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  • Writer's pictureBrian Ricks

How To Get The Most Out Of Online Tutoring

Online tutoring is a great option for students because of convenience. If you don't live in an area with an abundance of qualified tutors nearby, you can find a reputable tutor online and meet for tutoring sessions via video conference. If you don't have a lot of free time for tutoring, odds are that they can work with you online at the times you need. Because of online tutoring, tutors are able to help more students per day as compared to in-person tutoring where they would need to spend time commuting.

Online tutoring does have its pitfalls, but luckily they can be addressed with good planning. So, what should a student do to prepare for an upcoming online tutoring session?

Schedule Enough Time For Tutoring

With online tutoring, we can all be doing something else right up until the moment we turn that camera on. But, I recommend that students schedule some extra time just prior to their tutoring session in order to review and refresh their memories about the course topics. Even just five minutes of looking over some notes will be very beneficial and help you get more things accomplished during a tutoring session.

Check Up On Your Technology Regularly

Video conferencing has never been easier to do than it is today. And to do it effectively you'll need to make sure you have a computer, camera, microphone, and speakers. Be sure to test each item beforehand and confirm that they are working properly. In my experience, the microphone and speakers are together the most responsible for tech problems during an online tutoring session. Because of this, I always recommend a set of headphones with a built-in microphone to my students. With headphones, the audio connection is usually clearer and also limits distractions. Wired earbud-style headphones with built-in microphones are among the most cost-effective options, and there are plenty of other styles from wireless earbuds to full over-the-ear headsets.

Be Prepared To Ask Questions

Tutoring always works best when students are engaged in the course material and actively trying to learn it. The best way to do this is to take the time to review notes, textbook chapters, and past assignments. Make a list of the ideas, equations, or problem types that seem the most difficult and confusing. Doing this will help you organize the information in your mind and get a clearer picture of what to focus on during tutoring and what questions to ask.

Send Files, Screenshots, and Photos Before The Session

Because our only visual connection is the camera, it's not easy to share worksheets or books during an online tutoring session without sending some sort of file. This can sometimes take up much more time than expected, so don't leave it to chance and send it all ahead of time.

In the past, I've had hour-long tutoring sessions cut short because it took so long for a file to send. This can be easily avoided with a little bit of planning. So if you know you will have to reference a PDF or image in a textbook, send it ahead of time.

What to Expect in Your Online Tutoring Session

So, let's put this all together and assume you have a 90-minute tutoring session scheduled for an upcoming Chemistry exam. What should you do?

Right away, add it to your schedule along with an extra 15 minutes before the session to review on your own beforehand.

Next, go through the chapters your exam will cover and start listing the areas or problem types you need to focus on the most. Past homework assignments and quizzes are very useful here too, so check out the problems you got wrong.

Send scans or photos of any notes, textbook sections, problems you will want to review. Email is best for this, but text messages also work ok for most image files.

On the day of the tutoring session, spend 10-15 minutes before it begins on reviewing the material again and the questions you want to ask so that it is all fresh in your mind.

Get Started With Bricks Tutoring

Having a professional tutor is so beneficial during this time. At Bricks Tutoring, I offer online tutoring for a wide variety of math, science, and engineering courses. Contact me today to learn more about online tutoring or to schedule your appointment.

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