If you’re used to tutoring in person, moving to online tutoring can seem daunting and overwhelming. You may be wondering how you’ll still be able to monitor student progress and be an effective tutor. While online tutoring will never feel the exact same as an in-person session, with the proper tools and techniques, you can keep student engagement and learning just as high.
1) Know Your Technology
Keeping the flow moving and spending lesson time learning is key to a great online tutoring session. With online tutoring, technology could fail at any time during your session. Having troubleshooting knowledge and back-up plans is critical to minimizing the distraction of technical issues. Make sure you know what to do if you or your student’s internet, laptop, and drawing tablets stop working. Additionally, know what to do if your online classroom fails, or if a camera/ microphone stops working mid-session.
2) Keep Student Engagement High
During in-person tutoring, monitoring student engagement is easy, you’re in the room with them, and you can tell if they’re paying attention and actively learning. During online tutoring, you’ll have to take extra steps to monitor student engagement.
The biggest way to keep students engaged should come through your lesson plan. Because learning is happening through a screen, there is always the possibility of the student slowly sinking into passive listening, and treating the lesson like a TV show or YouTube video. Make sure that your lesson plan is very interactive. Every 30s – 1min you should ask them a question directly, or monitor their work. Try to avoid long stretches of lectures.
3) Utilize Recordings of Your Sessions
The biggest advantage online tutoring sessions have over in-person is that you are making a recording of your lesson, which can be viewed later as study materials. Make sure you’re able to save the on-screen work of the lesson and send it to the student afterward. If the student is interested, you may also want to look into screen recording software that records the lesson in real time, so that the student can watch the lesson after it’s over.
4) Take Advantage of Easier Scheduling
Another huge advantage of online tutoring is that difficult to schedule lessons are much easier to find time for. Not only are late night and early morning sessions way more feasible, but keep in mind that test prep is also much easier. Your student may want to meet three nights in a row before a big exam or have a last-minute half-hour session just to boost confidence before an exam. Keeping an open mind and realizing being online makes your schedule more flexible will help you get the most out of online tutoring.
5) Use Digital Resources
Because the lesson is taking place via a screen, you should utilize the technology that screens can provide. Before your lesson, collect any digital files that will be useful to your student. Any graphs, flowcharts, list of rules, or images that will enhance the lesson should be used. You can create a great online classroom by using pictures from the students textbook, graphics of their homework, and writing directly on them. This way, when your student is looking back at their lesson notes, everything they need to understand the lesson is right in front of them. You can also link to videos that would be useful for the student to watch later on.
Adjusting to online tutoring can feel like a challenge at first, but if you’re careful to monitor student engagement, and utilize all the positives that online tutoring has, your lessons will be effective and helpful to all your students.