Nov 27, 2018
Online tutoring is a burgeoning market for many tutors and offers greater convenience to clients unable to make it to a physical location. For tutors looking to go digital, here are 5 tips to ensure you maintain quality with your online services.
Online tutoring provides flexibility for tutors and students, allowing both to spend more time learning with less hassle finding the right time and place. It’s a great thing to complement the in-person sessions you have with your students. It can also be a good solution if a student is traveling, sick or schedules change last minute.
But the digital workspace is not a simple fix: tutors need to maintain the quality of the tutoring session, as well as the online connection. Clark has 6 tips to optimizing your online tutoring game:
1. Same Tutor Face-to-Face
This one applies to tutors who conduct in-person sessions with students. It’s important to maintain continuity of service, so the in-person tutor should ideally conduct the online sessions. Familiarity will also help ensure a smoother transition to the online tutoring session.
2. Find a Quiet Place
It should go without saying: tutor and student should both find a quiet place to conduct the online tutoring session. A coffee shop or outdoor spot are not ideal. Your location should allow for an uninterrupted tutoring session, preferably without the need for headphones.
3. Respect the Session
The digital age is crowded with pings and alerts. Tell your students to turn off all notifications on their computer and, if applicable, smartphones. (The same goes for the tutor!)
It’s likewise respectful to maintain eye contact throughout the session, which will in turn help students focus on you.
4. Don’t Type & Talk
Being understood is all the more important because of the online tutoring interface. Talking and typing should always occur separately, so students can hear you clearly. If a student begins to speak, stop typing.
If you absolutely must take notes, have a pen and pad of paper handy; you can transcribe notes to your computer after the session.
5. Speak & Repeat
Listening comprehension can be a difficult adjustment for some students. Repetition is a great way to ensure that students understand the lesson material, and to reinforce the learning process, too. Ask your student to repeat back what both of you have discussed. Don’t be afraid if this repetition eats into your tutoring time; it’s time well-spent!
6. Show & Tell
Just as with in-person sessions, tutors need to gauge student progress. It’s important that students share notes and assigned work with you. Find ways that you and students can share a common workspace that fits your needs, from using Google Drive to create documents and folders where students can drop their work, to a virtual whiteboard that enhances how tutors can conduct (and save) lessons in the online space.
Online tutoring offers tutors a broader market reach, with less overhead cost in travel and time. It may take trial and error, but with the right set-up and tools, tutors can effectively manage a thriving online presence for students who need or want to connect virtually.