on... read more
My 14 year old son has been working with Andrew for a couple of years to get help with math and science and he loves it so much my 16... read more
I feel so much gratitude for the services of Evoke Learning. Our child developed reading skills during our time with Evoke which was a huge milestone. Dollar for... read more
A friend recommended Evoke after I shared concerns with my daughter’s reading development. She had used Evoke more than five years ago and still raves about the positive impact for... read more
I have nothing but positive things to say about our Evoke Learning experience. From the initial phone call, to the intake meeting to, in our instance, the weekly sessions, there... read more
Kate is quite possibly the most helpful person I have worked with in the 20+ years of managing my ADHD. She is down to earth, intelligent, compassionate and truly incredible... read more
I had the pleasure of being mentored by Richard. He taught me how to maximize my school performance, and to learn how to work with my ADHD and learning... read more
I’ve had nothing but positive experiences at Evoke, having worked with two of their coaches (Aaron and Richard). With their professionalism, kindness, and expertise, I’ve been making real progress on... read more
Our daughter has learning disabilities and ADHD. When she began having difficulties during university, Kate Lloyd was recommended. Kate’s counselling was excellent and enabled our daughter to graduate... read more
I have been working with Evoke Learning for my ADHD for about five years. Before I started working with my tutor I was having a lot of difficulties at school... read more
As a Mom of a student with learning disabilities, I highly recommend the coaching and tutoring services of Denise Harding and the staff at both the Evoke Learning Aurora and... read more
****5 STARS HANDS DOWN!!!!**** Kate Lloyd, the owner of Evoke Learning- is one of the most amazing and outstanding human beings that I have ever met in my life.... read more
It is difficult to sum up how much Evoke’s services have helped me to reach my goals and realize my full potential at university and beyond. From my in-person coaching... read more
I have been using Evoke's services for the past two years while being in university. I have to say, Kate (the owner) has gone ABOVE and BEYOND for me! She... read more
I worked with Evoke's learning for helping my niece. She wanted to be in the baseball team and we weren't ready to allow her as she is an ADHD kid.... read more
We have made Evoke our go-to resource for several years. One of our children had been diagnosed with a learning difference and ADHD, in grade three, and needed a support... read more
I had the pleasure of working as a coach and mentor at Evoke Learning. I was very impressed with the quality of training I received by Kate Lloyd, and have... read more
I would give 10 stars if I could! Kate Lloyd is amazing at what she does. I had always struggled to take tests through University and Graduate school so... read more
I hired Evoke Learning to help coach and organize my child when he went off to university. They did an excellent job and were very professional with their services, invoicing,... read more
We have had the greatest pleasure of Learning about Evoke. They have been phenomenal working along with my daughter. Denise was a great mentor for my daughter... read more
My daughter has been with Evoke Learning and with the academic coaching program for two years. In that time, I can say that she’s really become much stronger in her... read more
Great coaching services for students with ADHD and/or executive function deficits. Denise is organized, structured and holds her clients accountable for their 'homework'. I highly recommend Evoke to parents who... read more
I can say both my boys used Evoke Learning to sharpen their study skills and benefitted from the coaching they received. I would recommend Evoke Learning when a child needs... read more
My Son Marco has been going to Evoke for English and Math, and we are so happy with his progress. He has worked with Bridgitt and Mohammed and they... read more