The Benefits of Online Tutoring Services (Plus Tips on Choosing a Tutor)
Classroom-based teaching is widely acknowledged as an effective method for creating an environment that is conducive to learning. This traditional set-up is helpful not only to students but also the teachers. The hierarchy of authority is clear in that the teacher commands everybody’s attention. Students are positioned such that they can hear, see, and absorb information with as little hindrances as possible. The classroom set-up also allows collaborative learning among students. During downtime, classmates can easily consult one another and discuss lessons using the common vernacular (a medium through which they can understand new concepts better and retain knowledge longer).
Classroom learning, however, has a downside: it operates with the assumption that the majority, if not all of the students, have the same learning styles and comprehension speed. It would fall on the teacher to make adjustments in the delivery of the lessons (e.g., film showings, hands-on demonstrations) and pacing of the lesson plan (how quickly and thoroughly each lesson is discussed) to accommodate the unique needs of some students.
This problem persists even in online classes. Some say it gets even worse: students who have questions but don’t want to interrupt their instructors and draw attention to themselves can no longer ask their seatmates for a quick explanation. They’re also pressured to articulate their questions, which can be difficult for subjects like Mathematics and Creative Arts.
So whether it’s traditional or online classes, students will face challenges they will need to overcome.
Your children are also likely facing similar challenges in their classes, whether they’re attending them at school or through their PCs or laptops. As parents, you no doubt want to see your kids triumph over adversity. You can help them in this situation by signing them up for online tutoring.
Why Online Tutoring?
Online tutoring is not new. It’s only getting more traction now in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent, temporary hiatus of traditional school formats in many cities and countries around the world.
Signing your children up for online tutoring gives them all the advantages of tutoring, plus some:
- Flexibility with the topics covered and teaching styles - Tutors can adjust his or her pace and style of teaching to match what works best for your child.
- Greater flexibility with schedules - No traveling required.
- Protection - Online tutoring eliminates your children’s risk of exposure to coronavirus.
- A wider selection of tutors - Your choices won’t be limited to whoever’s available nearby.
- Ability to record lessons - Your kids can make audio and video recordings of their lessons for reference.
- Promotes independence and self-learning - Tutors won’t be physically present to urge students to do their homework, so the latter will develop the initiative to study and work without supervision.
- Reduces peer pressure - Without classmates to see their scores, your kids will feel less self-conscious about their test scores.
- Customised lessons - Tutoring is not only for struggling students but also for those who are not getting enough from their school’s regular curriculum.
Choosing an Online Tutor
Whether or not your children get the full benefits of online tutoring depends on the person you choose to be their tutor. To help you find the best candidate, we give you the following checklist for choosing an online tutor:
- Experience - Experienced tutors tend to be more effective teachers. They know how to coax students to cooperate and pay attention when it’s time to study.
- Credentials - Besides the number of years they spent tutoring or the number of students they’ve taught, also check the credentials of the tutor applying for the position. A college graduate is ideal, and certification for a credible tutor training program is an extra incentive (bear in mind that the more impressive the credentials, the higher the tutor’s hourly rate might be).
- Personality - Tutors don’t need to be friends with your children, but they should at least be able to have a good rapport with one another.
- Specialty Subjects - Ideally, you’ll choose a tutor who specialises in the subject your child is struggling with. But instead of hiring one tutor per subject, you can also find those who are qualified to teach two or more subjects.
- Affordability - Cost is a valid consideration because the more experienced tutors tend to charge more. What’s more important, however, is striking a balance between the rate and other qualities of your ideal tutor.
- Availability - Just because the classes will be held online doesn’t mean the tutor will be available 24/7. You still need to find tutors who are available when your children are, so it’s best to find tutors who live in the same time zone as you.
- Goal-Driven - Ask how the prospective tutors grade their students’ performances. You’ll want tutors who can set clear goals and lesson plans so that your children won’t just learn what’s on the lesson plan but also develop critical thinking, curiosity, the initiative to study, and other qualities of students who love learning.
- Policies - If you’re hiring through a tutoring company, review the policies for makeup sessions, contingencies (e.g., when tutors have an emergency), payment schedules, contract terminations, etc.
There could be other criteria that are important to you and your children; add them to this checklist. Many people like to say that the young generations have it easy. They fail to see that the world today is throwing out new challenges that only our children will experience. You can help ease their struggles by hiring professional tutors who can help them achieve their full academic potentials.