Online Tutoring – a Guide for Beginners

The pandemic has made all of us work, study and even socialize remotely. E-learning has become a very common way of life for most students and teachers as well. From primary school students to college students, everyone is taking online classes. While the productivity of online classes is still questionable, people are surely adapting to it. Teachers are investing in gadgets and equipment that ensures an efficient teaching session, while students are making use of their tech-savviness to make the most out of user-friendly platforms like Google classroom and Jam board.

However, the pandemic has also led to the emergence of many different skills and professions that people are now taking up. One of this is online tutoring. It has been around the corner since a long time, but has now become significantly popular and in-demand. If you are also looking for a low investment but an easy business idea in the education sector, make use of online tutoring. You could put your fast speed internet connections and smart devices to incredible use with such professions.

What is Online Tutoring?

Online tutoring refers to when an instructor, usually a qualified person teaches an individual or a group of people. In ideal cases, a tutor is supposed to be an expert at whatever field they are tutoring is for, e.g. Matehmatics. If you are looking for a company or an agency to hire you, then they are most likely to require a master’s degree or a high experience in the respective field. If you wish to start online tutoring privately, then this may not be necessary as long as you have sufficient knowledge of the subject and have good teaching skills.

This kind of tutoring works in a virtual learning environment, which is also called VLE. This allows students and instructors to be separated from one another in terms of their location and time as well. As a result, this kind of learning is more flexible and convenient for most people.

Here is why students choose online tutors:

  • Easily available
  • Give more attention to the student
  • Flexible learning options
  • Cost effective

There are requirements of online tutoring including Technological tools for conducting online sessions. These may include a video calling platform, a portal or platform for you to communicate, make announcements and assign tasks to students, email services, data management and tutor scheduling platforms. Digital collaborative workspaces like Jam board and smart whiteboards can be very useful too.

Other than the ability to build a good VLE and have good communication with your students, there are practically no rigid requirements for becoming an online tutor. People can become online tutors if they have the knowledge in the field and a good teaching style.

Based on your skill set and experience, you must also set a price for your tutoring sessions. You can do this on hourly basis or per session basis, whatever suits you.

Tips For Beginners At Online Tutoring

  • Setting the schedule

Don’t leave too much of an open ended situation for your students. This way, they will set a schedule according to their convenience and might end up disturbing yours. Therefore, the smarter thing to do when setting a schedule for your tutoring sessions is to offer your students various options.

You should let them know 3-4 time frames, out of which they have to pick one which is most convenient for them. So, let’s say you are free in the afternoon till 4pm, and then in the evening at 6pm till 8pm. In this case, provide your students with the choice with 12-4pm, or 6-8pm. Whatever they choose will be mutually easy for you and your students as well.

  • Know your tools

This is extremely important. Without the right set up, online tutoring can become really difficult. It is important to have the right tools set up and all ready to be used before your sessions begin. Here are different types of tools, both digital and physical that you can use to make online tutoring a breeze:

  1. Web cam, if your laptop does not have a functional or a good quality one.
  2. Google docs, sheets and slides for real-time editing and live sharing.
  3. Zoom, Skype and Google Meet are very common platforms for online learning.
  4. Zoom whiteboard for real time document preparation. Same with Google Jam board.
  5.  You can use a camera tripod stand to record handwritten demos with your phone and upload online.
  6. Smart notebooks, easily available on Amazon. Can be really good for an old-school handwriting experience but with a digital touch to it.
  7. Document cameras let you record your demos under good lighting, maneuverable camera stand and a high quality camera as well.
  • Recorded lectures

Internet connectivity cannot be the same all throughout different areas and cities. The problem of rural internet can be serious for many students. Poor connectivity or a stable connection when someone is on-the-go can be disrupting for their learning outcomes. Therefore, it is always a good idea to record your lectures and let your enrolled students access these lectures. You can create a folder on a cloud storage, such as on Google drive where all your recorded lectures are piled up together.

Secondly, these recordings are also very important for students to refer back to when they miss out or can’t remember a piece of information. Even you can use these to take a recap of how far the class has progressed.

Final Thoughts

Online tutoring is widely used as a means of side income to your primary profession. Even if you are a professor or a teacher at an institute, you can provide online tutoring on the side as long as they are not falling into the same field or you are teaching the same kids in both places. Virtual learning is no longer a concept of the future, since the pandemic has brought us all in this digital space. Make use of this time and make some extra cash with online tutoring.

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