6 Tips for Tutoring Students Online

6 Tips for Tutoring Students Online

Online Tutoring

The market for online tutoring is growing rapidly in response to the Coronavirus pandemic and the availability of easy-to-use online communication platforms. Expanding online presents growth opportunities for your tutoring business, but it also comes with some unique challenges. Today we’ll highlight 6 tips for tutoring students online that will help your business maintain lesson quality when transitioning to online learning.

Online lessons are similar to in-person tutoring in many ways. They’ll likely have a similar structure, format, and general purpose.

Online lessons, however, present some unique challenges that need to be addressed and overcome. If these challenges aren’t solved there is a risk that the quality of your business’ online lessons won’t be up to your usual standards. A drop in quality can lead to unhappy customers, fewer lessons, and ultimately reduced lesson revenue.

Below we discuss some of the challenges related to tutoring online, as well steps your business can take to train its tutors to face those challenges directly.

Go Slowly

Online lessons have a similar structure to in-person tutoring, but sometimes they’ll move at a slower pace due to technical difficulties, audio/video quality, or ineffective online communication. Issues like these are more frequent when tutors and students are just getting used to online lessons, or they’ve just moved their usual in-person sessions online.

It’s important that your tutors move slowly during online lessons to help make sure online lessons flow smoothly. Moving slowly gives both tutors and students time to communicate, and it will make it easier to engage in conversation that flows naturally. This will keep both students and tutors engaged and over time will result in more efficient lessons once tutors/students develop a system that works for them.

Tutoring Etiquette Should Stay the Same

One of the most important tips for tutoring students online is to remember that the same general etiquette of in-person lessons applies to online lessons, even if there are some differences regarding between online and in-person lessons.

Maintaining the same etiquette is important because it conveys professionalism and authority. That means your tutors need to be punctual, prepared, and dressed appropriately for their lessons before they start. They should also have a quiet, professional looking space in their residence they can use to host lessons.

Use Every Resource Available to You

In-person lessons come with many benefits. Your tutors and students can share notes, computer/tablet screens, chalk & white boards, and other physical tools during their lessons. One of the challenges of shifting to online tutoring is learning to replace those tools in online spaces.

Fortunately, there are a range of options for tutoring students online. Each platform comes with its own features, so it’s important to choose the one that best supports the style of lessons your business is going to be providing.

Make sure you utilize as many relevant features as possible, regardless of the platform you choose. Screen sharing, file sharing, virtual whiteboards, recorded sessions, etc. are all fantastic tools that are unique to online lessons, so don’t let them go to waste. Find out how you can make all of these resources work for you and your tutors to create great online lessons.

Adjust Lesson Plans to Suit Online Learning

Similar to some of the other points on this list, it’s important to remember that lesson plans will need to look a little different for online tutoring sessions.

Much of the content in the lesson plans your tutors use will stay the exact same, but it may need to be modified to suit online learning. That means creating extra space for communicating slower, asking questions, and helping students (especially new ones) to navigate through the tools in their online learning spaces.

Develop Policies Related to Online Lessons

Your business probably has policies in place for cancellations and missed lessons. These policies help keep your business, tutors, and customers accountable and prevent no-shows and disputes over which lessons are billable.

Your existing policies will apply to online lessons, but you may also want to develop some additional policies that apply specifically to managing situations related to online learning. Some things to consider are whether lessons will be billable if students or tutors experience technical difficulties, late/cancellation policies, and what happens if equipment (e.g. headphones or speakers) fail during lessons.

Teach in Smaller Chunks

One unique challenge of tutoring students online is that it becomes more difficult to interpret a student’s interest level and engagement in the lesson.

For that reason it’s helpful to teach in smaller chunks during online lessons, since it breaks up content and creates space for students to ask questions.

It’s also advisable to have your tutors ask students questions about comprehension, content, and the speed of the lesson to ensure students are getting the most out of their lessons.

Those are our Tips for Tutoring Students Online!

Our tips for tutoring students online are useful for helping your business optimize online delivery right from the start. Your business will have it’s own priorities, goals, and procedures for online lessons, but it’s important to remember that online lessons aren’t the exact same as in-person lessons.

Your business can use some of the ideas on this list to guide its expansion to online lessons. If you’re an existing (or new) Teachworks subscriber and you’d like more information about how Teachworks can help you deliver online lessons you can check out these articles about using Teachworks to connect students/tutors online: Online Lessons With Teachworks.

If you’re brand new to Teachworks and you’d like to set up and account to test the software you can click the button below to get started with your Free 3 Week Trial!

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