Visual representation of Bloom's 2 Sigma problem

TutorOcean’s Solution To Bloom’s 2 Sigma Problem

Considered the ‘Holy Grail’ of EdTech, Bloom’s 2 Sigma Problem has prompted educators and engineers to put their heads together to devise solutions to help millions of students learn better.

What is Bloom’s 2 Sigma Problem?

In 1984, American educational psychologist, Benjamin Bloom, published important research that concluded, on average, a student taught one-to-one using mastery learning methods performed 98%* better than a student taught in a traditional classroom setting. Specifically, he found that teachers are conducting one-size-fits-all lectures, at a pace that doesn’t fit every student’s needs and not having enough time for the students to individually ask questions. However, Bloom also stated that the cost of one-on-one tutoring was too costly for most societies to bear on a large scale. He simply asked if researchers and teachers could devise conditions that would enable the majority of students under group instruction (traditional classroom) to attain levels of achievement that could only be reached with one-on-one tutoring.

Bloom's 2 Sigma problem illustrated by a graph
Bloom’s 2 Sigma Problem

In a traditional classroom setting, lessons are squeezed into set periods, leaving no room for different learning rates or individual student needs. There just isn’t enough time and changing the way a school system has worked for decades creates massive resistance. Finding enough qualified tutors in the immediate area for each students’ needs and budget can be a major challenge. The time and resources needed to implement Bloom’s ideas just aren’t available. To go along with these major issues, resistance to change in the academic world is strong.

*One-to-one tutored students did two standard deviations (therefore 98%) better than the conventionally taught students. In statistics, the Greek letter Sigma (σ) is used to represent the standard deviation. 

TutorOcean’s solution to solve the problem

Today, our online virtual classrooms can connect tutors and students around the world.  It enables tutors and students to collaborate and create personalized learning experiences. We are thus able to deliver a solution to the problem posed by Bloom more than three decades ago. The key now is finding a suitable tutor in the marketplace that fits the learning needs, timing requirements, and language needs of the student.  It is in this challenge that TutorOcean makes the difference – by providing a great user experience for students of all ages, from making the initial connection to collaborating in real-time in the online classroom, and ensuring proper and easy payments for all involved. 

Tutors on the TutorOcean platform deliver exceptional learner-centred online sessions using the following four key capabilities.

First, tutors acknowledge that student differences are important elements in teaching and learning. They “shake up” what would normally happen in a traditional classroom setting so students have more options for taking in information. For example, not only can a student spend as much time as they like with a tutor, but our session recording feature also allows students to re-learn course materials as many times as they need.

Second, in the private, 1-on-1 online classroom, tutors and students can establish more positive relationships. Students feel more comfortable asking more questions and tutors have more time to answer them, as well as provide specific feedback.  TutorOcean also provides an internal chat messaging system for fast, secure and easy communications between tutors and students.  

Third, TutorOcean does not prescribe a methodology or method of teaching.  This allows all tutoring sessions to be truly personalized.  This means that students are given a choice of teaching styles, and learning methodology when it comes time to pick a tutor.  With TutorOcean, free trial sessions allow the students to learn about their tutor to decide on their fit as well as adjust the pace of learning, scope and depth of discussions.  This means the students remain more motivated compared to other stricter methodologies because sessions have personal relevance and connect better with the student’s interests or way of learning.

Finally, the collaborative features (such as document sharing, whiteboard, text editor, screen sharing, etc,) in the TutorOcean online classroom allow tutors and students to actively work on tasks in real-time. This type of engagement helps students to gain a deeper understanding of the material, improves their concentration, and promotes higher-level skills such as critical thinking. 

Today, with the advent of modern communications infrastructure and technology, the vision of Bloom to provide personalized mastery level teaching to every student should be achievable. TutorOcean believes this and has built a platform with global reach specifically to try to achieve this. We hope everyone can join this exciting journey with us and benefit from it too.  We also believe that learning is a life long activity and it does not stop with formal schooling but extends into areas of personal growth. We invite all to come to pay us a visit at and discover an ocean full of things to learn and people who want to teach them!

To sign up as a student or tutor is completely free of charge. Get started today!

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TutorOcean is a global marketplace where learners and tutors connect. Through its intuitive and integrated online classroom, tutors are able to cultivate the internal motivation and potential of learners, and thus help them achieve their goals. It's a place where the connection is made instantly, knowledge is shared and acquired in real-time, and community is created while breaking geographical boundaries.