10 Useful Tips On E-Learning For Tutors

By Kate Boland on May 1 2020 in Society

Online tutoring is extremely popular in the current age.
Online tutoring is extremely popular in the current age.
  • A 2013 study revealed 90% of students improved their grades in a curriculum area when working with a specialist tutor.
  • Free tutoring is often available at local libraries, community centers, or student-to-student programs at school.
  • Tutors can earn between $10 and $100 per hour, depending on their qualifications.

The flexible nature of online tutoring enables students to find 24-hour help with their learning, from a one time all-night cram session before examinations, to scheduled weekly homework sessions with a specialist. For tutors, the lack of commute and freedom to choose where and when to work make it an ideal alternative to traditional classroom teaching. Tutors are needed in every subject and age level, from preschoolers to university graduates. If you are considering becoming an online tutor, read on to learn 10 useful tips for online e-learning for tutors.

10. Online Office

Image credit: LightField Studios/Shutterstock.com
Image credit: LightField Studios/Shutterstock.com

The tutoring may be virtual, but the tutor needs a real location to work from. Choose a quiet home workspace with a fast internet connection and an uncluttered background. A local coffee shop won’t do as it will be visually distracting and loud. A home office is ideal, but even a quiet, uncluttered corner with a desk will work well. Just be sure to put the pets in the next room.

9. Tools of the Trade

To make the most of e-learning, tutors will need to make a small initial investment in the right tools. Hardware such as a computer, laptop, or tablet will be the biggest expense. A dedicated mic and earphones aren’t essential, but they do improve the experience for both student and tutor. Other suggested tools include subscriptions to online learning apps and specialized programs dedicated to finding grammar errors or plagiarism in student work, digital design platforms, or specialist certifications that allow tutors to charge more for their time.

8. All Booked Up

Keeping track of classes with the help of reminders is important. Image credit: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock.com
Keeping track of classes with the help of reminders is important. Image credit: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock.com

Although tutoring provides great flexibility for teachers and students, it is very important to keep track of your schedule using a digital calendar or old school paper agenda. Online calendar tools have the advantage of allowing students to see when you are available to book in for sessions. Keeping track of your tutoring time also allows you to bill accurately and regularly.  

7. Share Your Expertise

A young girl receiving her music lessons online. Image credit: Maria Symchych/Shutterstock.com
A young girl receiving her music lessons online. Image credit: Maria Symchych/Shutterstock.com

Online tutoring is not restricted to K-12 instruction of core curriculum subjects of English, math, and science (although these are popular). With the rise in online learning, tutors are needed in every subject area, from languages to computer coding to cooking to musical performance, and work with learners of every age. Tutoring companies need individuals with advanced training, expertise, and experience and can match your in demand skill set with students. 

6. Out of Synch

A student doing her homework set online by her tutor. Image credit: MNStudio/Shutterstock.com
A student doing her homework set online by her tutor. Image credit: MNStudio/Shutterstock.com

While most tutoring time is spent communicating directly with students, one tip for tutors to improve e-learning is to create asynchronous activities. Done on the students’ own time and without aid from the tutor, asynchronous activities include previewing videos or articles before the session, filming oneself practicing a language or instrument, or completing online tests or quizzes. Asynchronous work extends the learning time without extra work for the tutor or tuition for the student.

5. Community of Learners

While traditional tutoring is offered one-on-one, online learning allows for alternative approaches to connect students. Consider how student to student discussion, pair-sharing, or peer editing can broaden the online learning experience. Schedule two or more students at a time for special group sessions, learning games, or review. Online globalization opportunities to link international students builds confidence and creates unique connections.

4. Expect Tech Failure

Tech failure can interrupt smooth sessions. So, expect the worst. Image credit: fizkes/Shutterstock.com
Tech failure can interrupt smooth sessions. So, expect the worst. Image credit: fizkes/Shutterstock.com

Inevitably wifi crashes, electricity goes out, screens freeze, and computers glitch. Top-notch online tutors expect the unexpected and are prepared. Consider producing materials for students to print on the first day of lessons to have on hand in case of tech failure. Mitigate time lost with asynchronous activities that don’t require tech such as drawing diagrams, interviewing friends or family, or writing out flash cards.

3. Off the Clock

Expect to work at off times if your students are scattered across the globe. Image credit: Prostock-studio/Shutterstock.com
Expect to work at off times if your students are scattered across the globe. Image credit: Prostock-studio/Shutterstock.com

There has been much discussion about the flexibility of online learning, allowing students to study at their own pace around their own schedules. The same is true for tutors. Anyone considering becoming an online tutor should consider working with tutoring agencies and services outside their time zone to optimize their schedules. Nightowl? Early riser? Consider working with a company situated on the other side of the continent - or on an entirely different one - where students may be just waking up while your neighborhood is heading to bed.

2. Lesson Plans

Depending on the needs of your students, you will want to create a curriculum of learning that includes scaffolded lessons, learning outcomes, report measures, and progress indicators. You can find a number of free lesson plan templates online, and be sure to discuss with your student how often you will be assessing their work and how you’ll use those assessments to help them improve. Although many students will simply need help with their homework, others will be seeking rapid growth in their area of study.

1. Interaction to Avoid Distraction

Fun learning online. Image credit: PR Image Factory/Shutterstock.com
Fun learning online. Image credit: PR Image Factory/Shutterstock.com

With millions of apps at our fingers and multiple screen functions, it’s easy for students to become distracted during their study session. Tutors can impose strict rules about device usage, but these are difficult to enforce and in the end a good lesson plan is the best behavior management. Keep students engaged with interaction such as conversation, timed quizzes, and learning games. Ask frequent questions and probe answers to ensure key concepts are secure. Encourage frequent contributions, either to read work aloud or to give thoughts on concepts learned, and celebrate all successes big or small with verbal cues and congratulations.

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