Hey tutors! Follow the tips below to carry out successful online tutoring sessions in the TutorOcean virtual classroom.
Setting up the hardware and software
Don’t let choppy internet or a poor setup interrupt your online tutoring sessions. To have the best user experience, make sure your Internet connection is stable at all times. The Internet at home may be more reliable and secure than in a coffee shop. When it comes to the browser, use either the latest version of Google Chrome (recommended) or Firefox (alternative) on a laptop or desktop computer (no mobile devices). As for iPads or tablets, you can install the Google Chrome app and use it as a writing/drawing canvas during your online session. Make sure that you have functioning headphones with a microphone and webcam (internal or external), and check that you’ve enabled video and audio in your browser settings. The preparation stage during an online tutoring session will help you check if you have the proper setup. If you ever run into any technical glitches before or during an online session, please click on “Help” at the top right corner.
Preparing for your online session
To ensure that your online tutoring sessions are efficient and effective, communicate well with your students ahead of time through chat messaging on the platform. Ask them to describe their problems in detail, set expectations, and make sure that both you and your students have the necessary materials (i.e. worksheet, textbook). As a tutor, you can prepare the Whiteboard, insert text in the Text Editor, and upload documents to File Sharing that will be used during the online session ahead of time.
Your students will definitely have a lot of specific questions to ask you – this is one of the main reasons why they’ve chosen you as their private, online tutor. Unlike during a lecture, either there’s not enough time for students to pose questions to the professor or some students feel nervous to ask questions. Whatever the reason may be, you’re offering students a safe space for them to find solutions to their problems, your undivided attention, and expert guidance. Maybe it’s because you’ve “been there and done that” (and you did exceptionally well!), your students would want to know what you did to get top marks. Be prepared to answer course or subject specific questions. If you couldn’t answer a question during a session, don’t fret! You can choose to record the entire or part of the online session, so you can watch a playback to jog your memory of what has been answered and what has not. Just make sure that your students agree!
Nurture active learning
Following the previous point, the ‘gold standard’ of effective tutoring is guiding or coaching a student through a learning process. The best tutors take the time to explain things to their students whilst allowing them to come to their own conclusions about what the answer is. This may translate into drawing a lot of diagrams on the Whiteboard during an online session. Don’t worry, you can open a total of 9 boards at once! And if that’s not enough, you can export your Whiteboards as PDFs, and hence freeing up canvas for you and your students to work on.
Be available and communicate often
Whether it’s before or during or after an online session, make it clear to your students that you’re available to help. Either check in with your students via chat messaging or book regular review sessions. You may have several students at once, but you can always see and manage your up-to-date calendar in your tutor account. Booked sessions will be automatically populated into your calendar once you’ve clicked to accept. Make it a habit to log into your tutor account everyday to respond to messages and check session requests.
At TutorOcean, we put our users first. For tutors, you enjoy the flexibility to teach when you want and charge as you wish. On top of that, our platform allows you to choose the logistics of your lessons such as date, time, location, and more. Sign up for free as a tutor!