Whether it’s for summer reading skills or shoring up algebra fundamentals, online tutoring sessions offer students supplemental learning that can be accessed from anywhere with a reliable internet connection. Tutors can customize lessons, use premium learning tools, record sessions and track student progress. Students can also access their tutor from the comfort of their own home and not worry about scheduling conflicts with extracurricular activities or work.
However, it’s important to make sure students and tutors are prepared for online interaction. Because it is a text-based medium, nonverbal cues, such as eye contact and facial expressions are not present. This can make students unsure if they are being heard or understood by their tutor. To reduce these concerns, it’s good practice for students to prepare a needs analysis and share it with their tutor prior to the first session. It will help ensure that their goals are aligned and that the tutor is able to deliver what they need from the session.
When using an online tutoring service, be sure to review the background information on the tutors and providers, find out about their cancellation policy and do a quick search for reviews from previous students. It’s also crucial to set measurable goals between student and tutor that can be tracked and monitored over time to create success.
If your students are not already familiar with the platform where their tutoring sessions take place, it may be worth testing out the different features and making notes on where to adjust the microphone, video or chat settings. It’s also a great idea to provide multiple methods for students to interact with the lesson content: let them share aloud with camera and mic, type in chat, write or draw on digital whiteboards or even share their screen.