How Online Tutoring Can Work for Your Student
In a time when kids are being pushed harder and harder in elementary school and more students are looking to attend college and graduate school, tutoring is becoming increasingly important. Whereas many people used to think of tutoring as remedial only, more people are now getting tutored not only to make up for education gaps but also to get further ahead faster.
Conversely, kids are getting busier with school and extracurricular activities and parents are working outside the home more. It’s becoming more difficult to make time for traditional tutoring meetups outside of school hours. One great solution is online tutoring. But how does it work?
Online tutoring can take a number of forms but the best closely mimics traditional tutoring but with the use of technology. Students search for online tutors using tutoring match-up websites and negotiate a rate, expectations, and timeframe with the tutor. Depending on the site, the tutoring will either be paid for in advance through the site or the student and tutor will arrange for payment.
Once the initial introductions are made and the basics are laid out, the tutor will work with the student to determine what needs to be installed on the student’s computer, both hardware and software. In most cases the student will need a microphone and speakers. A webcam can also be helpful but may not be necessary. Free software such as Skype and be used to facilitate the actual sessions and allow the tutor and the student to see and or hear each other.
From there, the tutor will begin making assignments to the student in a variety of ways. These may include pointing them to spreadsheets available online, asking them to purchase a textbook, sending them an ebook, or just emailing documents before each session. Sessions will be done in real time at pre-arranged times convenient for both the tutor and the student. For younger students it would be best if an adult is home to monitor online time, especially when a webcam is used.
Instruction can be done over Skype in the exact same way that it is done in person. The instructor can write on a whiteboard, use screen shots, or even write on regular paper to show the student what to do. The student can then do their work as the instructor watches via the webcam or explain their steps if a webcam is not being used. At the end, the instructor should provide a written followup of the session as well as expectations for what should be done before the next meeting.
Online tutoring, when done properly, can be a great way for students to get extra instruction in a convenient way. Whether it is for regular school subjects, advances courses, or even college test preparation, tutoring online is become a popular alternative to traditional tutoring for good reasons.